EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to the quick turnaround between last night's game and today's first pitch, the Frosty Mug is off today. It will return tomorrow. - KL
As ugly as last night's loss was, the Brewers still have a chance to take the series today.
They'll do it with Yovani Gallardo (4.23 ERA, 4.08 FIP) on the mound. He's been solid if somewhat unspectacular lately, pitching at least six innings in each of his last nine starts and allowing three runs or less in eight of those to lower his ERA for the season from 6.08 (after play on April 27) to its current 4.23. He pitched six innings against the Twins on Friday and allowed three runs on eight hits, walking two and striking out seven.
Unfortunately, Gallardo is not the pitcher you'd probably choose to send to the mound if your goal is to keep a very powerful Blue Jays team in the ballpark. After allowing just two home runs over a span of 60.1 innings from April 11-June 1, Gallardo has allowed five homers in his last three starts to some very anemic offenses (the Cubs, Padres and Twins).
Today will be the first time Gallardo has ever faced the Jays. Three players have faced him ten times or more, though:
Meanwhile, the Blue Jays gave the Brewers a taste of their own medicine by waiting until the last possible minute to announce that Joel Carreno will start today. Carreno (4.50 ERA, 6.47 FIP) is 25, making his 17th major league appearance and starting for just the second time in his career. He last pitched for AA New Hampshire on Friday, allowing six runs on six hits over 6.2 innings, walking two and striking out six.
Here's an excerpt from John Sickels' scouting report on Carreno in his 2012 prospect book:
His fastball is solid at 90-93 MPH, his breaking ball is effective, and as long as he throws strikes he has more than enough stuff to succeed. His lack of a consistent changeup hurt his reputation among scouts as a starting prospect, but in the bullpen the fastball/breaking ball will be enough. He should have a good career as a middle reliever, and it would not surprise me if he gets a shot to close eventually.
Sickels gave Carreno a C+ grade this year.
Carreno has, of course, never faced the Brewers. In fact, there's not a single member of this team who's faced him in the majors before.
Today's lineup features an interesting change at the top:
Carlos Gomez CF
Nyjer Morgan RF
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart 1B
Rickie Weeks 2B
Cody Ransom SS
Martin Maldonado C
Yovani Gallardo P
The bullpen is, of course, a mess:
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (13 pitches) last night and has appeared in three straight games.
John Axford pitched one inning (25 pitches) last night and also pitched on Monday.
Manny Parra pitched one inning (35 pitches) last night.
Tim Dillard pitched .2 innings (22 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched .2 innings (13 pitches) Monday.
Jose Veras and Juan Perez last pitched on Sunday.
It's another hot, sunny day in Milwaukee today and the roof should be open.