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Game Thread #121: Brewers (58-62) at Nationals (43-78)

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4 game series vs Nationals @ Nationals Park

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Washington Nationals

Friday, Aug 21, 2009, 6:05 PM CDT
Nationals Park

Braden Looper vs J.D. Martin

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 08/22 6:05 PM CDT
Sun 08/23 12:35 PM CDT
Mon 08/24 3:35 PM CDT

The Nationals introduced Stephen Strasburg today, but can the Brewers spoil his Welcome Home party?

Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup, lineup and conversation on tonight's game!

J.D. Martin (2-2, 4.61) is undefeated in three starts since losing to the Brewers on July 30. The Brewers managed five earned runs off of him in six innings in that start, but he's allowed just four in three starts since, posting a 2.35 ERA over 15.1 innings. He's still allowing a ton of baserunners, though, having put 23 men on (17 hits, six walks) in those innings. The Nationals are 3-0 in his starts in August, but their bullpen probably deserves a fair amount of the credit - he hasn't thrown more than 99 pitchers or six innings in any of his six starts.

The Brewers would be thrilled to get six solid innings from Braden Looper (10-6, 5.03), or even a full start without allowing a home run. Looper leads the National League with 30 home runs allowed. Cal Eldred, Bill Wegman and Chris Capuano are tied for eighth in franchise history with 31 - given Looper's recent performance (he's allowed 13 homers in his last nine starts), he could tie or pass them tonight.

Alcides Escobar is out of the lineup tonight, for the second time in three games, but Casey McGehee is in: (h/t Tyler Barnes)

Felipe Lopez 2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Mike Cameron CF
Frank Catalanotto RF
Jason Kendall C
Braden Looper P

With yesterday's off day, everyone in the bullpen has had at least one day of rest. Enjoy the game!