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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Estrada) @ Rangers (Ogando)

The road trip continues tonight, but at least the Brewers are off the west coast.


Tonight we shift our attention to Arlington for the Brewers' final interleague road series of 2013.

Tonight at 7:05 the Brewers will face Rangers righty Alexi Ogando (3.28 ERA, 4.36 FIP) in just his sixth major league start since June 1. Ogando pitched five innings against the Angels on Wednesday and allowed two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out four. He threw 97 pitches in that appearance, the most he's thrown since coming back from a bout with shoulder inflammation.

Despite having spent a big part of the year on the DL Ogando has already thrown more innings in 2013 (74) than he did while spending all of 2012 as a reliever (66). His velocity has dipped significantly this season, from 97 on his average fastball a year ago to 93 in 2013. He's also throwing his slider almost a third of the time and consistently using his changeup for the first time.

Ogando has never faced the Brewers in the regular season. The only current Brewer who has seen him before is Yuniesky Betancourt, who walked in their only combined plate appearance.

He'll face Marco Estrada (4.96 ERA, 4.47 FIP), who has a tough act to follow in his second start back from the DL. Estrada pitched five scoreless innings against the Giants on Wednesday, allowing a single hit and striking out six without walking a batter. He threw 76 pitches in the outing.

Estrada's arsenal showed no signs of rust Wednesday after multiple months on the shelf. His fastball still sat right around 90 and he'll throw it about 60% of the time. Eight of the 12 changeups and ten of the 18 curveballs he threw last week went for strikes.

Estrada has never faced the Rangers in the regular season. No current Ranger has faced him ten times or more, but Geovany Soto is 1-for-4 against him with a home run and two walks.

As of this writing I haven't seen tonight's lineup. If you have, please drop it in the comments.

And in the bullpen:

  • Michael Gonzalez last pitched on Saturday.
  • Brandon Kintzler and Alfredo Figaro last pitched on Friday.
  • John Axford, Rob Wooten and Donovan Hand last pitched on Thursday.
  • Burke Badenhop last pitched on Wednesday.
  • Jim Henderson last pitched on Tuesday.

It's a hot one in Texas tonight, and there's a chance weather could be an issue. Expect a game-time temperature around 94 under partly cloudy skies and a possibility for isolated thunderstorms late in the game. The winds should be around 10 mph and blowing from left to right.