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Today's Matchup: Milwaukee (Gallardo) vs Pittsburgh (Rodriguez)

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A battle of supposed aces.

Mike McGinnis

It might just be that Yovani Gallardo (3-4, 4.50 ERA, 4.05 FIP) has only seemed worse than he actually has been this season. After a poor start to the season, the Brewers ace has a 3.67 ERA over his last seven starts. The strikeouts aren't there. But the number of runs he has allowed is normal for him. I think we have to face the fact that Gallardo's strikeout numbers for the season aren't going to look good. He stands at a 6.67 K/9 a third of the way through the year, and I doubt he'll recover enough to bring that number back up to his typical rate.

Gallardo's velocity is down, according to fangraphs. That may have something to do with the reduced K numbers. In fact, he's barely over 90 MPH on his average fastball velocity and is down to MPH from 2011. For a 27-year-old, that's not a good sign.

Gallardo has faced seven current Pirates at least ten times. Here is how they have fared:

Player PA Line
Andrew McCutchen 31 .241/.290/.404
Garrett Jones 29 .238/.448/.238
Gaby Sanchez 23 .333/.391/.571
Clint Barmes 19 .059/.158/..059
Pedro Alvarez 18 .000/.167/.000
Jose Tabata 15 .333/.467/.417
Neil Walker 15 .357/.400/.357

Wandy Rodriguez (5-2, 3.40 ERA, 4.30 FIP) has thus far been an excellent acquisition for the Pirates. Pittsburgh traded a couple of mostly inconsequential minor league pitchers and one so-so outfielder and in return have gotten one of the better pitchers they have had for a while.

Rodriguez has only had one real bad start this season. Fortunately, that came against Milwaukee. On April 29 against the Brewers, he allowed seven earned runs in 3.2 innings while surrendering six hits and four walks. Otherwise, he has seven quality starts in nine outings.

Rodriguez has faced a whopping ten Brewers hitters at least ten times. Rather than write down their hitting lines in this space, you can find their stats here.

Here is today's lineup:

Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Ryan Braun LF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Jonathan Lucroy C
Carlos Gomez CF
Rickie Weeks 2B
Yuniesky Betancourt 1B
Yovani Gallardo P

In the bullpen:

  • Burke Badenhop pitched two innings (28 pitches) yesterday.
  • John Axford pitched one inning (27 pitches) yesterday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (17 pitches) yesterday.
  • Alfredo Figaro pitched one inning (10 pitches) yesterday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched 0.2 innings (12 pitches) on Friday.
  • Mike Gonzalez pitched 0.1 innings (6 pitches) on Friday.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched 0.1 innings (2 pitches) on Friday.
  • Donovan Hand last pitched on Tuesday for Nashville.

Finally, the game time temperature is going to be around 60 today, and the roof will be open. Adam McCalvy suggests that you should bring a jacket.