The Brewers haven't won four straight games or swept a series of any kind at any point this season. They'll get a chance to do both of those things for the first time tonight.
Standing between the Brewers and a 5-2 road trip is Chad Billingsley (3.88 ERA, 3.85 FIP), who has struggled a bit lately. Billingsley has thrown five innings or less in four of his last seven starts, and posted a 5.35 ERA over that time while allowing opposing batters to hit .310/.401/.497 against him. He pitched five innings against the Astros on Saturday and allowed two runs on five hits, walking three and striking out eight. He's thrown under 100 pitches in four straight outings.
While Billingsley's results have wavered a bit lately, his stuff looks about the same. He throws a low-90's fastball about 60% of the time, and mixes in a curve, change, slider and cutter. All five pitches are around league average. Only about 44% of his pitches are in the strike zone this season, down from 48% last year.
Billingsley was pretty good against the Brewers on April 17, allowing two runs on five hits over six innings with no walks and two strikeouts. Mat Gamel took him deep in that game. Five Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face Zack Greinke (3.66 ERA, 2.12 FIP), looking to bounce back from a disaster start on Saturday. Greinke finished just 2.1 innings against the Diamondbacks in that game, allowing seven runs on ten hits and walking three while striking out just three. On the bright side, he only threw 69 pitches in the outing so he should be rested.
Greinke allowed a home run in the third inning of Saturday's game, snapping a stretch of 33 consecutive innings without one. He's still given up just two this season, and his 0.3 HR/9 is even lower than it was in 2009 when he won the AL Cy Young.
Greinke received a no-decision when the Brewers faced the Dodgers on April 18 but pitched well enough to win, allowing two runs on just four hits over seven innings with two walks and seven strikeouts. Three Dodgers have faced him ten times or more:
|Jerry Hairston Jr||10||.500||.500||.900||1.400|
Tonight's lineup is missing a certain someone:
Norichika Aoki LF
Nyjer Morgan CF
Corey Hart RF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Taylor Green 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Martin Maldonado C
Edwin Maysonet SS
Zack Greinke P
And in the bullpen:
John Axford pitched one inning last night (18 pitches), and has appeared in four consecutive games.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning last night (10 pitches), and has appeared in three consecutive games.
Manny Parra pitched one inning (8 pitches) last night.
Jose Veras and Tim Dillard last pitched on Sunday.
Juan Perez last pitched on Saturday.
Kameron Loe is the man that time forgot.