Our Padres kick off the final series of the season tonight at Miller Park against the Brewers. Milwaukee is fresh off a defeat that officially eliminated them from the playoffs. Yesterday the Astros pummeled them 7-0 and limited their offense to just four hits to give them their sixth loss in nine games. At 81-78 on the season, they are still guaranteed at least a .500 season after this series. Our playoff hopes were killed a few series ago, as were our hopes of a .500 season. But hopefully our Padres will not let that stop them from ending the season with a great series in Milwaukee.
Shaun Marcum will get the ball for the Brewers. Marcum went through quite a rough patch this season, having to miss upwards of two months with right elbow soreness. He was out from the middle of July until late August. Marcum won his most previous start when he kept the Reds to one run in six innings last Wednesday, but in his seven starts prior to that, he went a disappointing 0-1. In fact, prior to Wednesday, his last win had been all the way back on June 8th, and it came at our Padres' expense. Marcum gave up three earned runs on six hits (two homers) in 5 2/3 innings of work, but his offense provided him the run support to give him the victory. It was Marcum's third win in an undefeated four-start career against San Diego.
Clayton Richard will try to prevent Marcum from a fourth win as he takes the mound for our Padres tonight. Richard has made five starts all-time against the Brewers with a 2-1 record to show for it. He is coming off his worst outing in a while, a loss against the Dodgers in which he gave up three runs on 10 hits (tied for his season-worst) and lasted only 3 2/3 innings. Prior to that, Richard was unstoppable. He had won five straight decisions and had gone 7-1 in his nine previous starts, including a complete game shutout against the Cubs on August 8th. He will try to rebound from his poor showing against L.A. and help our boys kick off their final series on a positive note.
Aside from what looks to be an intriguing pitching matchup tonight, there is also the prospect of watching Chase Headley and Ryan Braun put on a show as they battle for the RBI crown this series. Headley is batting .273 (3-for-11) all-time against Marcum while Braun is hitting .231 (3-for-13) against Richard.
The teams are dead even in the season series, with San Diego having taken two of three at Petco Park in April/May and Milwaukee going 2-1 at Miller Park in June.