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Today's Matchup: Brewers (Lohse) v Cubs (Arrieta)

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Now that Sunday's game time has changed, this is the last home matinee of 2013.

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

PROGRAMMING NOTE: Due to the quick turnaround between last night's game and today's matinee, the Frosty Mug is off Thursday. It will return tomorrow. - KL

With 68 wins, the 2013 Brewers are tied for the 31st best record in franchise history. The 1971 and 1993 teams each finished with 69 wins.

They could climb further up the ladder today with Kyle Lohse (3.46 ERA, 4.10 FIP) on the mound. Lohse pitched a complete game against the Reds on Friday, allowing a single run on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts. He threw 111 pitches in that game, his second-highest total of the season.

Today has a good chance to be a really lucrative day for Lohse. As I mentioned last week, he has an incentive in his contract that will pay him an extra $350,000 if he pitches 190 innings this season, and he enters play tonight at 184.2. So, if Lohse records an out in the sixth inning today, he'll get a little more than a third of a million dollars.

Lohse has faced the Cubs three times this season with mixed results, pitching quality starts in June and July and a disaster two weeks ago. All told he has a 5.00 ERA in 18 innings against them with four walks and 12 strikeouts. Six current Cubs have faced him ten times or more:

PA AB H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
Darwin Barney 28 24 6 1 0 0 1 1 1 .250 .269 .292 .561
Starlin Castro 26 26 6 0 0 0 1 0 3 .231 .231 .231 .462
Welington Castillo 15 14 3 3 0 0 1 1 2 .214 .267 .429 .695
Anthony Rizzo 15 14 6 2 0 0 0 1 2 .429 .467 .571 1.038
Nate Schierholtz 15 15 3 1 0 1 4 0 4 .200 .200 .467 .667
Luis Valbuena 10 10 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 .200 .200 .200 .400
Total 141 134 35 9 0 2 13 4 21 .261 .281 .373 .654
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 9/19/2013.

He'll face 27-year-old righty Jake Arrieta (5.49 ERA, 5.01 FIP), who has been a serviceable starter in seven appearances since coming over in a trade with the Orioles. He did get knocked around a bit on Friday, though, allowing four runs (three earned) on six hits over five innings. He gave up three home runs in that game.

Since moving to the National League Arrieta is holding opposing batters to a .208 batting average on balls in play, so it's likely he's due for some regression. Since joining the Cubs he's also walking almost five batters per nine innings, so being patient against him is likely to pay off. He'll throw a low-to-mid 90's fastball about two thirds of the time, backing it up with a mix of curves, sliders and the occasional cutter or changeup.

Arrieta has faced the Brewers twice since joining the Cubs, allowing a combined five runs on five hits over eleven innings with six walks and six strikeouts. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, and the players who have seen him at all are hitting a combined .128/.261/.282 against him.

Today's lineup is as follows:

Norichika Aoki RF
Scooter Gennett 2B
Carlos Gomez CF
Aramis Ramirez 3B
Logan Schafer LF
Jeff Bianchi SS
Juan Francisco 1B
Martin Maldonado C
Kyle Lohse P

And in the bullpen:

  • Jimmy Nelson pitched two innings (42 pitches) last night.
  • Michael Blazek pitched one inning (eleven pitches) last night.
  • Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (16 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Jim Henderson pitched one inning (16 pitches) on Tuesday.
  • Rob Wooten, Michael Gonzalez and Donovan Hand last pitched on Monday.
  • Alfredo Figaro and Burke Badenhop last pitched on Saturday.
  • Tom Gorzelanny is hoping to pitch again before the end of the season but is still bothered by shoulder soreness.

Once this morning's chance of thunderstorms is out of the way, it looks like a beautiful day for baseball in Milwaukee. Expect a game-time temperature around 80 under partly cloudy skies with an open roof. The winds should be blowing from right to left.