The Brewers could return to .500 on both this road trip and the season with a win tonight.
To do it, though, they'll have to beat Jair Jurrjens (1.23 ERA, 2.98 FIP), and that's been no easy task in 2011. Jurrjens didn't make his first 2011 start until April 16 but has been lights out since then, allowing just three earned runs over three starts. Last time out he pitched a complete game, allowing two runs on nine hits to the Padres while walking two and striking out four. That was on April 26, so he's had an extra day of rest since then.
Jurrjens' late start in 2011 was due to pain in his right side, and a dip in his velocity would suggest he hasn't completely recovered. He averaged 91.1 mph on his fastball in 2010, but it's down to 89.8 in 2011. He'll also throw a fair number of sliders and changeups, and all three of his pitches are above average according to FanGraphs.
Jurrjens beat the Brewers in his only game against them in 2010, allowing a run on six hits over 6.1 innings. No Brewer has faced him more than seven times, but Prince Fielder is 2-for-5 with a double and two walks for a .400/.571/.600 line against him.
Meanwhile, Yovani Gallardo (5.70 ERA, 4.30 FIP) will look to bounce back from a series of rough starts. Since pitching a complete game shutout against the Braves on April 5, Gallardo has posted an 8.86 ERA and completed six innings just one time over four starts.
A fair number of Gallardo's struggles are probably due to luck. Opposing batters are hitting .331 on balls in play against him this season, up from a .302 career mark. He's also allowing home runs nearly twice as frequently: He allowed 0.58 HR/9 last season, and he's up to .99 per 9 this season. Jordan has more on his struggles here.
As mentioned above, Gallardo shut out the Braves in his first start against them this season. He also faced them once in 2010 and received a no decision, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings, walking three and striking out six. Five current Braves have faced him ten times or more:
Via Tyler Barnes, here's today's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Corey Hart RF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Wil Nieves C
Yovani Gallardo P
And in the bullpen:
Zach Braddock pitched one inning (16 pitches) yesterday.
Sergio Mitre pitched one inning (15 pitches) yesterday.
Mitch Stetter and Brandon Kintzler haven't pitched since Friday.
John Axford and Sean Green haven't pitched since Wednesday.
The weather shouldn't be an issue. Tonight's forecasted low in Atlanta is 62, and there's only a 10% chance of rain.