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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Wolf) vs Dodgers (Harang)


EDITOR'S NOTE: Because of the quick turnaround between last night's game and today's noon start, the Frosty Mug is taking the day off. It will return tomorrow. - KL

The last time I used the "s" word in a post like this it didn't turn out well. So we'll skip it this time.

Today the Brewers will wrap up what should probably already be considered a successful series against the Dodgers, and they'll do it with Randy Wolf (10.61/5.60 ERA/FIP in 2012, 3.69/4.29 in 2011) on the mound. As his ERA would imply, Wolf has had a pretty rough start to 2012. On Friday he only lasted 4.1 innings against the Braves, allowing eight runs on nine hits with three walks and just one strikeout.

Friday's start was the first time Wolf failed to finish five innings an an appearance since May 11 of last year. That streak spanned 26 starts and was the 14th longest in franchise history. Ben Sheets holds the record with 58 straight between 2004 and 2006, but Wolf's streak was the longest by a Brewer since Yovani Gallardo went 47 between 2009 and 2010.

Wolf has faced the Dodgers 12 times in his career, and walked the tightrope effectively against them in two starts last season. He pitched a combined 13.1 innings over the two outings and allowed two runs on eleven hits and nine walks, striking out seven. Four Dodgers have faced him ten times or more:

Juan Rivera 18 .438 .500 .688 1.188
Juan Uribe 18 .267 .389 .267 .656
Matt Kemp 12 .100 .167 .400 .567
Jerry Hairston Jr 10 .100 .100 .100 .200

He'll face Aaron Harang (5.91/4.04 ERA/FIP in 2012, 3.64/4.17 ERA/FIP in 2011). The longtime former Red is making his third start in his first season as a Dodger and has never been much of a strikeout pitcher, but struck out nine consecutive Padres and 13 overall in his last start on Friday. He also allowed four runs on four hits over 6.1 innings in the outing.

Harang has been around a fairly long time but his arsenal has remained largely unchanged. He'll touch 90 with his fastball, throwing both a two and four seamer, and mix in a healthy dose of sliders along with the occasional curve or changeup. The fastball, slider and curve have all been roughly league average pitches over his career.

This is Harang's 23rd career appearance against the Brewers. He was very good in his lone appearance against them last season, pitching eight scoreless innings on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Seven Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Aramis Ramirez 61 .293 .311 .552 .863
Rickie Weeks 44 .300 .364 .300 .664
Corey Hart 29 .370 .393 .593 .985
Ryan Braun 27 .280 .333 .640 .973
Cesar Izturis 17 .000 .000 .000 .000
Nyjer Morgan 14 .462 .500 .615 1.115
Alex Gonzalez 13 .636 .615 1.000 1.615

Cesar Izturis is the only major leaguer who has more than 12 career plate appearances against Harang without a hit.

As of this writing I haven't seen today's lineup. If you have, please drop it in the comments.

And in the bullpen:

Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Tuesday.
John Axford pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (13 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (13 pitches) Tuesday.
Manny Parra, Marco Estrada and Tim Dillard last pitched on Sunday.

The forecast is pretty dreary today, with high temperatures in Milwaukee only reaching the upper 40's and a steady chance of rain throughout the day. The Miller Park roof will be closed, and the panels likely will too.