It'd be nice if the first game of the post-Randy Wolf Era could be a win.
You have to figure the Brewers have a pretty good chance of that with Yovani Gallardo (3.67 ERA, 3.78 FIP) on the mound. He's pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four starts and allowed just six combined runs over those outings. He beat the Phillies on Friday when he allowed a run on four hits over seven innings, walking two and striking out nine. He also threw a season-high 118 pitches in that game.
Assuming he continues to start every fifth game (and he could start more if the Brewers opt to use off days to skip spots in the rotation or less if they opt to shut him down), Gallardo will make eight more starts this season. He'd need to average 5.75 strikeouts per outing over those eight games to reach 200 strikeouts for the fourth consecutive season. He's been averaging about 6.2 K's per start this year.
This is Gallardo's third start against the Cubs in 2012: He beat them on April 11 (one run over seven innings) and lost to them on June 5 (five runs over six innings). Three current Cubs have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face Travis Wood (4.83 ERA, 5.59 FIP), whose first season as a Cub has not gone well to this point. Wood has allowed nearly two home runs per nine innings this season, or 21 over 100.2 innings in 17 starts. He's allowed 13 home runs in his last seven outings including three on Friday, when the Reds tagged him for seven runs on nine hits over five innings. Wood's overall numbers are held together somewhat by the fact that opposing batters are hitting just .245 on balls in play against him.
Wood throws left handed and this season he's had a massive split in his numbers against lefties and righties. He's holding opposing lefties to a .187/.260/.363 line but allowing right handers to hit .262/.335/.524. 17 of the 21 home runs he's allowed have been hit by righties. He throws a 90 mph fastball with a lot of cutters and some changeups.
Wood is facing the Brewers for the first time this season. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Today's notable absence from the Brewer lineup is Jean Segura, who appeared to twist his ankle last night:
Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Corey Hart 1B
Martin Maldonado C
Carlos Gomez CF
Cody Ransom SS
Yovani Gallardo P
And in the bullpen:
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (10 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Monday.
Manny Parra pitched .1 innings (nine pitches) last night, and also pitched on Monday.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (six pitches) last night.
Jim Henderson pitched .1 innings (six pitches) last night.
John Axford pitched .1 innings (four pitches) last night.
Livan Hernandez pitched one inning (18 pitches) Monday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (14 pitches) Monday.
Mike McClendon pitched .1 innings Monday.
It's a beautiful day for baseball in Milwaukee, with a game time temperature around 80 and holding steady through the game. The roof should be open.