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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) vs. Giants (Cain)

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This promises to be yet another outstanding pitching matchup between these two teams.

San Francisco will be sending righty Matt Cain (3-3, 3.53) to the mound today.  One of the best number two pitchers in the game the past few seasons, Cain currently has a 3.64 FIP and 3.78 xFIP.  This year, he has a 7.07 K/9, a 2.59 BB/9 and a 0.85 HR/9, all of which are extremely similar to last years numbers when he had a 3.65 FIP (and 3.14 ERA).  Cain has always been a flyball pitcher, thought those tendencies were never very extreme. 

Cain throws five different pitches:  A low 90s four seamer that he throws nearly 50% of the time, a low 90s two seamer, a mid 80s changeup, a mid 80s slider, and a high 70s curveball, all of which he uses between 8-18% of the time.  Fangraphs has his four seamer, slider and changup all at above average value for both his season and his career. 

Cain has faced five different Brewers hitters at least 10 times.  Here's how they have fared:

PA Slash Line
Craig Counsell 19 .294/.368/.412
Mark Kotsay 17 .267/.353/.333
Prince Fielder 16 .231/.313/.385
Ryan Braun 13 .333/.385/.583
Corey Hart 12 .100/.250/.200

 

The Brewers will counter Cain with Yovani Gallardo (6-2, 4.35).  Over his last four games, Gallardo has a 1.67 ERA and 29 strikeouts as well as an opponent batting line of .168/.255/.274 which, I'll be honest, has been a relief to see.  He's even pitched past the sixth inning twice in that four game stretch!  I'm hoping to have more on Gallardo after today's game, so be sure to check back in for that.

Gallardo has faced just three current Giants at least ten times.  Here's how those players have fared against him:

PA Slash Line
Freddy Sanchez 17 .235/.235/.353
Miguel Tejada 17 .133/.235/.400
Aaron Rowand 13 .231/.231/.463

 

Lineups:

Morgan in the two spot and Yuni dropped down to the 8 spot?  Outside of Mark Kotsay, I'm really digging this lineup.

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
RF Mark Kotsay
C Jonathan Lucroy
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RHP Yovani Gallardo

And in the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched 0.2 innings (12 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) yesterday.

Mike McClendon pitched 2 innings (35 pitches) Friday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Friday.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched .2 innings (16 pitches) on Wednesday.
Sergio Mitrelast pitched on Tuesday.
Tim Dillard last pitched on Monday.