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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Greinke) at Phillies (Lee)

Tonight, less of this.
Tonight, less of this.

The Brewers won last week when Tyler Thornburg started in place of Zack Greinke on Wednesday, but are 0-4 since. Another loss tonight would give them their longest losing streak of 2012.

They're in for a difficult challenge tonight as they face Cliff Lee (3.72 ERA, 3.04 FIP). He's been very good in three July starts, posting a 2.05 ERA and averaging better than seven innings per appearance. He held the Dodgers to a run on just two hits over eight innings on Wednesday but received a no-decision. Despite Lee's 3.72 ERA, the Phillies are 4-12 in his appearances this season.

Lee's 2012 season might be the perfect example of why wins and losses are a terrible stat to use to assess a pitcher's value. Lee has posted a 2.81 ERA in his nine no decisions this season. Gio Gonzalez of the Nationals, for comparison purposes, has a 3.32 ERA and 12 wins.

Lee has faced the Brewers three times in his career, including twice last season. He posted a 2.08 ERA over 13 innings in two games in 2011, walking three and striking out eight. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Carlos Gomez 19 .278 .316 .444 .760
Aramis Ramirez 10 .222 .300 .667 .967

He'll face Zack Greinke (3.57 ERA, 2.56 FIP), who could be making the last start in a fascinating run as a Brewer. The Brewers skipped Greinke's start last time around to "recharge his batteries," so he hasn't pitched since allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits over five innings against the Pirates on July 13. He has a 9.00 ERA over 14 innings in July.

Greinke's nine days of rest today are the most he's ever had in a non-season opening game as a Brewer. He got seven days of rest around the All Star break last season, but aside from that each of his 47 other starts have either been his first of the season or come on four or five days' rest. He last pitched on nine days' rest as a Royal on July 16, 2010.

Greinke has faced the Phillies twice in his career but not since 2007. Three current Phillies have faced him ten times or more:

Placido Polanco 41 .350 .366 .450 .816
Ty Wigginton 17 .250 .294 .438 .732
Laynce Nix 12 .250 .250 .333 .583

I went to see Batman this afternoon so I wasn't around when the lineup was posted. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.

And in the bullpen:

Manny Parra pitched one inning (26 pitches) last night and also pitched on Sunday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched .2 innings (35 pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched 1.1 innings (21 pitches) last night.
Kameron Loe pitched 1.1 innings (19 pitches) Sunday.
Jose Veras and Livan Hernandez haven't pitched since Saturday.
Tyler Thornburg last pitched on Wednesday and is presumably available in this role now that Greinke is back.

Thunderstorms are expected to roll through Philadelphia this afternoon but they should be gone by game time tonight. Expect a temperature around 85 at game time dropping into the upper 70s by the ninth inning.