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Game Thread #44: Brewers (16-27) at Twins (26-17)

Well, this could be interesting. The Brewers used today's scheduled starter (Manny Parra) in relief yesterday, and travel issues meant they couldn't call up anyone from Nashville or Huntsville (where 40-man roster member Amaury Rivas is scheduled to pitch today). So, Marco Estrada, who just pitched yesterday, is scheduled to get the start today for the Brewers as they look to avoid getting swept for the fourth time in five series.

I know we say this every day lately, but it's possible this is rock bottom.

Current Series

Twins lead the series 2-0

Fri 05/21 WP: Nick Blackburn (5 - 1)
LP: Dave Bush (1 - 5)
3 - 15 loss
Sat 05/22 WP: Jesse Crain (1 - 0)
LP: Manny Parra (0 - 3)
7 - 8 loss

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Minnesota Twins

Sunday, May 23, 2010, 1:10 PM CDT
Target Field

Marco Estrada vs Carl Pavano

Mostly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 10-20 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup (such as it is), lineup and more!

Carl Pavano (4-4, 4.11) figures to be 5-4 in a few hours if he can just last five innings. He's making his ninth start and if he can keep this pace his 4.11 ERA will be his lowest since 2004. On the season he's either been great or terrible: He's had six starts where he's allowed two runs or less (including five starts of seven innings or more), and two disaster starts. His last start was of the disaster variety: He allowed six runs on ten hits in four innings to the Blue Jays on Tuesday.

Pavano has a 89.6 mph fastball, but relies heavily on his slider (21.6% of pitches) and change (22.2%). Both the fastball (+0.5 runs per 100 pitches) and change (+3.9/100) have been good this season, while his slider has not (-1.5/100). For a guy who's been around as long as Pavano, he hasn't seen many current Brewers: No Brewer position player has faced him more than six times. With that said, Ryan Braun is 2-for-3 with a triple and a home run against him.

He'll face Marco Estrada (0-0, 6.23), who as mentioned above threw 21 pitches yesterday, allowing two runs on two hits and a walk while retiring just one batter. This is only his second major league start - he made one for the Nationals last season.

In his limited time in the majors this season, Estrada has shown a 91.7 mph average fastball and a good changeup, which he's using 36.4% of the time. As you might expect, the only Twins that have faced him were the ones that saw him yesterday.

Via Adam McCalvy, here's today's lineup:

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

The bullpen will probably be called upon early and often today, and I have no idea where they'll find the innings. Trevor Hoffman will almost certainly have to pitch today, as will Jeff Suppan and/or Claudio Vargas, who are on one day's rest after pitching multiple innings, and perhaps even Manny Parra or Dave Bush:

Todd Coffey pitched .2 innings (7 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Friday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched 2 innings (44 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched 1.2 innings (29 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) yesterday.
Jeff Suppan pitched 3.2 innings (59 pitches) Friday.
Claudio Vargas pitched 2 innings (38 pitches) Friday.
Trevor Hoffman threw 14 pitches on Tuesday.

Zach Braddock is expected to join the team today. He last pitched on Tuesday for Nashville.

Enjoy the game!