Milwaukee's bullpen could definitely use a bit of a break this afternoon. Starter Randy Wolf will try to give it to them in the third contest of a four-game series with the Miami Marlins.
Not only will Wolf try to go deep in today's contest one day after Milwaukee's bullpen blew a seven-run lead before getting bailed out by the offense in a 13-12 extra-inning victory, but the veteran left-hander will be looking to win for the first time since April 30.
Wolf is 0-4 in 11 starts since and is coming off a loss versus Arizona on Sunday. He allowed eight runs, all but one of those earned, on nine hits over four innings, striking out six.
The 35-year-old insists he feels good on the mound, he just isn't getting results. That is proven through his 2-6 record and 5.78 earned run average over 16 starts this season.
"It's not fun, that's for sure," said Wolf. "This has definitely been a nightmare. I've never felt so physically great and then had such awful results. It's beyond frustrating."
Wolf has historically struggled against the Marlins, going just 4-12 with a 5.98 ERA in 21 career meetings.
Miami counters with a pitcher who has never lost to the Brewers in Josh Johnson. The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.06 ERA in five career meetings with the Milwaukee, though he faces them for the first time since June 3, 2010.
Johnson has not allowed more than three runs in 10 straight starts overall and pitched to a 1.87 ERA in five starts in June, though only produced a 2-2 record. He is coming off a win over the Phillies on Sunday as Johnson allowed a run on four hits and two walks in six frames while fanning six.
The 28-year-old evened his season record with the triumph, moving to 5-5 with a 3.80 ERA in 16 starts.
Johnson will hope to snap Miami's 10-game slide to Milwaukee, a club it hasn't beaten since Sept. 25, 2010. The Marlins looked to have momentum after rallying against the Brewers bullpen yesterday and went ahead by a run in the top of the 10th inning on Jose Reyes' solo homer, but closer Heath Bell blew his fifth save of the season when he yielded a two-run homer to Aramis Ramirez in the bottom of the frame.
Starter Marco Estrada pitched six innings for the Brewers and the only runs he allowed came on Logan Morrison's two-run homer in the first, but Miami scored 10 runs off Milwaukee's relievers.
"We did bounce back. Marco threw a good game. We've got to get our bullpen straightened out," said Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Milwaukee seemed in firm control when Ryan Braun capped a six-run sixth inning with a three-run homer, but Miami chipped away and eventually drew even with a six-spot of its own to tie the game in the eighth. John Buck and Scott Cousins both homered in the frame.
After the game, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen went on profanity-laced rant in clubhouse.
"This was an (expletive) baseball game by both sides," said Guillen. "The only good thing for them is they won. Very bad pitching and errors all over the place."
On the bright side, Guillen's offense showed some pop despite both Giancarlo Stanton and Hanley Ramirez not starting due to sore right knees. Both could be back in action today.
While Milwaukee matched a season high with its fourth straight win, Miami has lost two straight following a four-game win streak of its own.