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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Estrada) v Pirates (Burnett)

The Brewers are 18-27 this season, but to this point they're 1-0 in games where Marco Estrada faces A.J. Burnett.

Charles LeClaire-US PRESSWIRE

On May 13 the Brewers beat the Pirates 5-1 in Pittsburgh, with Marco Estrada beating A.J. Burnett in one of their four May wins.

They'll look to repeat that performance in the rematch tonight when Estrada (5.44 ERA, 5.15 FIP) takes the mound for the tenth time this season. He last pitched in the Brewers' extra inning win against the Cardinals on Saturday, allowing four runs on seven hits over 5.2 innings. Two of those runs scored after he left the game.

Estrada has only made five quality starts this season, but somehow the Brewers are 6-3 in his appearances (and 12-24 in everyone else's). His 71 Game Score against the Pirates early last week was the best single-game performance by a Brewer pitcher this season.

Estrada has already seen the Pirates twice in 2013, allowing six runs on ten hits over 12 innings (4.50 ERA), walking three and striking out eight. Five current Pirates have faced him ten times or more:

Andrew McCutchen 22 .318 .318 .636 .955
Garrett Jones 19 .158 .158 .158 .316
Pedro Alvarez 18 .167 .167 .333 .500
Neil Walker 14 .154 .214 .308 .522
Clint Barmes 11 .091 .091 .091 .182

He'll face Allan James "A.J." Burnett (2.57 ERA, 2.44 FIP), whose age 35 and 36 seasons as a Pirate are shaping up to be the best years of his career. He pitched seven innings against the Astros on Saturday and allowed a single run in five hits, walking four and striking out seven. He leads the NL with 79 strikeouts in 2013.

Burnett has already thrown seven or more innings in five games this season, which nearly matches the total of the entire Brewer team (seven). He's reached that mark in each of his four outings in May and has a 2.25 ERA over that span, but somehow the Pirates are 1-3 in those games.

As mentioned above, the Brewers beat Burnett on May 13 when he allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over seven innings. Eight current Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Aramis Ramirez 28 .179 .179 .179 .357
Yuniesky Betancourt 26 .154 .154 .154 .308
Carlos Gomez 21 .278 .381 .333 .714
Rickie Weeks 20 .211 .250 .263 .513
Ryan Braun 16 .429 .500 .429 .929
Alex Gonzalez 12 .200 .333 .500 .833
Jonathan Lucroy 12 .167 .167 .167 .333
Norichika Aoki 11 .500 .545 .800 1.345

Tonight's lineups are as follows:

Order Pirates Pos @ Brewers Pos
1 Starling Marte LF Norichika Aoki RF
2 Travis Snider RF Jean Segura SS
3 Andrew McCutchen CF Ryan Braun LF
4 Gaby Sanchez 1B Aramis Ramirez 3B
5 Russell Martin C Carlos Gomez CF
6 Neil Walker 2B Martin Maldonado C
7 Brandon Inge 3B Alex Gonzalez 1B
8 Clint Barmes SS Jeff Bianchi 2B
9 A.J. Burnett P Marco Estrada P

And in the bullpen:

  • Alfredo Figaro pitched 3.1 innings (60 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched two innings (22 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (18 pitches) on Wednesday, and also pitched on Tuesday.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched one inning (12 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Jim Henderson, Michael Gonzalez and John Axford last pitched on Tuesday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny was activated off the DL today and hasn't pitched since May 7.

The Memorial Day weekend is getting off to a cold start in Milwaukee, where the temperature barely broke 50 today. Expect the roof to be closed tonight.