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Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Marcum) vs Cincinnati (Cueto)

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The Brewers look to keep up their winning streak in the third game of this four game series.  Hopefully they can stretch their lead in first tonight.

The Reds will send Johnny Cueto (5-3, 1.77) to the mound.  Cueto has been far and away Cincinnati's best starting pitcher--currently, none of the other starters on the team have an ERA under 4.00 and only Matt Maloney (1 start, 3.46) and Mike Leake (15 starts, 3.96) have FIP's lower than 4.00.  Cueto's FIP is 3.49.  He also has a 0.956 WHIP.  He's not a big time strikeout pitcher, and only has a 5.66 K/9 on the season, but he also won't walk a ton of batters either (2.59 BB/9).  He doesn't give up many homeruns, either, but his opponents BABIP of .214 indicates he may be somewhat lucky this year.  Hopefully today is the day that shiny ERA takes a big bump upwards. 

Cueto throws four pitches:  A 93 MPH two seamer, a 92 MPH four seamer, an 83 MPH slider, and an 83 MPH changeup.  This season, fangraphs has each of those pitches at positive value and only his changeup at a slight negative value for Cueto's career.

Six different Brewers have faced Cueto at least ten times.  Here is how they have fared:

PA Slash Line
Ryan Braun 23 .227/.261/.318
Prince Fielder 23 .350/.485/.800
Corey Hart 23 .286/.348/.714
Rickie Weeks 18 .200/.333/.333
Craig Counsell 12 .222/.417/.556
Nyjer Morgan
11 .444/.455/.556

 

The Brewers will counter with Shaun Marcum (7-3, 3.32) who has, perhaps, been the best pitcher on the Brewers this year.  Marcum's 8.26 K/9 is .83 higher than his career numbers and his 2.56 BB/9 is .20 lower.  He's also giving up fewer home runs this year.  Two different Reds' players have at least ten plate appearances against Marcum.  Ramon Hernandez has a .158/.200/.316 line in 20 PA and Edgar Renteria has a .385/.429/.692 line in 14 PA. 

Ryan Braun is still out for the Brewers, and Carlos Gomez somehow still can't get a start over Mark Kotsay.  And neither can Mat Gamel, apparently:

Weeks 4
Morgan 8
Hart 9
Fielder 3
Kotsay 7
McGehee 5
Betancourt 6
Lucroy 2
Marcum 1

Bullpen:

Zach Braddock pitched 1 inning (20 pitches) yesterday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) yesterday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (11 pitches) yesterday.

John Axford
pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) Thursday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) Thursday, and also pitched on Wednesday.
Takashi Saito pitched 1 inning (9 pitches) Thursday