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Game Thread #106: Brewers (52-53) at Dodgers (65-40)

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Current Series

3 game series vs Dodgers @ Dodger Stadium

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Los Angeles Dodgers

Monday, Aug 3, 2009, 9:10 PM CDT
Dodger Stadium

Manny Parra vs Clayton Kershaw

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to right field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

Complete Coverage >

Tue 08/04 9:10 PM CDT
Wed 08/05 9:10 PM CDT

What a difference a division makes. If the Brewers played in the NL West, they'd open play tonight 13 full games behind the first-place Dodgers. Instead, despite being a game under .500, they'll open play tonight just 4.5 games back, and sending Manny Parra to the mound tonight to try to gain some ground.

Can the Brewers improve to .500 on both the season and the road trip tonight? Follow the jump for tonight's pitching matchup, lineup and conversation on tonight's game!

Clayton Kershaw (8-5, 2.76) is one of baseball's best young pitchers, and will make his 44th major league appearance (and 43rd start) tonight despite being just 21 years old. His 6.2 hits per nine innings is the lowest number in the National League, but his 65 walks on the season put him among the league leaders. Kershaw is 5-0 in his last nine starts, and has posted a 0.79 ERA while holding opponents to a .484 OPS over that time.

Compared to that, Manny Parra (5-8, 6.50) looks like chopped, maybe even spoiled, liver. His 11.2 hits per nine innings are 80% more than Kershaw allows. Despite being 2-0 since returning from AAA, Parra has allowed nine earned runs in his last eleven innings pitched (7.36 ERA), walking eight and striking out ten. Parra has been striking more men out since returning to the big leagues, but he's also throwing a lot more pitches: At least 106 in each of his last four starts.

Bill Hall rejoined the team today after spending a few days in AAA, and gets the start tonight in right field for the first time in his major league career (h/t JS):

2B Felipe Lopez
3B Casey McGehee
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
CF Mike Cameron
SS J.J. Hardy
RF Bill Hall
C Mike Rivera
LHP Manny Parra

And in the bullpen:

Mitch Stetter pitched .2 innings (4 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Claudio Vargas pitched ,1 innings (16 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched Saturday.
Todd Coffey pitched 2 innings (32 pitches) yesterday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched one inning (18 pitches) yesterday.
Mark DiFelice pitched .1 innings (13 pitches) on Saturday.
R.J. Swindle has not pitched since Friday.
Chris Smith has not pitched since Friday.

Enjoy the game!