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Game Thread #93: Brewers (42-50) at Braves (53-38)

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Well, this could be interesting.

Even after back-to-back losses, the Braves are 31-12 at home and haven't lost a series at Turner Field since dropping two of three to the Phillies in April. Today, the Brewers look to take three of four from the team that entered the series with the NL's best record.

And, of course, we also have the continuing storyline of the last two nights' plunkings.

Current Series

Brewers lead the series 2-1

Thu 07/15 WP: Jair Jurrjens (2 - 3)
SV: Billy Wagner
LP: Dave Bush (4 - 7)
1 - 2 loss
Fri 07/16 WP: Randy Wolf (7 - 8)
LP: Tommy Hanson (8 - 6)
9 - 3 win
Sat 07/17 WP: Chris Narveson (8 - 6)
SV: John Axford
LP: Tim Hudson (9 - 5)
6 - 3 win

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Atlanta Braves

Sunday, Jul 18, 2010, 12:35 PM CDT
Turner Field

Manny Parra vs Derek Lowe

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 85.

Complete Coverage >

Follow the jump for today's pitching matchups and more!

For Derek Lowe (4.35 ERA, 4.15 FIP), you can more or less divide this season into two parts. Coming into his May 12 start against the Brewers Lowe had a 6.16 ERA and opposing batters were hitting .293/.371/.453 off of him. Lowe allowed two runs on six hits over six innings to the Brewers that day, and has posted a 3.45 ERA in twelve starts since. He's only allowed eight earned runs in his last 25 innings (a 2.88 ERA), but the Braves are 0-4 in those contests.Lowe throws his 88.3 mph average fastball 67.2% of the time, and mixes in a change 16.8% of the time. Both pitches are above average. He needs to be efficient to be successful, because he typically doesn't throw a lot of pitches: He's been pulled before 100 in 13 of his 19 starts in 2010. Five Brewers have seen him ten or more times:

Craig Counsell 35 .370 .450 .444 .902
Jim Edmonds 34 .188 .235 .313 .548
Prince Fielder 21 .235 .381 .235 .616
Corey Hart 18 .353 .389 .588 .977
Rickie Weeks 10 .333 .400 .333 .733

Manny Parra (4.65 ERA, 4.26 FIP) is still a riddle wrapped in an enigma. His ERA and walk rate are significantly down from 2009, but opposing hitters are still hitting a ridiculous .380 on balls put in play against him. Parra's .358 career BABIP is nearly unparalleled. His last three starts before the All Star break were not very good: He's posted a 7.47 ERA in his last 15.2 innings and failed to survive the sixth inning in all three starts.

Parra faced the Braves twice as a reliever when these two teams met in May, allowing three earned runs on five hits in 3.1 innings. Troy Glaus is the only Brave who's faced Parra ten times or more: He's hitting .222/.417/.222 in 12 PAs.

Via Anthony Witrado, here's today's lineup:

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

And in the bullpen:

Todd Coffey pitched .2 innings (21 pitches) yesterday, and has appeared in three straight games.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (15 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Friday.
John Axford pitched 1.1 innings (17 pitches) yesterday.

Zach Braddock pitched .1 innings (9 pitches) Friday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (11 pitches) Friday.
David Riske pitched .1 innings (4 pitches) Thursday.
Carlos Villanueva and Chris Capuano haven't pitched since before the All Star break.

Enjoy the game!