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Game Thread #110: Astros (47-60) at Brewers (50-59)

I guess I didn't realize the Astros are within a series sweep of taking sole possession of third place in the Central.

Current Series

3 game series vs Astros @ Miller Park

Houston Astros
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Friday, Aug 6, 2010, 7:10 PM CDT
Miller Park

Wandy Rodriguez vs Dave Bush

Clear. Winds blowing out to center field at 5-15 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 80.

Complete Coverage >

Sat 08/07 6:10 PM CDT
Sun 08/08 1:10 PM CDT

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

Dave Bush (4.55 ERA, 4.80 FIP) gets another shot at the Astros tonight after a disaster start against them on Saturday. Bush allowed six earned runs on ten hits over five innings in a 6-0 Brewer loss. Actually, since pitching six quality starts in a row between June and July 15, Bush has had two disasters in his last three outings, posting a 7.80 ERA in 15 IP.If you like strikeouts, Bush is not your guy. His season high is seven, and he's averaging just 5.5 per nine innings this season. He's also posting the highest walk rate (3.5/9) of his career. He's also not likely to pitch deep into the game: He's been pulled before 100 pitches in 15 of his 21 starts, and hasn't thrown more than 108. Bush is facing the Astros for the third time this season, and has allowed eight earned runs in 16 innings (4.50 ERA). Six current Astros have faced him ten times or more:

Carlos Lee 24 .174 .208 .435 .643
Hunter Pence 24 .391 .417 .522 .938
Jeff Keppinger 23 .286 .348 .333 .681
Geoff Blum 21 .421 .476 .632 1.108
Michael Bourn 18 .333 .444 .467 .911
Pedro Feliz 17 .176 .176 .529 .706

Wandy Rodriguez (4.49 ERA, 3.98 FIP) enters tonight's game on a 15 inning scoreless streak. He allowed runs in the sixth inning against the Cubs on July 19, but shut out the Reds for seven and the Brewers for eight (on Saturday) in two starts since then. He's struck out 16 while allowing just three walks and six hits over the course of the streak. He's factored in the decision in each of his last 18 appearances, and the Astros have won six of the last seven games he's pitched.

Rodriguez has faced the Brewers twice this season, and allowed one earned run in 15 innings (an 0.60 ERA). Get ready to see a lot of curveballs tonight. Rodriguez works around 90 with his fastball, but throws his curve 34.2% of the time. Over the course of his career his curve has been his best pitch, but in 2010 both his fastball and changeup have been better. Five Brewers have faced him ten times or more, and they're the top five in the lineup:

Corey Hart 38 .400 .447 .429 .876
Prince Fielder 36 .233 .306 .267 .572
Rickie Weeks 30 .333 .467 .417 .883
Ryan Braun 24 .364 .417 .909 1.326
Casey McGehee 15 .357 .400 .500 .900

Also, Wandy's middle name is Fulton.

Tonight's lineup, courtesy of Tyler Barnes:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
1B Prince Fielder
LF Ryan Braun
3B Casey McGehee
CF Lorenzo Cain
SS Alcides Escobar
C George Kottaras
P David Bush

And in the bullpen:

David Riske pitched 1.1 innings (31 pitches) Wednesday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched .1 innings (24 pitches) Wednesday.
Todd Coffey pitched .1 innings (7 pitches) Wednesday.
Chris Capuano pitched .1 innings (5 pitches) Wednesday.

John Axford pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) Tuesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (18 pitches) Tuesday.

Zach Braddock pitched .1 innings (7 pitches) Tuesday.

Trevor Hoffman pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) Monday.

Enjoy the game!