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Tonight's Matchup: Brewers (Gorzelanny) v Reds (Leake)

Can the Brewers slow the Reds' march to the top of the NL Central?

Scott Boehm

Tonight at Fox Cities Stadium the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers play one of their final home games of the 2013 season. That's where I'll be.

Meanwhile at 7:10 in Milwaukee, Tom Gorzelanny (2.51 ERA, 3.59 FIP) will look to continue his career year for the Brewers. Gorzelanny is a Brewer of the Week nominee for his performance on Saturday, when he held the Mariners scoreless on just three hits over seven innings. He threw 95 pitches in that outing.

Gorzelanny is making his eighth start of 2013 tonight, so he needs to make this start and two more to become the 34th lefty in franchise history to make ten starts in a season. The Brewers have had at least one lefty make at least that many starts every year since 2001, but Gorzelanny is the only pitcher with a chance to continue the streak this season.

Gorzelanny faced the Reds in relief one time earlier this season, working around three hits to pitch a scoreless inning on June 15. Five active Reds have faced him ten times or more:

Brandon Phillips 26 .200 .231 .240 .471
Ryan Ludwick 22 .176 .238 .235 .473
Joey Votto 22 .150 .227 .300 .527
Jay Bruce 17 .417 .588 1.167 1.755
Ryan Hanigan 13 .273 .385 .545 .930

He'll face 25-year-old Reds righty Mike Leake (2.86 ERA, 4.00 FIP), who is also having a career year. Leake received a no decision on Sunday despite holding the Padres to two runs (one earned) on six hits over seven innings with three walks and four strikeouts. He threw a season-high 109 pitches in that game.

Leake's strikeout numbers are down this season (just 5.5 per nine innings), but he gets away with it because his walk rate remains low at 2.3 per nine. He'll throw a pretty wide array of pitches: a 90 mph fastball, cutter, changeup, curve and slider.

Leake beat the Brewers on July 10, holding them to two runs on four hits over 8.1 innings. Sean Halton homered off him in that game, and as luck would have it he's back with the team today. Three active Brewers have faced Leake ten times or more:

Aramis Ramirez 22 .095 .136 .143 .279
Jonathan Lucroy 12 .100 .250 .100 .350
Yuniesky Betancourt 11 .364 .364 .364 .727

Tonight's Brewer lineup is as follows:

Norichika Aoki RF
Jean Segura SS
Jonathan Lucroy C
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Juan Francisco 1B
Khris Davis LF
Scooter Gennett 2B
Logan Schafer CF
Tom Gorzelanny P

And in the bullpen:

  • Rob Wooten pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (12 pitches) last night.
  • Burke Badenhop pitched 1.2 innings (22 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Michael Gonzalez faced two batters (12 pitches) on Wednesday.
  • John Axford pitched .1 innings (eight pitches) on Wednesday.
  • Jim Henderson last pitched on Tuesday.
  • Donovan Hand hopefully brought along a book to read or something.

If you like bad weather, then today is a crappy day for you. Expect a game-time temperature around 73 tonight under sunny skies and an open roof. Light winds will be blowing in from center.