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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Estrada) vs. Athletics (Milone)

The Brewers and Athletics meet for the first time since 2002, and in Milwaukee for the first time since 1997.


The last time the Brewers faced the Athletics was 2002. In that season, here were the three starting pitching matchups:

Ruben Quevedo vs. Cory Lidle
Nelson Figueroa vs. Barry Zito
Ben Sheets vs. Mark Mulder

The Athletics swept that three-game set at Network Associates Coliseum (which has been renamed several times since then). Mark Mulder finished 2nd in the Cy Young voting the previous year, and Barry Zito would go on to win the Cy Young that year. The Athletics would also go on to win 103 games that season before losing in Game 5 of the ALDS, and would follow that up by bringing in Ken Macha as the new manager of their team.

This time around, the Brewers are hoping for better luck as the Athletics make their first visit to Miller Park and their first trip to Milwaukee since 1997, the last year the Brewers were in the American League. First up for the Athletics is LHP Tommy Milone (4.04 ERA/4.16 FIP). The Athletics acquired Milone after the 2011 season in the trade that sent Gio Gonzalez to the Nationals. Milone is one of five starting pitchers for the Athletics that are under 27 years old. He has a decent strikeout rate (7.57 K/9) and keeps the ball under control (1.96 BB/9), but has also allowed been susceptible to the home run ball (1.47 HR/9). His pitches aren't overwhelming, and his best pitch so far this year has been his changeup. According to FanGraphs, he throws five pitches:

Four-seam fastball (86.7 MPH, 44.1%)
Two-seam fastball (87.1 MPH, 10.9%)
Cutter (85.2 MPH, 3.6%)
Curveball (75.4 MPH, 11.1%)
Changeup (80.2 MPH, 29.6%)

Only Yuniesky Betancourt has faced Tommy Milone before. In six plate appearances, he is batting .333/.333/.500 against him.

Starting for the Brewers tonight is Marco Estrada (4.96 ERA/4.52 FIP). Estrada has still been the Brewers best starter, though you're never quite sure what he's going to do each night. He has put up consecutive seven-inning starts for the Brewers, though he allowed four runs in a start against the Twins and only one in a start against the Pirates. He hasn't walked a batter in two starts after walking ten over three starts, and he has allowed a total of one home run in his last four games after allowing ten home runs over his first seven. Looking at his Pitch F/X, his fastball has got him into trouble this year, while his changeup has been his best pitch.

Marco Estrada has not faced any member of the Athletics ten times or more. In fact, the Athletics batters have a total of five plate appearances against him combined. Three of those batters struck out, and the other two walked.

Tonight's lineups:

Order Brewers Pos vs Athletics Pos
1 Norichika Aoki RF Coco Crisp CF
2 Jean Segura SS John Jaso C
3 Ryan Braun LF Yoenis Cespedes LF
4 Aramis Ramirez 3B Jed Lowrie SS
5 Jonathan Lucroy C Josh Donaldson 3B
6 Carlos Gomez CF Josh Reddick RF
7 Rickie Weeks 2B Brandon Moss 1B
8 Yuniesky Betancourt 1B Eric Sogard 2B
9 Marco Estrada P Tommy Milone P

In the bullpen:

  • Tom Gorzelanny pitched 2 innings (28 pitches) yesterday and faced 1 batter (7 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched 1 inning (21 pitches) yesterday.
  • Francisco Rodriguez pitched 1 inning (19 pitches) on Saturday and 1 inning (10 pitches) on Friday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched 1 inning (12 pitches) on Saturday.
  • John Axford pitched .1 innings (5 pitches) on Friday and 1 inning (28 pitches) on Thursday.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched 1.2 innings (14 pitches) on Friday.
  • Donovan Hand pitched 2.1 innings (38 pitches) on Thursday.
  • Alfredo Figaro pitched 3.1 innings (28 pitches) yesterday and is scheduled to start on Friday.

Game time temperature tonight is expected to be around 62 degrees, with wind from the SSE at 10 mph. We will have to wait and see if the roof will be open or closed tonight. Tonight's game is also the MLB.TV Game of the Day, and is available free to those of you who live outside the Milwaukee and Oakland blackout territories.