Here comes the third ace of the vaunted Phillies' rotation.
Cliff Lee (16-7, 2.47) is really, really good. He's got the second best K/BB ratio in the National League, behind Roy Halladay and just ahead of Zack Greinke. He has a 9.01 K/9 and a 1.77 BB/9. He isn't prone to giving up homeruns. He induces a good amount of ground balls. He has a 2.64 FIP and a 2.76 xFIP. He's been worth nearly 6 fWAR this season--not quite on the pace he set in 2010, but a year ago he had an absolutely insane 0.76 BB/9. I don't think I need to delve into his stats too deeply. It's pretty clear what caliber pitcher the Brewers are facing today.
Oh, and over his last six starts, he's given up a grand total of two runs, both in the same game and on the same at-bat, a two run homer from Paul Goldschmidt of all people. That's 48.2 innings pitched, an average of over eight innings pitched per game and a 0.37 ERA. And 45 strikeouts to 8 walks. Over this run, he's allowing an opponent OPS of .422, which is lower than the OBP of Jose Bautista, Miguel Cabrera or Joey Votto.
Lee will throw a 91 MPH two seamer, a 92 MPH four seamer, an 87 MPH cutter, a 74 MPH curveball, and an 85 MPH changeup. He's faced four current Brewers at least ten times in his career. Here is how they have fared:
For the Brewers, Randy Wolf (12-9, 3.47). Wolf has been pretty good this year, with his second best ERA since 2002, a 4.31 FIP and a 4.45 xFIP. He's also walking the second fewest number of hitters since his 2004 season, with his current BB/9 at 2.89. Wolf has also had a nice last six starts, acquiring an even 3.00 ERA. It's still no comparison to Lee, though. Wolf will likely have to have one of the best outings of his season if the Brewers hope to win today.
Nine different Phillies batters have faced Wolf at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:
Lineups (via Tom H.):
RF Corey Hart
2B Jerry Hairston Jr.
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
3B Casey McGehee
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
CF Carlos Gomez
C George Kottaras
LHP Randy Wolf
CF Shane Victorino
3B Placido Polanco
RF Hunter Pence
1B John Mayberry Jr.
LF Ben Francisco
C Carlos Ruiz
SS Wilson Valdez
2B Michael Martinez
LHP Cliff Lee
In the Bullpen:
LaTroy Hawkins pitched 1 inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
Frankie de la Cruz pitched 1 inning (34 pitches) Thursday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Monday.
Marco Estrada pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) Thursday.
Tim Dillard pitched 1.1 innings (23 pitches) Thursday.
Takashi Saito pitched .1 inning (13 pitches) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) last night.