EDITOR'S NOTE: If you're looking for something to do while waiting for tonight's game, I'll be appearing on The Watercooler with Jimmie Kaska on AM 1400 WBIZ in Eau Claire at 5:15, then moving straight over to The Sports Den with Downtown Ollie Burrows on SportsFan 100.5 in Wausau at 5:30. - KL
Before we get started tonight let's talk about the weather, because it looks like it could be an issue again. The Weather Channel is calling for the rain at Citi Field to be done around 7 local time, but potentially start up again during the 9 pm hour. Don't be surprised if tonight's game gets off to a delayed start or has to take a break in the middle, but both teams will want to do everything they can to get the game in because it's the Brewers' last trip to New York this season.
Assuming the two teams get tonight's game in, 26-year-old Dillon Gee (4.78 ERA, 3.39 FIP) will be on the mound for the Mets. This is his seventh start in his second full major league season, as he pitched over 160 innings while making 30 appearances (27 starts) for the Mets last year. He struggled a bit against the Phillies on Wednesday, allowing four runs on ten hits over 5.2 innings. He walked none, struck out four and threw 103 pitches in the appearance.
According to FanGraphs Gee throws a 90 mph fastball but uses it less than 50% of the time, relying instead on a changeup, curve and cutter. The changeup and cutter are both plus pitches. Gee won't strike a lot of guys out, but he will throw strikes: His first pitch is in the strike zone 60% of the time and he's only walking around two batters per nine innings in 2012.
Gee is making just his second career start against the Brewers, and his first since 2010. No Brewer has faced him more than four times, and the six guys that have seen him before are a combined 2-for-18 for a .111/.158/.111 line.
He'll face Zack Greinke (3.35 ERA, 1.83 FIP), coming off his best start as a Brewer. Greinke pitched eight shutout innings against the Reds on Wednesday, allowing just two hits and striking out ten without walking a batter. He threw 104 pitches in the game, making it just his third-longest outing of 2012.
The results haven't always shown it, but to this point Greinke is having one of the best seasons of his career. His 1.186 WHIP, 2.1 walks per nine innings and 4.6 strikeout/walk ratio are all improvements over 2011, although his strikeout rate is down a bit. He's also allowed just one home run all season.
This is only the second time in his career Greinke has faced the Mets, and the first time since he started against them in interleague play as a Royal in 2004. There are only three current Mets who have ever faced Greinke before. Ronny Cedeno is the most experienced of them, being 3-for-10 with a double.
Tonight's Brewer lineup once again features Rickie Weeks:
Norichika Aoki CF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart RF
Jonathan Lucroy C
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Cesar Izturis SS
Zack Greinke P
And in the bullpen:
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (25 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night.
Vinnie Chulk pitched one inning (31 pitches) Sunday.
Manny Parra pitched one inning (17 pitches) Sunday.
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (17 pitches) Sunday.
Tim Dillard last pitched on Saturday.
John Axford last pitched on Friday.