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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gallardo) v Dodgers (Kershaw)

Let's talk about the first game at home in almost two weeks.

USA TODAY Sports

A 2-8 road trip (along with maybe this team's playoff hopes) is in the rear view mirror, so let's look ahead to a homestand-opener tonight.

At 7:10 tonight the Brewers return home with Yovani Gallardo (4.50/3.86 ERA/FIP) on the mound. Gallardo took a nice step forward by pitching a quality start on Wednesday, allowing two runs on three hits over six innings. He did walk four batters in that game, though, while striking out just five. He threw 97 pitches in the outing.

Gallardo has lowered his ERA from 6.61 to 4.50 over his last six starts, but he's still only made four quality starts in nine attempts this season. Interestingly enough, his walk rate and ERA seem to be headed in different directions:

Split ERA BB/9
First four starts 5.24 1.61
Next five starts 3.94 4.85

Gallardo didn't face the Dodgers when these two teams met in April. Seven current Dodgers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Skip Schumaker 24 .217 .250 .391 .641
Andre Ethier 18 .333 .333 .444 .778
Ramon Hernandez 16 .286 .375 .357 .732
Matt Kemp 16 .333 .375 .467 .842
Nick Punto 13 .091 .231 .091 .322
Adrian Gonzalez 12 .364 .417 .818 1.235
Juan Uribe 12 .273 .333 .545 .879

He'll face Clayton Kershaw (1.40/2.55 ERA/FIP), so every run might be important. Kershaw, who was the NL Cy Young Award winner in 2011 and the runner-up in 2012, leads all pitchers with a 1.40 ERA this season. He pitched 8.2 scoreless innings against the Nationals on Tuesday, allowing five hits and a walk while striking out eleven. He threw 132 pitches in that game but has had an extra day of rest since then.

With the first out of his last outing Kershaw reached 1000 innings pitched for his career, and he's still only 25. He'll throw a low-90's fastball with a slider, curve and an occasional changeup.

Kershaw shut out the Brewers for eight innings on April 28, allowing just four hits and striking out a season-high 12. Two current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Player PA AVG OBP SLG OPS
Ryan Braun 20 .263 .300 .316 .616
Rickie Weeks 11 .444 .545 .778 1.323

Via Mike Vassallo, here's tonight's lineup:

And in the bullpen:

  • Mike Fiers pitched one inning (20 pitches) yesterday.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (eight pitches) yesterday.
  • John Axford pitched 1.1 innings (33 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.2 innings (17 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (10 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Mike Gonzalez faced one batter (five pitches) on Saturday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched .1 innings (four pitches) on Saturday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Thursday.

It's a nice night for baseball, although some thunderstorms could crash the party later. Expect a game time temperature around 76 and an open roof to start, at least.