The Brewers open a ten game road trip tonight with the first of three in Houston.
Brett Myers (3.31 ERA, 4.76 FIP) is making his second straight start against the Brewers, and the first one didn't go all that well. Myers pitched 6.1 on Saturday and allowed five runs on ten hits, walking one and striking out four. The Astros, of course, went on to win the game in extra innings.
I hate to say this about a guy right before he faces the Brewers, but Myers seems to be getting a lot of mileage out of smoke and mirrors this season. He's not striking many batters out (about five per nine innings) and he's giving up a lot of hits. He's posted a 4.19 ERA over his last three starts despite allowing 26 hits over 19.1 innings. Opposing batters are hitting .321/.341/.531 against him over that span.
As I mentioned above, this is the second time Myers has faced the Brewers in 2011. He also faced them four times in 2010 and posted a 5.04 ERA, allowing six home runs in 25 innings. Seven Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
All told, current Brewers have hit eight home runs off of Myers. Fielder has three of them.
Myers will face Shaun Marcum (2.73 ERA, 3.39 FIP), also making his second straight start against Myers and the Astros. Marcum pitched six innings on Saturday and allowed four runs on seven hits over six innings, with a walk and eight strikeouts. He allowed two home runs in the game, to Hunter Pence and Carlos Lee.
Marcum's control has been his best asset once again this April. He tied a career high with five walks allowed in his first start, but has walked just four batters in 25 innings since. He's holding opposing batters to a .226/.258/.312 line over that time and has a 2.16 ERA.
Saturday's game was Marcum's first career appearance against the Astros. Bill Hall, however, has faced him ten times and had some pretty incredible success: He's 7-for-10 with 3 HR for a .700/.700/1.700 line. Hall is playing second base and batting sixth tonight.
Via Tyler Barnes, here's tonight's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Corey Hart RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Shaun Marcum P
And in the bullpen:
Sergio Mitre pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) Wednesday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) Wednesday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Wednesday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (9 pitches) Wednesday.
Sean Green pitched .2 innings (15 pitches) Wednesday.
Mitch Stetter pitched .1 innings (6 pitches) Wednesday.
Brandon Kintzler and Zach Braddock both haven't pitched since Monday.