EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're not listening to today's game or would just like a break from it, I'll be appearing on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska at 5:15 today on AM 1400 WBIZ in Eau Claire. - KL
If the Brewers are going to win the Cactus League, they probably need to get hot right away. They're currently six games back of the 14-5 A's with nine to play, and in eleventh place. Fortunately, you can't disqualify yourself from postseason play in March.
Zack Greinke and the Brewers host Wade Miley at 3:05 today, and you can listen in live on WTMJ and Gameday Audio at Brewers.com.
Follow the jump for today's pitching matchup and lineup, then join us in the comments to discuss today's game!
Zack Greinke (0.73 ERA this spring, 3.83/2.98 ERA/FIP in 2011) is back for his fifth appearance and fourth start of the spring today, and he's been excellent to this point: He allowed an earned run on March 8 but has pitched 8.1 scoreless innings since, holding opposing teams to just three hits and striking out 14. Nine of those K's came against the Angels on Friday, when he pitched 5.1 innings.
Greinke faced the Diamondbacks twice last season: During the season he pitched seven innings against them and allowed two runs on five hits, and in the NLDS he allowed four runs on eight hits over five innings. All told, he struck out 14 and did not walk a batter between the two games, but the Brewers lost them both.
He'll face 25-year-old rookie Wade Miley (3.27 ERA this spring, 4.50/5.08 ERA/FIP in 2011), who is making his sixth appearance of the spring but starting a game for the first time. Miley made eight appearances for the Diamondbacks in August and September of last season in his major league debut campaign. He was a sandwich pick for Arizona in 2008 and has a career 3.69 ERA over 422.1 innings in the minors.
The sample size is small but FanGraphs says Miley throws a 90 mph fastball most of the time while also using a plus changeup and below-average slider and curve. Here's what John Sickels said about him in his 2012 prospect book:
There's nothing special about Wade Miley. He works at 88-93 MPH with his fastball, and mixes in a cutter, slider, curveball and changeup. He keeps the ball down and is primarily a ground ball pitcher, so a good infield defense helps him out a lot. What he did in the majors is about what he should be expected to do: eat some innings and keep his team in games, the classic profile of a number four or five starter.
Sickels rated Miley as a C+ prospect. This will be the first time the Brewers have seen him.
Here's today's Brewer lineup, featuring an interesting addition in the outfield:
Norichika Aoki RF
Carlos Gomez CF
Alex Gonzalez SS
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Brooks Conrad 1B
Cesar Izturis 2B
Edwin Maysonet LF
Zack Greinke P
Maysonet has played exactly four professional games in the outfield, most recently with AAA Round Rock in 2009.
Enjoy the game!