Maybe Zack Greinke was just saving his best stuff for his Miller Park debut tonight.
Greinke (9.00 ERA, 3.94 FIP) makes his second start as a Brewer tonight, and possibly his first at full strength. In his debut on Wednesday he was limited to 90 pitches and lasted just four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) on five hits while walking one and striking out six.
Now that he got that short outing out of the way, Greinke should be good to go for a while: He pitched three games in 2010 where he failed to record an out in the fifth: One in May, one in July and one in September. In all three cases he was back to his old self the next time out, allowing a combined six earned runs over 21 innings (good for a 2.57 ERA).
As a pitcher making his second career NL start, Greinke has never faced San Diego. Two current Padres have faced him ten times or more:
Greinke will face off against Mat Latos (4.55 ERA, 4.53 FIP), who is having a pretty fascinating run of luck. Coming into his last start, he had picked up the loss in each of his previous nine starts. He received a no-decision in the Padres' win over the Pirates on Tuesday, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings, walking two and striking out five. The Padres are still 2-11 in his last 13 appearances.
Latos is still just 23 years old, but is making his 46th major league start tonight. He works in the low 90's with his fastball, throws a lot of sliders and mixes in curveballs and changeups. According to FanGraphs, the fastball has been his only above average pitch this season.
Latos faced the Brewers once last season, and was a tough luck loser. On May 1 he allowed two runs on six hits over six innings, walking three and striking out four in a game the Brewers went on to win 2-1. Rickie Weeks and Yovani Gallardo had solo home runs in the game. No Brewers have faced him more than three times.
Via the Brewers on Facebook, here's today's lineup:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Ryan Braun LF
Prince Fielder 1B
Casey McGehee 3B
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Corey Hart RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Zack Greinke P
And in the bullpen:
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (18 pitches) yesterday.
Sergio Mitre pitched one inning (8 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched one inning (14 pitches) Saturday.
Mike McClendon pitched 3 innings (36 pitches) Friday.
Kameron Loe last pitched on Thursday.
Mitch Stetter and Brandon Kintzler haven't pitched since Wednesday.