Before we get started, here are my appearances elsewhere from today:
First, I answered five questions for Amazin' Avenue in their series preview, which you can see here. I also made an appearance with Ted Berg from SNY.tv, which you can see below:
The Brewers have a chance to tie a single season franchise record with their tenth consecutive home win tonight.
They'll go for it with Mike Fiers (3.05 ERA, 2.66 FIP) on the mound for his 20th appearance and 19th start of the season. Fiers pitched just five innings against the Cardinals on Saturday, allowing a run on five hits over five innings with three walks and five strikeouts. He was the winner in that game and has factored in the decision in each of his last ten starts.
Fiers has already thrown over 160 innings this season between Nashville and the majors, but his velocity is still remaining relatively steady. He maxed out at 90.3 mph with his four seam fastball in his last appearance, compared to 90.9 on August 7. His mix of pitches also seems to be holding steady.
Fiers has never faced the Mets in the minors, and since their AAA affiliate is in the International League he also hasn't faced any current Mets in the minors this season.
He'll face 25-year-old lefty Jonathan Niese (3.47 ERA, 3.86 FIP), who is having another good year in his third full major league season. If he pitches three full innings tonight he'll set a new career high, passing the 173.2 innings he pitched in 2010. He was a tough luck loser against the Braves on Friday, allowing a run on five hits over six innings.
Despite being left handed, Niese is very good against both lefties (.659 OPS against) and righties (.671). He has a 90 mph fastball he'll throw about half the time, with healthy doses of cutters and curves to go with the occasional changeup.
Niese has faced the Brewers three times in his career, but this will be the first time in 2012. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:
Here's tonight's lineup:
Norichika Aoki RF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Carlos Gomez CF
Travis Ishikawa 1B
Jean Segura SS
Mike Fiers P
And in the bullpen:
Kameron Loe pitched one inning (23 pitches) Wednesday.
Jose Veras pitched one inning (10 pitches) Wednesday.
Jim Henderson, Brandon Kintzler and Francisco Rodriguez all pitched on Tuesday.
John Axford last pitched on Monday.
Manny Parra last pitched on Sunday.
Livan Hernandez last pitched on Saturday.
Josh Stinson last pitched on Thursday, September 6.
Tyler Thornburg and Tyler Houston have appeared in the same number of MLB games this September.