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Today's Match Up: Milwaukee (Wolf) at San Francisco (Vogelsong)

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Ryan Vogelsong (7-1, 2.02) was an all-star this year.  Before this year, Vogelsong had only one season with a lower ERA than 6.39 (not counting six innings he pitched in 2000).  That one year below a 6.39 ERA wasn't very good, either, as he had a 4.43 ERA back in 2005.  Over his career, he has a 4.58 FIP.  He's not really that good of a pitcher, so why is he pitching so well this seavson?  Beats me.  He strikes out six to seven batters per nine innings and walks around three.  He also has a fairly low home run rate.  None of his peripherals are so improved that a 2.02 ERA seems realistic.  Ryan Vogelsong seems like a prime candidate for regression to the mean, and I look forward to that starting to happen tonight. 

Vogelsong will throw a 92 MPH four seamer, a 91 MPH two seamer, a 76 MPH curve, an 87 MPH slider, and an 84 MPH changeup.  Over his career, Fangraphs has just his fastballs with a positive value though his curveball and (to a lesser extent) his changeup have also had positive value this season.

Despite playing much of his career in the NL Central, Vogelsong has only faced one current Brewer at least ten times, that being Craig Counsell who has 15 PA against the former Pirate.  In those appearances, Counsell has a .231/.333/.231 line. 

Randy Wolf (6-7, 3.58) gets the call for the Brewers as he hopes to continue what has been a very good season.  His K/9 is down from his career average, though it is up slightly from 2009, and his 3.01 BB/9 is the second best it's been since 2005.  His 4.41 FIP and 4.31 xFIP indicate that he may be playing over his head right now, but we can hope that his ERA doesn't normalize anytime soon.  Wolf has gone at least seven innings in six of his last seven starts, and in eight of his last eleven.  His last outing, against the Diamondbacks, he went 7.1 innings and allowed two earned runs on eight hits and a walk.  He also struck out three. 

Wolf has faced five Giants' hitters at least ten times.  Here is how they have fared:

PA Triple Slash
Aaron Rowand 29 .222/.276/.370
Jeff Keppinger 22 .227/.227/.364
Aubrey Huff 16 .214/.313/.429
Cody Ross 12 .182/.250/.182
Pablo Sandoval 12 .182/.250/.182



RF Hart
CF Morgan
LF Braun
1B Fielder
2B Weeks
3B McGehee
SS Betancourt
C Kottaras
LHP Wolf.

And in the bullpen:

John Axford pitched one inning (18 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.

LaTroy Hawkins
pitched one inning (14 pitches) Thursday.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) Wednesday.
Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe haven't pitched since Tuesday.
Tim Dillard exists.  Or he thinks he does.  Lately, he's had a lot of time to ponder whether "I think, therefore I am" is correct.