The Houston Astros are making their farewell tour in the NL this year in preparation for their move to the AL West next season. Their next stop is the first of three stops in Milwaukee this year, and tonight the Brewers and Astros match up for the first time this season.
Starting for the Brewers tonight is Zack Greinke (1-1, 5.09 ERA, 1.90 FIP). Zack Greinke's extreme split between his ERA and FIP has continued in 2012, but he is at home tonight and that has been good for him. In his two starts at Miller Park this season, he has posted a 1.29 ERA and 0.71 WHIP. On Wednesday, he started against the Dodgers and allowed two runs, two walks, and four hits in seven innings while striking out seven. However, he did not factor into the decision.
Only one current Astro has faced Zack Greinke ten times or more. Carlos Lee has faced him 19 times and posted a .176/.263/.353 line over those plate appearances. In three career starts and 21 innings against the Astros, Greinke has a 1.71 ERA.
On their side, the Astros are starting Lucas Harrell (1-0, 2.55 ERA, 2.99 FIP) today. Harrell was claimed by the Astros off of waivers last season, and was made a full-time starter this season and is the #2 starter in their rotation. Harrell was drafted by the White Sox in 2004, and worked his way up through the minors in the next few seasons. His career was postponed by right shoulder surgery, keeping him out for the 2007 season. He made his MLB debut in 2010 for the White Sox, but only made 11 appearances before being placed on waivers and going to the Astros.
Harrell throws five pitches: a four-seam fastball (92.4 MPH, 29.8%), a two-seam fastball (91.4 MPH, 32.4%), a slider (86.1 MPH, 13.2%), a changeup (82.2 MPH, 13.2%) and a curveball (82.0 MPH, 11.4%). He has thrown a cutter in previous seasons but has not used it this year. In his last start on Wednesday against the Nationals, he pitched 6 2/3 innings and allowed one run on four hits and three walks, while striking out four. He did not factor into the decision in that game.
No Brewer has faced Harrell more than three times. Only six players (Ryan Braun, Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Zack Greinke, Jonathan Lucroy, Aramis Ramirez) have actually faced him, and only Morgan has a hit off of him.
Norichika Aoki is getting his second start in center field tonight. Otherwise, it's a standard lineup. Here is the full lineup from Tom Haudricourt:
Rickie Weeks 2B
Norichika Aoki CF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart RF
Mat Gamel 1B
Alex Gonzalez SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Zack Greinke RHP
In the bullpen:
Manny Parra pitched 0.2 innings (17 pitches) Saturday.
Tim Dillard pitched 2 innings (33 pitches) Saturday.
Mike McClendon pitched 0.1 innings (16 pitches) Saturday.
Jose Veras pitched 1 inning (24 pitches) Friday and 1 inning (9 pitches) Saturday.
If you're outside the Brewers and Astros blackout areas, tonight's game is available as the MLB.TV Free Game of the Day.
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