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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Lohse) @ Cubs (Samardzija)

Get ready for an awful lot of Brewers/Cubs games over the next few months.


Entering play today, the Brewers have played 104 games and have 58 remaining. No less than eleven of those contests are against the Cubs.

They'll play one of those games at 7:05 tonight when they take on Jeff Samardzija (3.94 ERA, 3.66 FIP) at Wrigley Field. Samardzija has struggled a bit lately, and allowed four runs on six hits over 5.2 innings against the Diamondbacks on Wednesday. He has a 6.85 ERA over four appearances in July and a 5.18 mark since June 1.

I preach this a lot, but patience could be the key to success for the Brewers again tonight against Samardzija. He's walked 15 batters in 23.2 innnings in July (5.7 per nine innings) after giving out just 2.9 per nine over the season's first three months. He's also pitching on normal rest tonight despite having thrown 118 pitches his last time out. He's exceeded 110 pitches in seven of his last 12 outings.

The Brewers beat Samardzija on April 19, knocking him around to the tune of five runs on six hits over seven innings and hitting a pair of home runs (Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun). Three active Brewers have faced him ten times or more:

Jonathan Lucroy 12 .100 .250 .300 .550
Norichika Aoki 11 .500 .545 .800 1.345
Rickie Weeks 10 .250 .400 .375 .775

He'll face Kyle Lohse (3.37 ERA, 4.23 FIP) in a game that has an outside chance at featuring the veteran righty's final Brewer appearance. Lohse has been great lately, allowing a single run on five hits against the Padres on Wednesday with no walks and six strikeouts. His 112 pitches thrown in that game are a new season high.

While Samardzija's walk rate is trending the wrong way, Lohse's is doing exactly the opposite. He's issued one walk or less in 12 of his last 13 appearances, averaging just 1.02 free passes per nine innings over that span. He has, however, allowed 14 home runs over that time.

Lohse beat the Cubs on June 25, holding them to three runs on eight hits over seven innings. Three current Cubs have faced him ten times or more:

David DeJesus 27 .462 .481 .692 1.174
Darwin Barney 22 .263 .250 .316 .566
Starlin Castro 20 .250 .250 .250 .500

Here's tonight's lineup:

Rickie Weeks 2B
Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Carlos Gomez CF
Caleb Gindl LF
Juan Francisco 1B
Jeff Bianchi 3B
Kyle Lohse P

And in the bullpen:

  • John Axford pitched .1 innings (16 pitches) yesterday, and also pitched on Saturday.
  • Michael Gonzalez pitched one inning (eleven pitches) yesterday.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched .2 innings (eight pitches) yesterday.
  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (21 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched 1.2 innings (21 pitches) on Saturday.
  • Rob Wooten last pitched on Friday.
  • Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Thursday.
  • Tyler Thornburg last pitched on Tuesday and is expected to start in tomorrow's doubleheader.

It's cloudy in Chicago tonight, but the weather should not be an issue. Expect a game time temperature around 71 with winds blowing in from right.