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Game Thread #34: Braves (15-18) at Brewers (15-18)

One last chance to avoid the sweep:

Current Series

Braves lead the series 2-0

Mon 05/10 WP: Tommy Hanson (3 - 2)
LP: Doug Davis (1 - 4)
2 - 8 loss
Tue 05/11 WP: Tim Hudson (3 - 1)
LP: Dave Bush (1 - 3)
3 - 11 loss

Atlanta Braves
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 12:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Derek Lowe vs Yovani Gallardo

Cloudy. Winds blowing from left to right field at 15-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 50.

Complete Coverage >

Follow us after the jump for today's pitching matchup, lineup and more!

After hitting a rough patch to start the season, Yovani Gallardo (4-2, 3.07) has picked up the win in each of his last four starts, tying the longest streak of his career*. During that stretch he's posted a 1.17 ERA, struck out 35 batters in 23 innings, and held opponents to a .200/.299/.271 line. As has frequently been the case, however, efficiency has been an issue: Gallardo has thrown 103 pitches or more in each of his last five outings, but lasted into the seventh inning in just one of them. On the season he's averaging 105 pitches per appearance, but slightly more than 5.2 innings.

* - Gallardo also won four straight games between August 31 and September 17 of 2007.

Gallardo's fastball clocks in at an average of 91.9 mph, and is slightly below average (-0.33 runs per 100 pitches), but his slider and curve are both getting good results, at 2.26 and 0.86 runs/100, respectively. Nate McLouth is the only Brave who's faced Gallardo ten times: He's hitting .316/.381/.316 in 21 PAs.

If you're feeling bad about the money remaining on Jeff Suppan's contract, you can make yourself feel better by considering the case of Derek Lowe (4-3, 6.16). Lowe, who has posted a 4.91 ERA as a Brave, still has 2+ years remaining on a four year, $60 million deal. He has yet to pitch past the sixth inning in his seven starts this season, and had a disaster start against the Phillies his last time out, allowing seven earned runs on eleven hits in five innings. He's posted a 7.40 ERA and allowed opposing batters to hit .318/.365/.443 over his last four starts.

For a guy with a fastball that's not all that fast (88.1 mph on average), Lowe throws it an awful lot (77.4% of the time). The fastball is roughly average, but hitters have been having huge success against his slider (-4.1 runs per 100 pitches) and changeup (-4.68 runs per 100). Six current Brewers have faced him ten times:

Craig Counsell 35 .370 .457 .444 .902
Jim Edmonds 31 .167 .194 .300 .494
Prince Fielder 18 .286 .444 .286 .730
Corey Hart 16 .375 .375 .625 1.000
Jody Gerut 13 .462 .462 .615 1.077
Gregg Zaun 13 .231 .231 .231 .462

Via Tyler Barnes, here's today's lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Jody Gerut LF
Jim Edmonds CF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Gregg Zaun C
Corey Hart RF
Alcides Escobar SS
Yovani Gallardo P

And in the bullpen:

Jeff Suppan pitched 1.1 innings (42 pitches) yesterday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched .2 inning (31 pitches) yesterday.
Mitch Stetter pitched .1 inning (15 pitches) yesterday.Todd Coffey pitched .2 innings (7 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched 2.1 innings (35 pitches) Monday.
Claudio Vargas pitches 1 inning (23 pitches) Monday.

Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Friday

Enjoy the game!