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Game Thread #128: Pirates (43-84) at Brewers (59-68)

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In the middle of all of today's news (Yovani Gallardo robbed, Dave Bush removed from the roster), we also have a baseball game.

Current Series

3 game series vs Pirates @ Miller Park

Pittsburgh Pirates
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Friday, Aug 27, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

James McDonald vs Chris Narveson

Clear. Winds blowing from right to left field at 10-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 08/28 6:10 PM CDT
Sun 08/29 1:10 PM CDT

Follow us after the jump for all the normal stuff.

Chris Narveson (5.69 ERA, 4.63 FIP) takes the mound for the first time since lasting just three innings against the Padres on Saturday, allowing three runs on four hits and three walks, striking out none. All told, he's only been able to throw 100 pitches in two of his last nine starts: He has a 6.60 ERA over that stretch, with a .297/.333/.505 opponents' batting line.

Narveson has faced the Pirates twice this season, once in relief and once as a starter. On April 20, he allowed a run on two hits in one inning of work, and on May 20 he pitched six innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. No Pirates have faced him ten times or more, but Andrew McCutchen (4-for-7) and Andy LaRoche (2-for-5) have both taken him deep.

Meanwhile, the Brewers are facing James McDonald (5.04 ERA, 3.31 FIP), making just his tenth major league start and his fifth since joining the Pirates in the Octavio Dotel deal. At 25 years old, McDonald is facing the Brewers as a starter for the first time. He has pitched six relief innings against them (spread over four appearances), and has yet to allow a run on five hits, striking out tw and walking none.

In his small major league sample size in 2010, McDonald is getting a lot of strikeouts (9.20 per nine innings), but is also issuing a fair amount of walks (4.15/9). He's probably been relatively unlucky, as shown by his large disparity between his ERA and FIP and his high BABIP (.347). He works in the low-to-mid 90's (92.4 mph average fastball), and relies heavily on a curve (25.7% of pitches). The curve has been his best pitch, at +2.05 runs per 100. No current Brewers have faced him more than three times, but Ryan Braun is 2-for-3 against him with a double.

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

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

And in the bullpen:

Todd Coffey pitched 1.2 innings (36 pitches) yesterday.
Manny Parra pitched 1 inning (19 pitches) yesterday.
Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (17 pitches) Wednesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (13 pitches) Wednesday.
Mike McClendon pitched 2 innings (25 pitches) Wednesday.
John Axford pitched 1.2 innings (25 pitches) on Saturday.
Zach Braddock pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) on Saturday.

Enjoy the game!