It's the rubber match of a three game series between the two teams today.
The Astros are sending Bud Norris (1-1, 3.86) to the mound this afternoon. Norris, who currently sports a 3.51 FIP, is a big strikeout pitcher: He had a 9.25 K/9 in 2010 and so far in 2011 has brought that number over 10. He has also cut his walks down quite a bit, going from a 4.51 BB/9 to a 2.89 BB/9. The only problem Norris has had this year has been a slightly high HR rate. When normalized, he has a 2.98 xFIP. In his last outing, against the Cardinals, Norris pitched six innings and struck out six. He allowed seven hits and two walks, along with three runs--none of which were earned. He has trouble going deep into games. Norris has yet to go over six innings yet this season and has only done it seven times in 42 career starts. According to Texas Leaguers, Norris throws three pitches: A four seamer in the low to mid 90s, a mid 80s slider and a low 80s changeup. He has faced just two Brewers at least ten times. In 12 PA, Ryan Braun has hit .417/.417/1.000 and in 11 PA, Prince Fielder has hit .100/.182/.200. Casey McGehee, by the way, has never been out on a ball in play against Norris. In eight plate appearances, he has three hits and five strikeouts.
The Brewers will send Chris Narveson (1-1, 4.33) to oppose him. Narveson currently has a 3.41 FIP, however he had the second worst start of his career his last outing. Narveson made it just 2.1 innings against the Reds and gave up seven runs on eight hits and a walk. Both his K/9 and BB/9 are up around one more from 2010, but so far his HR/9 is down nearly 0.5. Narveson has not faced any current Astros ten or more times.
And in the bullpen:
Mitch Stetter pitched 0.1 innings (5 pitches) Friday
Brandon Kintzler pitcher 1.2 innings (11 pitches) Friday
Zach Braddock hasn't pitched since Monday
John Axford and Sean Green haven't pitched since Wednesday