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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) vs. Nationals (Marquis)

The Crew has won five in a row. Now Ron Roenicke will turn to his ace to stretch the streak to six in a row.

Zack Greinke (2-1, 6.43 ERA, 2.90 FIP) will be leading the charge against the Nationals today. In his last start Greinke was ever so close to that elusive quality start, but he gave up a solo homer to Jason Giambi in the sixth inning, adding a fourth ER to his line. You probably won't even remember that Greinke pitched in that game, because it ended up lasting 14 innings.

Depending on which stat you look at, Zack Greinke is either having a really good season or a really bad season. Take for instance his peripheral stats. BB/9: 0.9*- good. H/9: 10.3*- bad. K/9: 12.4*- good. HR/9: 1.7*- bad. Looking at other stats, you'll also see good and bad, like a nasty 6.43 ERA. Look elsewhere and you'll see something nice, like his 2.90 FIP. Obviously, something isn't right here, and I'm going to venture to guess that what's wrong here is luck. Greinke has been extremely unlucky so far this season. Opposing batters have a .370 BABIP against Greinke. That's gotta even out eventually. (Right?). In his career against the Nationals Greinke is 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA. Obviously, this means there will be total dominance of the Nationals today. Only Pudge Rodriguez has faced Greinke more than 10 times. He has a .367/.367/.467 line in 30 PA's against him.

* small sample size alert

Zack will be facing Jason Marquis (5-1, 4.08 ERA, 3.22 FIP). In his last start Marquis pitched only 4 innings against the Orioles and gave up 5 ER on 8 H and 3 BB, striking out 2. After a fairly horrendous season last year, Jason Marquis is doing pretty well to start his 2011 campaign. He's even getting a little unlucky this season, with a .322 BABIP. His H/9 are down this year to from 11.7 to a still-pretty-bad 10.4. He's also done a much better job limiting his walks, giving up only 2.0/9, which is fairly below his career average. The big difference for Marquis year has been the home runs. Last year Marquis gave up a 1.4 HR/9. This year that number is down to 0.5. In his career against the Brewers Marquis is 6-9 with a 4.89 ERA. Six Brewers have faced Marquis at least 10 times:

PA slash line
Craig Counsell 40 .333/.400/.528
Prince Fielder 26 .211/.346/.526
Ryan Braun 21 .444/.524/.611
Rickie Weeks 18 .267/.389/.400
Corey Hart 17 .412/.412/.765
Mark Kotsay 14 .356/.357/.571

Today's Lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
RF Corey Hart
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
CF Mark Kotsay
C Jon Lucroy
SS Craig Counsell
P Zack Greinke

In the bullpen...
Sergio Mitre pitched 2.2 innings (40 pitches) yesterday.
Mike McClendon pitched 2 innings (23 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (22 pitches) yesterday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (25 pitches) Monday.
Tim Dillard pitched 1 inning (22 pitches) Monday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (13 pitches) Sunday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 2 innings (15 pitches) Friday.

This is normally where Kyle puts the weather report. But we have a roof, so I'll just skip that.