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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Narveson) at Twins (Pavano)

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Not pictured: How to win the home run derby
Not pictured: How to win the home run derby

Deja vu. This matchup just happened last weekend. Since nothing has really changed between the two starters, here's what I wrote last weekend, except with their stats updated. Yes, this is the easy way out and yes, I have to be at work soon.

Before the Brewers traded for Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke, there were heavy rumors that they were targeting Carl Pavano in free agency for a contract similar to that of Randy Wolf.

Now the Brewers get to face off against Pavano (5-6, 4.24). Were he to have pitched as well as he has been, he would have likely been an improvement for the Brewers over the last couple of years, though of course not as great of an improvement as the two pitchers the Brewers ended up with. Pavano is currently sporting a 3.91 FIP, a 4.43 tRA and a 4.17 xFIP. He has the lowest K/9 rate of his career (3.74) if we discount his 2007 "season" where he pitched just eleven innings. He also has a nice low 1.83 BB/9. Pavano also pitches deep into games. He hasn't gone fewer than seven innings in seven of his last eight starts, over the course of which he has a 2.95 ERA.

Pavano is a ground ball pitcher and, accordingly, throws a 92 MPH sinker as often as his 92 MPH four seamer. He'll also throw an 82 MPH changeup fairly often, and an 83 MPH slider. Texas Leaguers also shows him throwing a splitter and a cutter on occasion.

Carl Pavano has faced six current Brewers at least ten times. Here's how they have fared:

PA Slash Line
Mark Kotsay 23 .261/.261/.304
Yuniesky Betancourt 21 .350/.381/.400
Ryan Braun 10 .400/.400/1.200
Prince Fielder 10 .429/.500/1.000
Casey McGehee 10 .300/.300/.400
Randy Wolf 10 .100/.100/.100

The Brewers will counter with Chris Narveson (5-5, 4.42), who is having perhaps the best season of his career. The Narv-dog is currently sporting a 3.30 FIP and a 3.38 xFIP. He has a nice 8.15 K/9 and a 3.53 BB/9. Unlike Pavano, Narveson doesn't pitch deep into games too often, as he has gone more than six innings just five times this year so far, and more than seven once. He went 6.2 innings in his (second-to) last outing, though, when he gave up four runs on five hits and three walks to the Tampa Bay Rays. Narveson has given up four or more runs in five of his last seven starts, with the two exceptions being against St. Louis when he threw eight shut out innings and against the Twins last weekend.

He still has his "one bad inning" syndrome, but hopefully it won't happen today. Narveson still has never faced a current Twin more than ten times.

Last week, Pavano went six innings against the Brewers, giving up five earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He also struck out five. Narveson went 6.2 innings and allowed just two earned runs on five hits. He also struck out seven Twins hitters.

Lineup:

2B Rickie Weeks
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
DH Mat Gamel
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RF Mark Kotsay
C Jonathan Lucroy
3B Craig Counsell

In the bullpen:

John Axford pitched 1 inning (22 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe
pitched 1 inning (16 pitches) on Wednesday.
Marco Estrada pitched 3 innings (62 pitches) on Tuesday.
Zach Braddock pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched one inning (6 pitches) yesterday.
Takashi Saito was just reinstated off the DL

Don't forget to prognostikeg!