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Game Thread #153: Phillies (88-63) at Brewers (75-77)

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Current Series

4 game series vs Phillies @ Miller Park

Philadelphia Phillies
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Thursday, Sep 24, 2009, 7:05 PM CDT
Miller Park

J.A. Happ vs Jeff Suppan

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Complete Coverage >

Fri 09/25 7:05 PM CDT
Sat 09/26 6:05 PM CDT
Sun 09/27 1:05 PM CDT

If you want to shed a tear for the end of the 2009 season, here's one of several upcoming opportunities: Tonight is the start of the final home series of the season at Miller Park.

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

J.A. Happ (10-4, 2.77) will likely be near the top of the list when Rookie of the Year voting comes out after the season, and deservedly so: He's posted a sub-3 ERA, a sub 1.2 WHIP, and 6+ strikeouts per nine innings this season, with three complete games and two shutouts in just 20 starts. With that said, tonight will be just his third start in September, and he only went three innings last time out, throwing 51 pitches and allowing an earned run on five hits. Prior to that, he had averaged 113 pitches per start in each of his last six appearances. In fact, he threw 100 pitches or more in 15 of his 16 starts in June, July and August.

Jeff Suppan (7-10, 4.76) will likely finish the season with single digit wins for the first time since 2002 and only the second time in his last eleven seasons. He's been pretty good lately, posting a 2.35 ERA in his last five starts, and he struck out a season high seven batters last time out. With that said, the Phillies aren't a very good matchup for him: Of the eight Phillies that have faced him at least ten times, three (Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Eric Bruntlett) have OPS'ed over 1.000, and Jimmy Rollins is also over .900.

If the Brewers played Opening Day all over again, this is probably what their starting lineup would like: (h/t JS)

2B Felipe Lopez
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
CF Mike Cameron
SS Alcides Escobar
C Jason Kendall
RHP Jeff Suppan

And in the bullpen:

Claudio Vargas pitched one inning (5 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Tuesday.Todd Coffey pitched .1 innings (11 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Tuesday.
David Weathers
pitched one inning (19 pitches) last night.
Trevor Hoffman
pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
John Axford
pitched .2 innings (5 pitches) Tuesday.
Chris Smith
pitched 2.2 innings (42 pitches) Tuesday.Mike Burns pitched two innings (28 pitches) Tuesday.
Josh Butler
has not pitched since Monday.
Seth McClung
has not pitched since Monday.
Mitch Stetter has not pitched since Monday.
Carlos Villanueva
has not pitched since Sunday.

Enjoy the game!