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Game Thread #20: Pirates (7-12) at Brewers (9-10)

Tonight, the Brewers put their 22 game home winning streak against the Pirates on the line, with a chance to get back to .500.

With that said, all of that seems somewhat irrelevant after hearing the news that Bob Uecker is getting ready to undergo heart surgery. The surgery isn't until Friday, so Uecker will still be in the booth tonight. Do yourself a favor and turn on the radio.

Current Series

Brewers lead the series 1-0

Mon 04/26 WP: Yovani Gallardo (2 - 2)
LP: Zach Duke (2 - 2)
17 - 3 win

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Jeff Karstens vs Randy Wolf

Clear. Winds blowing from left to right field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 50.

Tuesday's Frosty Mug

Complete Coverage >

Wed 04/28 12:10 PM CDT

Follow the jump for tonight's pitching matchup, lineups and more!

Randy Wolf (2-1, 3.70 in 2010) is making his fifth appearance of the season, and facing the Pirates for the first time. He shut them out for six innings on six hits, three walks and three strikeouts in his last start on Thursday, opening the door for the Brewers' 20-0 victory. All told, he's had two quality starts in four tries, has allowed 34 baserunners in 24.1 innings (1.397 WHIP), and has pitched at least six innings in three games despite throwing over 100 pitches in just one. Four current Pirates have faced him at least ten times:

Lastings Milledge 17 .133 .235 .133 .369
Ryan Doumit 15 .214 .267 .286 .552
Andy LaRoche 15 .154 .267 .615 .882
Steven Pearce 11 .273 .273 .818 1.091

For the Pirates, it's our old friend Jeff Karstens (making his 2010 debut, 4-6, 5.42 in 2009). Karstens hasn't been exceptionally good for the Pirates' AAA affiliate in Indianapolis, posting a 7.31 ERA in 16 innings over five appearances, four of which were in relief. According to FanGraphs, Karstens' only pitch with positive value is his slider, which he throws roughly 14% of the time at 78.5 mph. His fastball is his worst pitch: It's been worth -0.94 runs over 100 pitches over the course of his career. Three Brewers have seen him at least ten times:

Corey Hart 11 .200 .273 .300 .573
Ryan Braun 10 .375 .500 1.000 1.500
Prince Fielder 10 .111 .200 .333 .533

As Adam McCalvy notes, the Brewers have five lefties in the lineup against Karstens:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Craig Counsell SS
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Jim Edmonds CF
Corey Hart RF
George Kottaras C
Randy Wolf P

I'm not sure why tonight's the night to bust out the lefties: Over the course of his career, Karstens has actually fared better against lefties (.810 OPS against) than righties (.828).

And in the bullpen:

Carlos Villanueva pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Sunday.
Jeff Suppan pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) yesterday. Manny Parra pitched 1 inning (7 pitches) yesterday.LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (23 pitches) Sunday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) Sunday.

Claudio Vargas pitched 1.1 innings (15 pitches) Sunday.
Todd Coffey pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Sunday.

Enjoy the game!