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Game 81: Miami Marlins @ Milwaukee Brewers, Game Thread and Ichthyomancy

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Current Series

Brewers lead the series 2-0

Mon 07/02 WP: Francisco Rodriguez (1 - 4)
SV: John Axford
LP: Ryan Webb (3 - 2)
5 - 6 loss
Tue 07/03 WP: Livan Hernandez (2 - 1)
LP: Heath Bell (2 - 4)
12 - 13 loss

Miami Marlins
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Wednesday, Jul 4, 2012, 4:10 PM EDT
Miller Park

Josh Johnson vs Randy Wolf

Partly cloudy,rain. Winds blowing from right to left field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 95.

Complete Coverage >

Thu 07/05 2:10 PM EDT

It does not get much more disappointing than the last two losses for the Miami Marlins. In the first game of this four-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, the Fish found themselves up by three runs before the bullpen blew a late-inning lead and the Brewers took the game 6-5. In the second installment, it was the Marlins that fought back furiously and even took the lead in the top of the tenth. They were down to a final out with a man on before Aramis Ramirez launched a walk-off, two-run shot to take another potential victory away.

Today, the Marlins are looking to begin the process of salvaging a split of this series, and they do have a favorable matchup on the mound again. Josh Johnson has looked better lately and he looks to continue his success versus Randy Wolf.

Pitching Matchup

Proj Win% Proj ERA FIP ERA Marlins Brewers ERA FIP Proj ERA Proj Win%
.653 2.76 3.02 3.80 Johnson Wolf 5.78 4.53 4.11 .482

Josh Johnson has strung together two excellent starts in a row, striking out 13 and walking just three batters in the last 13 innings. These numbers are encouraging given the earlier struggles and the questions about velocity that plagued Johnson earlier in the season. Velocity is still a little bit of a concern; after two starts in early June in which he posted 94 mph averages with his fastball, Johnson has re-settled down to the 92 mph region. We mentioned that that loss in velocity may be a cause of Johnson's lack of whiffs and loss in strikeouts, but so far he has been recovering without that velocity.

Randy Wolf is having another struggle of a season, as evident by his numbers. His strikeouts and walks are at their normal levels, he just happens to be giving up more home runs. Given his career 39 percent ground ball rate, that can definitely happen, and this is a good chance for the Marlins to pounce on an ailing pitcher.

Lineup

Order Player Proj wOBA vs. RHP
1 Jose Reyes .349
2 Donovan Solano .291
3 Hanley Ramirez .366
4 Justin Ruggiano .332
5 Omar Infante .323
6 Austin Kearns .330
7 Gaby Sanchez .340
8 Brett Hayes .272

Kearns is making the start in right field in place of Giancarlo Stanton, who will miss his second game in a row with some knee soreness. After Donovan Solano made a spot start for Hanley Ramirez due to an undisclosed injury or soreness, Ramirez returns to the lineup and Solano moves to left field in place of the lefty Logan Morrison.

Bold Prediction: Marlins def. Brewers 5-3