I hope you got a nap in today, because the Brewers and Dodgers are going to be up late tonight.
When these two teams finally take the field at 9:05, Jon Garland (3.66 ERA, 4.19 FIP) will be on the mound for the Dodgers. This is the second time he's been a Dodger but just his twelfth appearance in their uniform: He pitched in LA for the final six starts of the 2009 season, then spent a year in San Diego before returning to the Dodgers as a free agent. He's on a one year deal again in 2011, but could vest a contract option for 2012 by pitching 190 innings this season.
At present he's not on pace to get there. Garland got a late start this season after missing much of spring training with an oblique injury, and is making just his sixth start. He's been pretty solid since returning, though: He got roughed up a bit by the Cardinals on April 15 but has posted a 2.57 ERA in four starts since. He's probably due for a change in luck, however: Opposing hitters are batting just .245 on balls in play against him this season.
Garland faced the Brewers twice last season as a member of the Padres: On May 2 he pitched seven shutout innings, and on August 22 he allowed two runs on eight hits over 5.1 innings. The Padres won both games. Four Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Garland will face Shaun Marcum (2.72 ERA, 2.70 FIP), coming off an outing where he was very good for six innings but fell apart afterward. Pitching against the Padres on Tuesday he allowed five runs on nine hits over six innings, but most of those hits and runs came in the seventh inning when he allowed all five batters he faced to reach.
Marcum's control remains impeccable. Even in what turned into a rough outing on Tuesday he walked none and struck out eight. However, the outing continued another less favorable trend: He was lifted after 89 pitches, and now averages just 93.5 pitches per appearance. As long as he remains efficient that's not a major problem, but it could become an issue quickly if he needs a lot of pitches to get through the early innings of a game.
This is the third time in his career Marcum has faced the Dodgers. The previous two meetings were both in 2007 when the Blue Jays and Dodgers met twice in interleague play for some reason. Marcum allowed two runs on ten hits over 12.2 innings in those games, which probably aren't relevant at all to tonight's matchup. Two Dodgers have faced Marcum ten times or more:
Via Tom Haudricourt, 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:
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (18 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Saturday.
Marco Estrada pitched two innings (26 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched one inning (20 pitches) yesterday.
Mike McClendon pitched 1 inning (26 pitches) Saturday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (22 pitches) Saturday.
Mitch Stetter faced two batters (23 pitches) Saturday.
Sergio Mitre pitched 2.2 innings (17 pitches) on Wednesday.
It's entirely possible Tim Dillard doesn't really exist.
Tonight's weather might be the worst the Brewers will see on this trip. According to Weather.com it's only going to be around 58 at game time, and there's a slight chance of precipitation later in the evening. Welcome to California.