I would miss baseball, but I think I'd be ok with it if the Brewers won tonight and didn't play again until NLCS Game 1 on Sunday.
To do that, though, they'll have to find a way to score against Josh Collmenter (3.38 ERA, 3.80 FIP). Just like the two starters the Brewers faced before him, Collmenter is a young guy having a career year: This is his major league debut season and he's pitched 154.1 innings (plus six in the minors) as a 25 year old. He threw 152 in the minors last season, though, so his work load isn't really a concern yet. He's pitching today on eight days' rest: He threw seven innings against the Giants on September 25 and allowed two runs on five hits, walking one and striking out four.
Lately Collmenter has had a problem with the long ball, so it'll be interesting to see if that remains the case tonight. He's allowed five home runs in his last 18 innings (2.5 per nine) after allowing just 0.8 per nine in the 28 outings before that. And those recent home runs came against the Padres and Giants, who aren't exactly offensive juggernauts. Collmenter throws a high 80's fastball that's been a plus pitch for him, a very good changeup and the occasional curve.
Collmenter has been excellent against the Brewers this season: This is his third start against them and he's given up just six hits and has yet to allow a run in 14 innings of work. Both of his previous starts against the Crew were in July. Prince Fielder and Nyjer Morgan combined for four of those six hits against him.
He'll face Shaun Marcum (3.54 ERA, 3.73 FIP), who for whatever reason has been a different pitcher on the road this season. In 17 starts at Miller Park this year Marcum has posted a 4.81 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP and allowed 14 home runs in 103 innings. In 16 starts on the road he has a 2.21 ERA, 0.973 WHIP and just eight home runs in 97.2 innings. He got roughed up at home eight days ago, allowing seven runs on ten hits to the Pirates over just 4.2 innings.
If you look at Marcum's recent outings, it's easy to tell where they took place. He allowed just one earned run over 15 innings in two September starts on the road, and 17 in 16.1 over three starts at home. He's pitched a quality start or better in six straight road appearances. This is also the longest he's gone all season between appearances.
This is the second time this season Marcum has faced Arizona. The first one was somewhat disappointing, as he hit a grand slam but still received a no-decision in an 8-6 Brewer loss on July 4. He allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings in that game, walking two and striking out five while allowing home runs to Miguel Montero and Wily Mo Pena. No Diamondbacks have faced him ten times or more.
No surprises in tonight's lineup:
Corey Hart RF
Nyjer Morgan CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Jerry Hairston Jr 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P
And in the bullpen:
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (31 pitches) Sunday.
John Axford pitched one inning (26 pitches) Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (19 pitches) Sunday.
Takashi Saito pitched one inning (11 pitches) Sunday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Tuesday, September 27.
Marco Estrada hasn't pitched since Monday, September 26.
Chris Narveson last pitched on Sunday, September 25.