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Game Thread #42: Brewers (16-25) at Twins (24-17)

Current Series

3 game series vs Twins @ Target Field

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Minnesota Twins

Friday, May 21, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Target Field

Dave Bush vs Nick Blackburn

Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 70.

Friday's Frosty Mug

Complete Coverage >

Sat 05/22 3:10 PM CDT
Sun 05/23 1:10 PM CDT

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

Nick Blackburn (4-1, 4.63) is making his eighth start of the season and has been very good in May, posting a 2.35 ERA in 23 innings while winning three straight appearances. Blackburn struggled a lot with the long ball in the early going, allowing six in his first three starts, but has allowed just one in four starts since. He doesn't strike out a lot of opposing batters (4.2 per nine innings), but that also keeps his pitch count low: He's thrown just 13 pitches per inning in May.

Blackburn has a 90 mph fastball that's very good (+1.27 runs per 100 pitches), and a cutter (-6.71), curve (-5.24) and changeup (-3.19) that are all getting hit very hard. No Brewers have faced him ten times, but Ryan Braun (4-for-7 with two doubles) and Corey Hart (2-for-7 with two home runs) have both had success in limited opportunities.

Dave Bush (1-4, 4.27) is making his ninth start of the season, and his win-loss record really fails to tell the story: Bush has provided quality starts in five of his eight starts (and three of his last four), but somehow the Brewers are 1-7 when he takes the mound. Bush's peripheral numbers still aren't very good, though: He's on a career low pace for strikeouts (4.7 per nine innings) and a career high pace for walks and home runs (4.3 and 1.6 per nine, respectively)

Bush's velocity is way down this season, from 88.8 on average over his career to 85.8 this season. He's throwing his fastball less than 50% of the time overall, and each of his four most used pitches (fastball, curve, slider and cutter) are below average. His changeup has been effective (+7.74 runs per 100), but he's only using it 5.7% of the time. Four Twins have faced Bush ten times:

Justin Morneau 17 .188 .235 .313 .548
Michael Cuddyer 16 .429 .500 .643 1.143
Joe Mauer 14 .385 .429 .769 1.198
Orlando Hudson 13 .077 .077 .077 .154

Via Adam McCalvy, here's tonight's lineup, with Casey McGehee becoming the Brewers' first 2010 DH and Rickie Weeks getting his first day off of the season:

Joe Inglett 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee DH
Corey Hart RF
Craig Counsell 3B
George Kottaras C
Alcides Escobar SS

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched 2 innings (39 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) yesterday.
Todd Coffey pitched 0.2 innings (12 pitches) Wednesday.
Marco Estrada pitched 4 innings (55 pitches) Tuesday.
Trevor Hoffman threw 14 pitches on Tuesday.
Jeff Suppan pitched 1 inning (7 pitches) Monday.
Mitch Stetter pitched one inning (14 pitches) Sunday.
Claudio Vargas pitched 0.1 inning (27 pitches) Saturday.

Enjoy the game!