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Game Thread #58: Cubs (26-31) at Brewers (23-34)

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The bad news: Cub fans will once again infest Miller Park tonight.

The good news: If the Brewers can somehow manage to sweep this series, they'll be tied for third place in the Central.

Yeah, I know, even the good news sucks.


Current Series

3 game series vs Cubs @ Miller Park

Chicago Cubs
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Tuesday, Jun 8, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Ted Lilly vs Yovani Gallardo

Cloudy. Winds blowing in from center field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 65.

Brewers - Cubs Series Preview: Fearsome Threesome

Complete Coverage >

Wed 06/09 7:10 PM CDT
Thu 06/10 1:10 PM CDT

Follow the link above to read Rubie's series preview, then follow us after the jump for tonight's pitching matchup, lineup and more!

Yovani Gallardo (2.64 ERA, 3.26 FIP) is about as good as it gets lately, posting a 1.74 ERA in his last nine starts, although the Brewers have managed to lose three of those games anyway. Last time out, Gallardo lasted seven innings for just the fourth time in twelve starts, holding the Marlins to one earned run on four hits and four walks, striking out four.

As things stand right now, Gallardo has already been worth a career high 2.8 wins this season (2.5 as a pitcher, 0.3 as a hitter), which is tied for the second highest total in the National League (Ubaldo Jimenez has 4.1). Two current Cubs have faced Gallardo at least ten times:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Kosuke Fukudome 10 .375 .500 .375 .875
Ryan Theriot 10 .571 .700 .571 1.271

Ted Lilly (3.61 ERA, 4.59 FIP) has been a little lucky this season, as demonstrated by the fact that his ERA is almost a run lower than his FIP. He's making his ninth start since getting a somewhat late start to his season after offseason surgery, and the Cubs are just 3-5 with him on the mound despite the fact that he's posted quality starts in six of those eight games.

Lilly's velocity is way down this season: He's averaged 88.2 mph on his fastball over his career, but is down to just 85.1. Interestingly enough, his fastball (+1.82 runs per 100) is his only above-average pitch on the season. Lilly made his 2010 debut against the Brewers on April 24 and pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits and two walks and striking out four. Five Brewers have faced him at least ten times:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Prince Fielder 24 .381 .417 .571 .988
Corey Hart 21 .250 .286 .550 .836
Ryan Braun 20 .421 .450 .842 1.292
Rickie Weeks 17 .133 .235 .533 .769
Jim Edmonds 12 .182 .250 .545 .795

All five of those guys have at least one career home run against Lilly.

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

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

And in the ever shifting Brewer bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched 1.2 innings (25 pitches) Sunday, and also pitched on Saturday.John Axford pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) Sunday, and also pitched on Saturday.
Carlos Villanueva pitched .2 innings (6 pitches) Sunday, and also pitched on Saturday.

Zach Braddock pitched 1 inning (19 pitches) Sunday.
Trevor Hoffman has not pitched since Thursday.
David Riske was activated today, and pitched for Nashville last night.
Chris Smith was also called up today. He pitched for Nashville on Saturday.

Enjoy the game!