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Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Wolf) at San Francisco (Bumgarner)

New first baseman!
New first baseman!

The Brewers pulled out a victory against one of the GIant's big three pitchers already, yesterday. They hope to do it again today as they face off against Madison Bumgarner (4-1, 2.53), who has been excellent this season, even with a four-runs-in-four-innings first start. Since then, he has averaged seven innings per start over four starts with a 1.61 ERA and just six walks. Six walks! If you can't tell, Bumgarner has some good control, with a career walk rate of around 2 BB/9. His strikeouts have been down significantly this season, however, dropping from a career 7.65 K/9 to a 4.78 K/9 in 2012.

Bumgarner has been pretty great over his young career. Overall, the lefthander has a 3.04 ERA and a 3.15 FIP over 57 starts. And he's only 22-years-old yet. Bumgarner has enjoyed facing the Brewers: In three starts against them, he has a 1.27 ERA with a 4.50 K/BB ratio and a .597 opponent OPS.

Bumgarner throws five different pitches: An 87 MPH slider (37% of his pitch selection), a 90 MPH four seamer (27%), a 91 MPH two seamer (15%), a 76 MPH curve (12%), and an 84 MPH change of pace (9%).

Bumgarner has faced three Brewers at least ten times in his career. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Corey Hart 12 .273/.273/.273
Rickie Weeks 11 .364/.364/.364
Ryan Braun 10 .400/.400/.900

For the Brewers, it's Randy Wolf's (2-2, 6.84) turn in the rotation, unfortunately. The whole Randy Wolf being a workhorse pitcher who will have a workable ERA hasn't exactly been true this year. It's not a good sign when his walk and home run rates are higher than they have been since 2006. That season, he made just 12 starts and had a 5.56 ERA and 6.43 FIP, both career worst numbers. At the rate he is going this season, I'm kind of hoping that he won't even make it to twelve starts.

Wolf has never been an impressive pitcher, but he's at least been a solid one over his career. However, he is susceptible a bad year every now and then. It's still early in the regular season and perhaps we shouldn't rush into judgement, but the fact remains: If the Brewers hope to make the playoffs this year, they need Wolf to get back on track. A bad Randy Wolf isn't a good thing, especially when there isn't a ton of depth behind him and already one make-shift starter in the fifth spot. A 1.899 WHIP isn't helping, Randy. Then again, there might be no better cure than facing the Giants offense, or lack thereof.

Wolf has faced just two current Giant's at least ten times. In 40 plate appearances, Ryan Theriot has hit .211/.250/.237 while Angel Pagan has hit .400/.400/.467 in 15 plate appearances.

Lineup, courtesy of Baseball Press:

1. Norichika Aoki (L) CF
2. Rickie Weeks (R) 2B
3. Ryan Braun (R) LF
4. Aramis Ramirez (R) 3B
5. Corey Hart (R) RF
6. Alex Gonzalez (R) SS
7. Brooks Conrad (S) 1B
8. George Kottaras (L) C
9. Randy Wolf (L) P

And in the bullpen:

Kameron Loe pitched 0.2 innings (10 pitches) yesterday.
Jose Veras pitched 1 inning (24 pitches) yesterday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (10 pitches) yesterday.
John Axford pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) yesterday.
Everyone else hasn't pitched since before the off day on Thursday and should be fine.