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Game Thread #35: Phillies (20-13) at Brewers (15-19)

The Brewers, who are 4-11, losers of five straight and eight of their last nine at home, open a three game series tonight against the defending NL champions. What could possibly go wrong?

Current Series

3 game series vs Phillies @ Miller Park

Philadelphia Phillies
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Friday, May 14, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Jamie Moyer vs Randy Wolf

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing out to left field at 15-25 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 60.

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Sat 05/15 3:10 PM CDT
Sun 05/16 7:05 PM CDT

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

Actually, before we get there, though, I'm curious: Does anyone read the game preview stuff I put after the jump?

Randy Wolf (3-2, 3.93) pitched the first eight seasons of his major league career with the Phillies, and will face them tonight for the first time as a Brewer. Since throwing eight innings (and 116 pitches) against the Pirates on April 27, Wolf hasn't pitched very well: He's allowed seven earned runs in eleven innings (5.73 ERA) over his last two outings, including three home runs, and allowed opposing batters to hit .279/.392/.581 off of him.

According to FanGraphs, Wolf's fastball has an average velocity of 87.6 mph, and he's been using his slider more often this season (15.7%, up from 7.8% over his career). Meanwhile, he's using his curve (from 19.8% to 16.6%) and changeup (from 11.3% to 6.7%) less often. Pitch values would suggest that's been a good choice: His fastball, curve and change have all been below average in run value, while his slider is +1.01 runs per 100 pitches. Four Phillies have faced him at least ten times:

Juan Castro 13 .167 .231 .333 .564
Raul Ibanez 12 .273 .333 .455 .788
Jayson Werth 12 .111 .333 .444 .777
Shane Victorino 10 .333 .400 .778 1.178

Meanwhile, the Phillies send ageless wonder Jamie Moyer (4-2, 4.38), pitching in his 24th major league season for his seventh major league team. Moyer leads all active pitchers in wins (262), innings pitched (3947.2), strikeouts (2362), starts (615), home runs allowed (498), hits (4090), losses (197), earned runs (1851), and has been his league's oldest player in five of the last six seasons. In 2010, his 1.154 walks per nine innings pitched are the lowest in baseball. Last time out, he pitched a two hit shutout against the Braves, walking none and striking out five.

Despite being 47 years old, Moyer's velocity has remained steady for a long time now. His fastball averages 81.3 mph, and has been somewhere between 81 and 82 for each of the last eight seasons. Moyer relies heavily on a cutter (23.7%), changeup (22.6%) and curveball (7%), but the fastball has actually been his most effective pitch, worth +0.80 runs per 100 pitches. Six Brewers have at least ten PAs against him:

Jim Edmonds 27 .231 .259 .269 .528
Prince Fielder 14 .182 .357 .545 .903
Corey Hart 13 .364 .462 .545 1.007
Jody Gerut 11 .111 .273 .111 .384
Rickie Weeks 11 .375 .545 .625 1.170
Ryan Braun 10 .600 .600 1.300 1.900

Given the success that Braun has had against Moyer (6-for-10 with two home runs), I'm guessing it would have been difficult to hold him out of the lineup tonight (via Tyler Barnes):

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

And in the bullpen:

Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (32 pitches) Wednesday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched 1 inning (22 pitches) Wednesday.Manny Parra pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) Wednesday.
Jeff Suppan pitched 1.1 innings (42 pitches) Tuesday.
Mitch Stetter pitched .1 inning (15 pitches) Tuesday.
Todd Coffey pitched .2 innings (7 pitches) Tuesday.
Claudio Vargas pitched 1 inning (23 pitches) Monday.

Enjoy the game!


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