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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Lohse) v Cardinals (Miller)

Tonight's game will feature 100% more Aramis Ramirez.

Tom Lynn

You may have heard that Kyle Lohse (2.53/3.11 ERA/FIP) used to be a Cardinal. Tonight he'll face them for the second time.

Lohse is making the sixth start of his first season in Milwaukee tonight, and his first since pitching seven innings against the Dodgers on Sunday. He allowed two runs on five hits in that game, walking none and striking out four. He did allow two solo home runs in the game, as compared to just one long ball over the rest of the season. He's pitched quality starts in four of his five appearances as a Brewer, with the lone exception being a game against the Padres which he left with a dislocated pinkie finger.

"Talk about pitchers hitting" week continues today with a profile of Lohse's relatively pedestrian work at the plate. He's 1-for-12 this season and a career .150/.170/.172 batter with no home runs. In fact, only five active pitchers have made more plate appearances without going deep:

Pitcher PA
Ryan Dempster 688
Brett Myers 557
Wandy Rodriguez 488
Aaron Cook 473
Tim Lincecum 446
Kyle Lohse 428

Lohse faced the Cardinals for the first time since 2007 on April 12, when he allowed two runs on six hits over seven innings. Three current Cardinals have faced him ten times or more:

Carlos Beltran 54 .548 .630 .976 1.606
Ty Wigginton 18 .444 .444 .500 .944
Matt Holliday 15 .462 .533 .538 1.072

An old Cardinal faces a new Cardinal as Lohse takes on 22-year-old top prospect Shelby Miller (2.05/3.21 ERA/FIP) in his seventh major league start. Miller pitched 5.2 innings against the Pirates on Sunday and allowed three runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out seven. He allowed two home runs in that game, and they were only the second and third long balls he's allowed as a big leaguer.

Miller throws a low-90's fastball almost 75% of the time, but it's possible his most interesting pitch is his curveball. He throws it about 24% of the time and FanGraphs estimates it's been worth about 2.5 runs above average per 100 pitches. He threw it to the Brewers 28 times when he faced them earlier this season.

As I just alluded to, Miller pitched seven innings against the Brewers on April 12 and allowed just one hit, walking none and striking out eight. Norichika Aoki had the only hit against him, a leadoff single in the first inning.

Tonight's lineups feature Aramis Ramirez for the first time in weeks:

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 Aramis Ramirez 3B
5 Yadier Molina C Rickie Weeks 2B
6 David Freese 3B Jonathan Lucroy C
7 Jon Jay CF Carlos Gomez CF
8 Pete Kozma SS Yuniesky Betancourt 1B
9 Shelby Miller P Kyle Lohse P

And in the bullpen:

  • Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Wednesday.
  • Alfredo Figaro pitched 2.2 innings (27 pitches) last night.
  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched one inning (eight pitches) last night.
  • John Axford pitched .2 innings (18 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Mike Gonzalez pitched .1 innings (10 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Brandon Kintzler and Jim Henderson last pitched on Tuesday.
It's cold and rainy and that's a theme that could last for a while. Expect the roof to be closed tonight.