If you missed today's Brewer game don't worry, there's another.
At 7:10 tonight we can all come together to witness Jake Arrieta (7.23 ERA, 4.60 FIP) in his Cubs debut. Arrieta was acquired from Baltimore on July 2 in a deal that sent pitcher Scott Feldman to the Orioles, and has made five AAA starts since switching organizations. He last pitched for AAA Iowa on Thursday and allowed a run on four hits over 6.2 innings, walking four and striking out eight.
Arrieta is still only 27 years old, but his prospect status has faded. Baseball America had him in their top 100 in 2009 (#67) and 2010 (#99), but the results have not matched the hype. He has a career 5.46 ERA and that figure has gone up in each of his four major league seasons. His walk rate is high (4.0 per nine innings for his career), but aside from that his peripherals look ok. He'll throw a mid-90's fastball with a curve, slider and occasional changeup.
Arrieta has never faced the Brewers in the majors or minors. The only current Brewer that has seen him before is Yuniesky Betancourt, who is 0-for-2.
He'll face Tyler Thornburg (2.95 ERA, 3.69 FIP) in his first major league start since October 2. Thornburg has been with the team but used sparingly for quite some time now, making just four appearances since June 30. He pitched four innings against the Padres a week ago today and allowed four runs on seven hits, walking one and striking out two.
Hopefully staying on a normal routine isn't a big deal for Thornburg, because the Brewers haven't done much to keep him on one. His appearance on July 22 was his first in 16 days, then he pitched four innings the very next day. Since being called up to the Brewers in late June he's pitched on four, four, 16, zero and now six days of rest.
Thornburg is facing the Cubs in the majors for the first time. He did, however, face the Iowa Cubs for six innings on June 19 and allowed a single unearned run on five hits. The only current Cub who has faced him in the majors is Carlos Villanueva, who started the first game of today's doubleheader on the mound.
If you're reading this it means I got hung up in meetings and didn't have time to update this post with tonight's lineup or bullpen situation. If you could add either in the comments, that'd be great.
There's a good chance weather will be an issue sometime during tonight's game. The Weather Channel is calling for a game-time temperature around 73 and an increasing chance of precipitation as the night goes along. The wind continues to blow from right to left.
Schafer 9 Bianchi 6 Lucroy 2 Gomez 8 Davis 7 Francisco 3 Betancourt 5 Gennett 4 Thornburg 1