Fourth place isn't good, but it beats being tied for fourth place.
The Brewers will hang onto sole possession of "not last" in the NL Central if they get a win from Yovani Gallardo (4.09 ERA, 3.81 FIP), who has been hot lately. Gallardo pitched seven innings against the Astros on Thursday and allowed three runs, but they were all unearned. Gallardo has gone 19 innings without allowing an earned run.
Gallardo is getting an extra day of rest before today's start (thanks to Monday's off day), and his recent numbers would suggest that may not be a good thing. He has a 3.27 ERA in ten starts on four days' rest this season, compared to a 5.81 mark in five starts with an extra day. Over the course of his career, though, he's been much better on five days' rest.
Gallardo has faced the Cubs 14 times in his career, but this is the first time he's pitched against them this season. Four current Cubs have faced him ten times or more:
He'll face 30-year-old Hawaiian native Scott Feldman (3.39 ERA, 3.91 FIP), who has pitched pretty well in his first season as a Cub. Feldman got knocked around a bit on Thursday, though, allowing five runs on six hits over 5.1 innings against the Cardinals.
Feldman is the kind of pitcher you could use to make the case that the AL is a superior league. He had a 4.81 ERA in eight seasons as a Ranger and a 5.09 mark last season before coming to the NL and pitching well. He's also on pace to pitch over 180 innings this season, and he's only done that once before in the majors. He throws a 90 mph fastball but also a lot of cutters and curves.
The Brewers beat Feldman on April 21, scoring four runs on just three hits over five innings, but only one of those runs was earned. The only current Brewer who has seen him ten times or more is Yuniesky Betancourt, who is hitting .333/.333/.500 over 18 plate appearances.
As of this writing tonight's lineup had not been posted. If you've seen it, please drop it in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Sunday.
- Burke Badenhop pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
- Tom Gorzelanny, Jim Henderson and Brandon Kintzler last pitched on Sunday.
- Francisco Rodriguez, John Axford and Donovan Hand last pitched on Saturday.
The forecast in Milwaukee calls for partly cloudy conditions this evening with a game time temperature around 75. Expect the roof to be open on a beautiful night for baseball.