The Brewers' best month of the 2013 season to date has been April, when they went 14-11. They could also improve to 14-11 in September with a win tonight.
They'll get a shot at that win tonight at 6:10 when they face Carlos Torres (3.36 ERA, 4.20 FIP) and the Mets. Torres is making his 33rd appearance and ninth start of the season for New York, and his first since holding the Phillies to two runs on seven hits over six innings on Sunday.
The Mets are Torres' third professional organization: They signed him as a minor league free agent over the winter and have given him a career-high 80.1 major league innings this season. He's proven to be a great strike-thrower, walking just 1.8 batters per nine innings, but is also homer-prone, giving up 1.5 per nine. He throws a 90 mph fastball but tends to favor a cutter while also mixing in a curve and changeup.
The Brewers have only faced Torres one time in his career, as a reliever in 2012. No current Brewers have faced him ten times or more, and the active Brewers that have seen him before are a combined 0-for-8 against him.
He'll face Yovani Gallardo (4.23 ERA, 3.97 FIP) in his final start before what promises to be an interesting offseason. Gallardo has been hot lately, posting a 2.33 ERA over his last seven starts. He pitched seven innings against the Cardinals on Saturday and allowed two runs on four hits, walking two and striking out seven. Those seven strikeouts, amazingly, tied a season high.
Barring an amazing outing tonight, 2013 will be the first time in Gallardo's seven MLB seasons where he's posted an ERA over 4. He could get to 3.996 tonight if he worked ten scoreless innings, which seems pretty unlikely. Unless he strikes out 62 Mets tonight, this will also be the first time since 2008 he's finished a season under 200 strikeouts.
Gallardo beat the Mets on July 6 of this season, holding them to four runs on six hits over six innings. Two active Mets have faced him ten times or more:
Tonight's Brewer lineup is as follows:
Norichika Aoki RF
Scooter Gennett 2B
Jonathan Lucroy 1B
Khris Davis LF
Carlos Gomez CF
Jeff Bianchi SS
Yuniesky Betancourt 3B
Martin Maldonado C
Yovani Gallardo P
And in the bullpen:
- Alfredo Figaro pitched two innings (38 pitches) last night.
- Jim Henderson pitched one inning (27 pitches) last night.
- Rob Wooten pitched one inning (14 pitches) last night.
- Brandon Kintzler pitched one inning (eight pitches) last night.
- Donovan Hand last pitched on Tuesday.
- Michael Blazek last pitched on Monday.
- Michael Gonzalez has gotten a week to think about what he did.
- Burke Badenhop is off winning a trivia contest somewhere.
- Jimmy Nelson and Tom Gorzelanny are technically still on the active roster but Nelson is expected to start on Saturday and Gorzelanny is done for the season with shoulder soreness.
Expect a nice night for baseball in Queens, with a game-time temperature in the mid 60's under mostly clear skies and ten thousand airplanes.