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Game Thread #95: Brewers (43-51) at Pirates (32-60)

Current Series

Brewers lead the series 1-0

Mon 07/19 WP: Chris Capuano (1 - 1)
SV: John Axford
LP: Jeff Karstens (2 - 5)
3 - 1 win

Milwaukee Brewers
@ Pittsburgh Pirates

Tuesday, Jul 20, 2010, 6:05 PM CDT
PNC Park

Dave Bush vs Brad Lincoln

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

Complete Coverage >

Wed 07/21 6:05 PM CDT
Thu 07/22 6:05 PM CDT

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

The #4 overall pick in the 2006 draft, Brad Lincoln (5.14 ERA, 5.31 FIP) will make his eighth major league appearance tonight, and has pitched at least six innings in six of his first seven major league appearances. He's starting for the first time since facing the Brewers on July 11, allowing three runs on seven hits in six innings. George Kottaras and Ryan Braun took him deep in that game.

In 42 major league innings, Lincoln has thrown his 91.5 mph fastball 63.4% of the time, and relied heavily on his curveball (25.6%). In the minors, Lincoln posted a 3.16 ERA in eleven starts for AAA Indianapolis. Here's some of what John Sickels said about him in the 2010 Baseball Prospect Book:

Brad Lincoln seems fully recovered from 2007 Tommy John surgery...His curveball was an outstanding pitch before the injury. It lost some bite, but is still a good offering. His changeup comes and goes, but the Pirates love his pitching aptitude and project that it will improve with a bit more Triple-A experience. Statistically, Lincoln's K/BB ratio is quite strong, but his K/IP and H/IP marks are less impressive, and at times he got hit hard in AAA. The numbers basically confirm the scouting reports: his command is all the way back, and he has enough stuff to succeed as a mid-rotation starter.

Sickels rated Lincoln as a B- prospect entering the season.

Dave Bush (4.07 ERA, 4.99 FIP) is looking to continue one of his best streaks in recent memory: He's posted six straight quality starts, putting up a 2.39 ERA over his last 37.2 innings, striking out 21 and walking just ten. He was the hard luck loser against the Cardinals on Thursday, allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings in an eventual 2-1 Brewer loss.

At one point or another you've probably heard me mention that Bush's velocity is down this season, but it's rebounded a bit lately. His season average fastball is back up to 86.2 mph. All three of his primary pitches have been below average this season, though. Four Pirates have faced him ten or more times:

Ryan Doumit 25 .042 .080 .042 .122
Ronny Cedeno 19 .167 .158 .333 .491
Ryan Church 15 .182 .400 .455 .855
Andy LaRoche 12 .222 .417 .333 .750

Via the Brewers on Facebook, here's tonight's lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Corey Hart RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Jim Edmonds CF
Alcides Escobar SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Dave Bush P

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched 1 inning (26 pitches) yesterday.Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (21 pitches) yesterday.
Zach Braddock pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) yesterday.
Todd Coffey pitched .2 innings (11 pitches) yesterday.
David Riske pitched 1.2 innings (32 pitches) Sunday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (7 pitches) Sunday.
Carlos Villanueva has not pitched since before the All-Star break.

Enjoy the game!