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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Peralta) v Cardinals (Westbrook)

We're here to get you ready for the first of four against St. Louis.

Dilip Vishwanat

For the second straight home series, the Brewers welcome the NL Central leaders to Milwaukee.

After knocking the first place Pirates off their perch, tonight the Brewers will look to dethrone the Cardinals with Wily Peralta (5.02/4.60 ERA/FIP) on the mound. Peralta pitched six innings against the Dodgers on Saturday, allowing three runs on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts. His 96 pitches in that outing were a season high.

Obviously it's too early to make too big of a deal out of this, but Peralta has already done a little damage as a hitter this season. He's 3-for-9 with a walk for a .333/.400/.333 line, a far cry from the 1-for-11 line he posted in 2012 and his career .137/.173/.208 mark in the minors. He does have one professional home run, hit with Huntsville in 2011.

None of Peralta's eleven major league appearances have come against the Cardinals, and no current Cardinals have ever faced him in the minors. It's likely some of their younger players faced him in AAA, though.

He'll face 35-year-old longtime MLB veteran Jake Westbrook (0.98/3.64 ERA/FIP), who is making his 299th major league appearance tonight. The former #21 overall pick in the 1996 draft pitched six shutout innings against the Pirates on Saturday, allowing six hits and striking out six without giving up a walk. The Cardinals lost that game and are 1-3 in his outings despite the fact that he's allowed just four runs.

Westbrook has always been pretty good at preventing home runs, but this season he's gone 27.2 innings without allowing one. He's one of just three pitchers (including teammate Adam Wainwright) that can make that claim. He'll throw a 90 mph fastball with a splitter and assorted junk.

Westbrook has faced the Brewers eight times in his career, including twice last season when he allowed four combined runs over 12 innings, walking four and striking out seven. Five current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Yuniesky Betancourt 22 .364 .364 .545 .909
Alex Gonzalez 22 .389 .500 .500 1.000
Ryan Braun 21 .526 .571 ,789 1.361
Rickie Weeks 16 .188 .188 .375 .563
Jonathan Lucroy 10 .300 .300 .300 .600

Tonight's starting lineups are in:

Order Cardinals Pos @ Brewers Pos
1 Matt Carpenter 2B Norichika Aoki RF
2 Carlos Beltran RF Jean Segura SS
3 Matt Holliday LF Ryan Braun LF
4 Allen Craig 1B Yuniesky Betancourt 3B
5 Yadier Molina C Rickie Weeks 2B
6 David Freese 3B Carlos Gomez CF
7 Jon Jay CF Martin Maldonado C
8 Pete Kozma SS Alex Gonzalez 1B
9 Jake Westbrook P Wily Peralta P

And in the bullpen:

  • John Axford pitched .2 innings (18 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (10 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
  • Mike Gonzalez pitched .1 innings (10 pitches) yesterday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched .2 innings (19 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (14 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (13 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Monday.

After a few nice days in Milwaukee it's cold, overcast and rainy tonight. Expect a game time temperature around 47 and the Miller Park roof and panels to be closed.