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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) at Cubs (Wells)

Here's the Brewers' first chance to get back on track.

If they're going to do it, it'll have to come against Randy Wells (6.50 ERA, 5.74 FIP), who has been very hittable since coming back from a forearm injury on May 28. In his last three starts Wells has allowed 12 earned runs in as many innings, striking out ten batters while walking six. His last start out against the Phillies was pretty brief: He lasted just 2.1 innings and allowed three runs on three hits and two walks.

Wells' velocity would suggest he's not recovered from his forearm injury yet: His fastball was around 90 most of last season, but is averaging just 86.9 mph in 2011. As a result it's been his worst pitch, at -2.51 runs per 100 according to FanGraphs. He'll throw sliders and changeups over 50% of the time, and both of those pitches have been above average.

Wells didn't pitch when these two teams met in April, but faced the Brewers three times last season. Over three outings he posted a 6.23 ERA against them, but most of the runs against him were scored in a disaster start on August 2. Four Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Ryan Braun 19 .353 .421 .412 .833
Prince Fielder 16 .400 .438 .667 1.104
Corey Hart 15 .267 .267 .400 .667
Rickie Weeks 13 .308 .308 .462 .769

Wells will face Yovani Gallardo (3.96 ERA, 3.60 FIP), who has been something of an enigma this season. When he's good Gallardo has been very good, but against the Mets on Thursday he was not. He allowed four runs on ten hits and a walk over just four innings, striking out five and throwing 96 pitches in his shortest outing of the season.

Gallardo faced the Cubs on April 10 and was not sharp, allowing four runs on seven hits over just five innings. He walked four batters while striking out just two in that game. Five Cubs have faced him ten times or more:

Kosuke Fukudome 19 .333 .474 .400 .874
Geovany Soto 17 .267 .353 .533 .886
Aramis Ramirez 14 .462 .500 .769 1.269
Starlin Castro 12 .417 .417 .667 1.083
Tyler Colvin 12 .167 .167 .250 .417

Via Tom Haudricourt, tonight's lineup is much better:

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

And in the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched one inning (18 pitches) last night, and has pitched in three straight games.
John Axford pitched one inning (19 pitches) on Sunday.
Tim Dillard hasn't pitched since Friday.
Sergio Mitre and Marco Estrada haven't pitched since Thursday.
Zach Braddock hasn't pitched since Wednesday.
LaTroy Hawkins hasn't pitched in a week.


Right now it looks like a beautiful night for baseball at Wrigley, with game time temps around 70 and dropping into the mid 60's during the game. There's some precipitation predicted overnight but says it likely won't start until after midnight.