Broadcast info: For the first time this spring today's game will be televised on FS Wisconsin.
Here's something that surprised me: Across both Florida and Arizona, only two NL teams are above .500 this spring. They're the Cardinals (8-6) and Rockies (7-6). The Dodgers enter play today .500 at 6-6, and the 12 other NL teams are all below.
The Brewers will try to knock the Dodgers back below .500 today with Mike Fiers (3.24 ERA this spring, 3.74/3.09 ERA/FIP in 2012) on the mound. Fiers is making his fourth appearance of the spring and his first since Wednesday, when he pitched 3.1 innings against the Mariners and allowed two runs on three hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
It's early to be taking these numbers too seriously, but Fiers has already struck out eight opposing batters in 8.1 innings this spring. He punched out 135 batters in 127.2 innings last season while walking just 36.
Fiers faced the Dodgers in his first career start on May 29 of last season and allowed just one run on five hits over seven innings, walking none and striking out three. He completed seven innings in that game despite throwing just 89 pitches.
Fiers was scheduled to face Zack Greinke, but the former Brewer has been scratched with elbow discomfort so instead we'll see Korean lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu (6.00 ERA this spring, did not pitch in MLB in 2012), making his fourth spring appearance. Ryu pitched three innings against the Indians on Wednesday and allowed two runs on three hits, walking one and striking out five.
The Dodgers broke the bank to sign Ryu this winter, giving his former Korean team $25.7 million for negotiating rights and giving Ryu another $36 million on a six-year contract. Despite being just 25 years old he was already a multiple-time All Star in Korea. His velocity is something to watch today: In his 2013 Baseball Prospect Book John Sickels says he's seen reports on Ryu's fastball velocity ranging from 87 to 95 mph.
Sickels rated Ryu as a B- prospect for 2013 but called that a "guesstimate" because of uncertain reports about his stuff.
Here's the lineup he'll face:
Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Carlos Gomez CF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Alex Gonzalez 1B
Khris Davis LF
Blake Lalli C
Bobby Crosby 3B
Mike Fiers P
As of this writing I haven't seen the other pitchers scheduled to throw today.
It's another beautiful day for baseball in Phoenix, with a game time temperature around 71 rising into the mid 70's as the game goes along. It's supposed to get hot before the weekend, with Wednesday-Friday's predicted highs at 89, 91 and 91 again.
Enjoy the game!