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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Marcum) at Cubs (Raley)

This is Shaun Marcum's (3.19 ERA, 3.74 FIP) second start since returning from the disabled list. His last start against Pittsburgh did not go so well but its result was aided by two errors; Marcum only gave up 5 hits and 1 walk in 5 innings. This may be Marcum's last start as a Brewer; it's known that the team may be trying to trade him in these last days of the post-waivers trade deadline. Marcum's had good results against the Cubs in the past.

Rookie lefty Brooks Raley (6.64 ERA, 6.25 FIP; 3.62 ERA at AAA Iowa) is making his 5th major league start and final MLB start of 2012; right at the time of writing it was announced that he's hit his innings limit for the year. He's made a semi-rapid ascent to the majors in his 4th year of professional baseball; this year was in fact his first year in AAA and he started the season with AA Tennessee. As you can see by the ERA listed above, he got fairly good results for a PCL pitcher. His HR/9 rate at Iowa was a nice 0.8. Unfortunately for Raley, that didn't follow him to the major leagues. He's given up at least 1 home run in each of his 4 starts. (It's a small sample, and two of the four were hit by Ryan Ludwick.) This is his first start against Milwaukee, but he did start twice against Nashville. Jeff Bianchi has faced him 6 times and has 2 hits and a walk.

Raley has the typical LHP split--better against LH batting--so no surprises there. What is unusual is that his primary pitches so far in the majors are a sinker and a cutter; he does have a four-seam fastball but doesn't throw it that often, and in any case there's not much difference in the average velocity: about 89 mph for the fastball, and 88 for the sinker. If anything, this will be interesting to see how he'll manage to get results at the major league level.

Today's lineups:

Milwaukee Brewers Chicago Cubs
Norichika Aoki RF David DeJesus LF
Rickie Weeks 2B Luis Valbuena 3B
Ryan Braun LF Starlin Castro SS
Corey Hart 1B Anthony Rizzo 1B
Jonathan Lucroy C Bryan LaHair RF
Carlos Gomez CF Steve Clevenger C
Cody Ransom 3B Brett Jackson CF
Jeff Bianchi SS Darwin Barney 2B
Shaun Marcum P Brooks Raley P


John Axford pitched 1 inning (14 pitches) last night and 1 inning (10 pitches) Tuesday.
Manny Parra pitched 0.2 inning (2 pitches; induced double play) last night.
Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Tuesday and 1 inning (15 pitches) Monday.
Jim Henderson pitched 1 inning (15 pitches) Monday.
Livan Hernandez pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) Monday.
Kameron Loe pitched 1 inning (27 pitches) Monday and 1 inning (18 pitches) Sunday.
Jose Veras pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) Sunday.