The Brewers have three chances this week to win a game in St. Louis and bring the NLCS back to Milwaukee. Last night's didn't go so well, but the second is tonight.
Tonight they'll get a shot at Kyle Lohse (3.39 ERA, 3.67 FIP in 2011, 8.44 ERA, 6.96 FIP postseason), making his first start in 12 days. Lohse hasn't pitched in a game since Game 1 of the NLDS on October 1. He was knocked around in that outing, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits over 5.1 innings, walking one and striking out four. He allowed two home runs in that game. Tonight's game will be Lohse's eighth career playoff appearance: His teams have gone 1-6 in the previous seven.
Before his rough start to open the postseason, Lohse had a pretty solid stretch run. He posted a 1.72 ERA over his final five starts, and didn't allow a home run in any of them. He allowed two in his first playoff start. He also struck out 26 while walking just seven over 31.1 innings in his last five starts of the season. He throws a ~90 mph fastball, a plus change and slider and the occasional curve.
Lohse has faced the Brewers three times this season, with mixed results:
|May 7||8||6||1||1||2||3||Brewers win, 4-0|
|June 10||5||5||4||4||3||1||Brewers win, 8-0|
|September 6||6||4||0||0||3||6||Cardinals win, 4-2|
Eleven Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||19||.133||.278||.200||.478|
Meanwhile, the Brewers are also getting a second postseason start out of Randy Wolf (3.69 ERA, 4.29 FIP in 2011, 21.00 ERA, 13.36 FIP postseason). Wolf is pitching on eight days' rest: He last pitched on Game 4 against the Diamondbacks on October 5 and allowed seven runs on eight hits over three innings, walking three and striking out two.
Wolf's seven runs allowed in Game 4 tied a season high: He also allowed seven runs in a game against the Diamondbacks on July 5. Since then, though, he had posted a 3.65 ERA over 101 innings, striking out 54 and walking 29.
Wolf has faced the Cardinals five times this season and been all over the map:
|May 6||5||7||6||6||1||2||Cardinals win, 6-0|
|August 3||6||9||5||5||2||2||Brewers win, 10-5|
|August 10||8||5||1||1||0||1||Brewers win, 5-1|
|August 31||5||7||6||6||0||3||Cardinals win, 8-3|
|September 5||8||4||1||1||2||5||Brewers win, 4-1|
Eight Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:
Here's tonight's lineup:
Nyjer Morgan CF
Mark Kotsay RF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Jerry Hairston Jr 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
George Kottaras C
Randy Wolf P
And in the bullpen:
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night.
Chris Narveson pitched one inning (13 pitches) last night.
Takashi Saito pitched one inning (eight pitches) last night.
Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe last pitched on Monday.
John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez haven't pitched since Sunday.
Rain should not be a factor tonight, as the game time temperature in St. Louis is expected to be around 65 and fall into the upper 50's overnight. The Weather Channel says there's a 10% chance of precipitation.