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Game Thread #45: Cardinals (26-18) at Brewers (26-18)

Normally, a home afternoon game immediately following a road night game would be cause for all kinds of grumbling and grumpiness, but after the last three games in Minnesota, the Brewers are probably eager to get that taste out of their mouths. I know I am.

The Brewers open a three game series with the Cardinals today, and come into the game in a dead heat for first place, with both teams 2.5 games up on the Reds and 4 games up on the Cubs. For the Cardinals, Chris Carpenter takes the mound today, making just his fourth start of the season and his second since coming off the DL. He pitched five scoreless innings en route to his second win on Wednesday, and still has not allowed an earned run in 15 innings this season.

For the Brewers, it's a Yovani-day. Gallardo is 4-2 with a 3.83 ERA so far this season, and is 3-1 in his last five starts. That one loss, though, came in his last start, when he allowed six earned runs to the Astros in five innings. This will be Gallardo's first official appearance against the Cardinals in 2009: He's 0-1 with a 9.28 ERA against them in two previous starts.

Casey McGehee plays and bats second as he tries to boost his average over .300. Mat Gamel gets the start at third, batting sixth.

Counsell SS
McGehee 2B
Braun LF
Fielder 1B
Cameron CF
Gamel 3B
Hart RF
Kendall C
Gallardo P

Here's a look at the bullpen for today:

Carlos Villanueva faced three batters yesterday.
Mark DiFelice faced two batters yesterday.
Mitch Stetter faced two batters yesterday.
Jorge Julio has not pitched since Saturday.
Seth McClung has not pitched since Friday.
Todd Coffey has not pitched since Thursday.
Trevor Hoffman has not pitched since Thursday.