It's the a staple of any superhero movie: Two threats emerge at the same time, and even a hero can only be in one place at once. The hero and his cohorts invariably split up and are forced to face the day's challenges alone.
Spring training split-squad doubleheaders are nothing like that.
Today Yovani Gallardo and the Brewers travel to Surprise(!) to take on Luis Mendoza and the Royals, while Marco Estrada and the other Brewers (technically) host Felix Hernandez and the Mariners in Tucson. The Royals game will be webcast live on Brewers.com, while the Tucson contest will fade into obscurity with no available broadcast.
Follow us after the jump for today's pitching matchup and lineups, then join us in the comments to discuss today's games!
Starting with the Royals game, Luis Mendoza (0.00 ERA this spring, 1.23/3.50 ERA/FIP in 2012) is making his third start of the spring. He's 28 years old and has been primarily used as a reliever in the majors to this point, starting just 16 of his 38 career appearances over five seasons. He made just two appearances as a Royal last season, both in September.
Mendoza spent most of the 2011 season in the minors, where he posted a 2.18 ERA in 144.1 innings for AAA Omaha in the hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League. The big league sample size is small but FanGraphs says he throws a low 90's fastball over 75% of the time. He also threw a curve and change in 2011.
He'll face Yovani Gallardo (0.00 ERA this spring, 3.52/3.59 ERA/FIP in 2011), who is also making his third appearance of the spring. After this start Gallardo's spring will be half over: He's only projected to work six times before taking the ball on Opening Day.
Gallardo has struck out six batters and walked just one in 5.1 innings of work this spring. 3.1 of those innings came on Sunday against the Rockies, when he allowed three hits but no runs.
Here's the lineup for this game:
Carlos Gomez CF
Nyjer Morgan RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Mat Gamel 1B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Travis Ishikawa DH
Norichika Aoki LF
Actually, that's probably been moved around a bit now since Gomez has been scratched with "a stomach bug."
Meanwhile, Marco Estrada (0.00 ERA this spring, 4.08/3.67 ERA/FIP in 2011) will make his fourth appearance and second start of the spring in Tucson. Estrada has probably done everything he needs to do to ensure he'll be the Brewers' top fallback plan for the rotation, as he's looked very good this spring.
Estrada pitched three innings in relief against the Rockies on Sunday, allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out three.
Estrada will face former AL Cy Young Award winner Felix Hernandez (2.57 ERA this spring, 3.47/3.13 ERA/FIP in 2011). Hernandez is making his third start of the spring and will presumably make just one more before pitching the Mariners' season opener in Japan on March 28.
Like Estrada, Hernandez also last pitched on Sunday. He faced the Giants in Scottsdale that day and allowed two runs on four hits over four innings, walking none and striking out three.
Here's the B-team Brewer lineup:
Logan Schafer CF
Eric Farris 2B
Caleb Gindl RF
Brooks Conrad 1B
Zelous Wheeler 3B
Martin Maldonado C
Paul Phillips DH
Kentrail Davis LF
Edwin Maysonet SS
Don't be surprised if that's nearly identical to the Nashville Sounds' Opening Day lineup.
Enjoy the games!