The Brewers are a victory away from their first three-game winning streak since July 19-21.
They'll look for that win tonight against Charlie Morton (3.42 ERA, 3.62 FIP) and the Pirates at 6:05. Morton is making his 14th start of the season and has been very good lately, posting a 2.28 ERA over his last four starts. He beat the Giants on Friday, holding them to a single run on seven hits over 7.2 innings with a walk and three strikeouts. He threw just 83 pitches in that game.
Morton has only thrown more than 100 innings in one of his six MLB seasons, and injury limited him to just nine appearances a year ago. His velocity would suggest he's healthy again in 2013, though, as his average fastball is clocking in at a career-high 93 mph this season. He'll throw the heat almost 75% of the time, with a curveball as his primary off-speed offering.
Morton pitched just two innings in a start against the Brewers on June 30, holding them to an unearned run on two hits. The only current Brewer who has faced him ten times or more is Aramis Ramirez, who is 3-for-9 for a .333/.364/.333 line in eleven PAs.
He'll face former Pirates teammate Tom Gorzelanny (3.60 ERA, 4.07 FIP), who is scuffling a bit lately. Gorzelanny lasted just 3.2 innings against the Cardinals on Wednesday, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk. He's given up 12 runs over his last two starts, raising his 2013 ERA from 2.51 to 3.60.
Gorzelanny has been victimized by the long ball lately, so that could be something to watch for tonight. He's allowed six home runs in his last 27.1 innings after giving up just five in the previous 52.2. 13.9% of the fly balls hit against him this season have left the yard, and that's the highest rate of his career.
This is Gorzelanny's first start against the Pirates this season, but he has faced them three times in relief and allowed one run on four hits over 5.1 innings. Three current Pirates have faced him ten times or more:
As of this writing I haven't seen tonight's lineup. If you have, please post it in the comments.
And in the bullpen:
- Rob Wooten pitched 1.2 innings (24 pitches) last night.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (20 pitches) last night, and also pitched on Sunday.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (nine pitches) last night, and also pitched on Sunday.
- John Axford, Michael Gonzalez, Burke Badenhop and Tyler Thornburg last pitched on Saturday.
It looks like a nice night for baseball in Pittsburgh. Expect a game time temperature around 78 under partly cloudy skies with light winds.