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Game Thread #61: Rangers (33-27) at Brewers (25-35)

Check out Noah's series preview, then join us tonight for the exciting resumption of Interleague Play!

Current Series

3 game series vs Rangers @ Miller Park

Texas Rangers
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Friday, Jun 11, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Rich Harden vs Chris Narveson

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing in from center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Friday's Frosty Mug

Complete Coverage >

Sat 06/12 6:10 PM CDT
Sun 06/13 1:10 PM CDT

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

Chris Narveson (5.83 ERA, 4.27 FIP) has posted a 6.59 ERA in his last five starts, and not surprisingly the Brewers are 1-4 in those contests. He's been victimized by poor starts: His first inning ERA is 12.38, and it's 2.25 or lower in the second, third, fourth and fifth. He held true to this form last time out, allowing four runs in the first inning against the Cardinals, then settling down and pitching five scoreless, including four consecutive hitless innings.

As noted by his heavy ERA/FIP split above, Narveson's been getting pretty unlucky. His BABIP against is also .353, suggesting more balls are falling in than one would expect. He's throwing a slider a lot more this season (14.7% of the time, up from 2.4% last year), and it's roughly a league average pitch. His curve is also pretty good, worth +1.37 runs per 100 attempts. As one might expect, none of the Rangers have ever faced him.

Meanwhile, the Brewers will welcome back old friend Rich Harden (5.34 ERA, 5.73 FIP), who went 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA in three starts against the Crew last season. Harden has also struggled lately, posting a 7.31 ERA in his last six starts, although the Rangers are 4-2 in those games. He threw a season-high 111 pitches against the Rays on Sunday, allowing four runs (three earned) on four hits in just five innings, walking three and striking out six. Harden leads the AL with 40 walks allowed on the season.

He only throws two pitches: a 90.8 mph fastball and a 82.4 mph changeup, which he throws 36% of the time. Both pitches have been below average this season, with the change (-1.60 runs per 100) the worse of the two. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the only Brewers who have faced Harden ten times:

Ryan Braun 13 .231 .231 .385 .615
Prince Fielder 13 .111 .385 .444 .829

Via the Brewers' Facebook page we know that Rickie Weeks is back in the leadoff spot, Corey Hart is batting second and Jonathan Lucroy is getting his second straight start:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Corey Hart RF
Prince Fielder 1B
Ryan Braun LF
Casey McGehee 3B
Carlos Gomez CF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Alcides Escobar SS
Chris Narveson P

And in the Dungeon of Doom bullpen:

Zach Braddock pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (27 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (15 pitches) yesterday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched 1.1 innings (14 pitches) yesterday.

Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) Wednesday.
David Riske pitched 1 inning (11 pitches) Wednesday.
Chris Smith pitched 1.1 innings (22 pitches) Wednesday.
Chris Capuano has not pitched since Thursday, June 3.

Enjoy the game!