Posted on: October 6, 2011 2:25 am
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Posted on: October 6, 2011 1:02 am
Edited on: October 6, 2011 1:26 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Hero: In such a jam-packed game, it's easy to overlook something that happened in the first inning, but from the moment the ball left Ryan Roberts' bat with two outs in the first inning, the Brewers were playing catchup. It was Roberts' only hit of the night, but when you can drive in four runs with one hit -- especially in the first -- you've had a pretty good night.
Goat: Brewers starter Randy Wolf not only gave up Reynolds' grand slam in the first, he also gave up a homer to Chris Young right after Reynolds' blast. Wolf's offense kept him in the game, scoring runs in the second and third to make it 5-3, but then the Brewers left-hander gave up a two-out single to pinch-hitter Collin Cowgill in the third to return Arizona's lead to four. Wolf's final line: three innings, eight hits, seven earned runs, three walks, two strikeouts and two homers.
Turning point: In the first inning of Game 1, Arizona third base coach Matt Williams sent Willie Bloomquist on a single to the outfield and the Diamondback shortstop was thrown out at the plate, killing the Diamondbacks' momentum and their only real shot at Yovani Gallardo. On Wednesday, Williams threw up the stop sign for Bloomquist on a single to right by Miguel Montero. Two batters later, the conservative call paid off as Roberts blasted the grand slam.
It was over when … It seems odd for a scoring play for the losing team to occupy this spot, but when Corey Hart's drive in the sixth inning stayed in the park, it seemed like some air was let out of the Brewers' balloon. Hart's drive to left-center was corralled by Gerardo Parra, allowing Yuniesky Betancourt to score, making it 7-4. But a single run was a disappointment after Hart crushed Bryan Shaw's pitch. Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a fielder's choice to end the inning with two on and Ryan Braun in the on-deck circle.
Next: Just like the other NLDS matchup, this one's going the distance, and Arizona's Cy Young candidate, Ian Kennedy, will get another shot at the Brewers and Gallardo. Gallardo was dominant in a 4-1 Game 1 victory in Milwaukee. Gallardo allowed just four hits and struck out nine Diamondback batters in the win, while Kennedy gave up four runs on eight hits.For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 5, 2011 10:28 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
For the fourth straight game at Chase Field, the Diamondbacks hit a grand slam, and for the second time in those four games it was Roberts, giving the Arizona a 4-1 lead in the first-inning. Chris Young followed with a solo homer to give Arizona a 5-1 lead after one.
That's a pretty good sign for the Diamondbacks, who were 83-8 this season when leading by two or more runs.
The Diamondbacks became just the fifth team in Major League history to hit two grand slams in one playoff series and the first since the 1977 Dodgers to do it in back-to-back games.
On Wednesday, Arizona's Willie Bloomquist singled to start the inning before Aaron Hill popped up, Justin Upton walked and Miguel Montero singled. However, unlike Game 1 when the Diamondbacks were aggressive in sending Bloomquist to the plate, third base coach Matt Williams held him up to leave the bases loaded with one out and Goldschmidt, the hero of Game 3, came to the plate.
Goldschmidt was starting at first in the place of Lyle Overbay despite hitting just .162/.279/.378 against lefties. But he was coming off a good game and manager Kirk Gibson put him in the lineup against Randy Wolf. It was the perfect setup to the perfect story, except he looked at a 1-2 pitch low and inside that home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman called for the third strike.
Wolf got no such help from Dreckman or anyone else when he tried to throw a 2-1 changeup past Reynolds, who hit it just to the fair side of the left-field foul pole for the Diamondbacks' fourth grand slam in as many home games. Roberts also hit the walk-off grand slam on the penultimate day of the season.
The Diamondbacks had six grand slams during the season, including one in each of the last two games of the season. But it's not just home runs when the Diamondbacks have the bases loaded, as a team Arizona hit .387/.421/.649 with bases loaded during the regular season.
Posted on: October 5, 2011 4:39 pm
Edited on: October 5, 2011 5:37 pm
By C. Trent Rosecrans
You'd think Tuesday's thrilling victory over the Brewers in Game 3 of the National League division series would be all the advertising the Diamondbacks would need to sell tickets to Wednesday's Game 4. You'd be wrong.
As late as Wednesday afternoon, the Diamondbacks official Twitter feed said there were "good seats still available" for Game 4.
Despite the team's surprising run to the National League West title, Arizona was still 18th in overall attendance on the season, averaging 25,992 per game -- up from 25,394 in 2010. Among playoff teams, only the Rays had a lower attendance. The Rays drew 18,878 per game, more than only the A's.
The Diamondbacks played before an average capacity of 53.4 percent, the seventh lowest in baseball. No playoff team had a worse percentage. Tampa Bay played in front of an average of 55.4 percent full crowds at Tropicana Field.
Game 4: Diamondbacks at Brewers, 9:37 p.m. ET, Chase Field, TBS
Wolf vs. Diamondbacks: The left-hander has had trouble against Arizona this season, losing both his starts and putting up a 6.08 ERA in 13 1/3 innings pitched. On July 5 he gave up seven runs on 10 hits in six innings of a Brewers loss at Miller Park, while he was better on July 18, allowing just two earned runs (three total) on eight hits in 7 1/3 innings at Chase Field. Justin Upton is just 5 for 20 (.250) against Wolf, but two of those five hits are homers. Lyle Overbay, Parra, Roberts and Young also have homers against Wolf.
Saunders vs. Brewers: Saunders earned a no-decision in the Diamondbacks' loss to the Brewers on July 20, allowing two runs on five hits in seven innings. He's 0-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two career starts against Milwaukee. Braun is 2 for 6 in his career against Saunders with two homers. Prince Fielder is hitless in six plate appearances against Saunders, striking out three times and walking once.
Tags: 2011 playoffs, Aaron Hill, Brewers, Brewers-Diamondbacks, C. Trent Rosecrans, Carlos GOmez, Chris Young, Corey Hart, Diamondbacks, George Kottaras, Gerardo Parra, Jerry Hairston Jr., Joe Saunders, Justin Upton, Lyle Overbay, Miguel Montero, NL Central, NL West, NLDS, Paul Goldschmidt, Prince Fielder, Randy Wolf, Rickie Weeks, Ryan Braun, Ryan Roberts, Willie Bloomquist, Yniesky BEtancourt
Posted on: October 5, 2011 12:38 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
WP: Josh Collmenter
LP: Shaun Marcum
Series: Brewers lead 2 games to 1
Hero: Who else but Goldschmidt? The rookie first baseman went 2 for 4 and knocked in five runs, including his grand slam. Goldschmidt homered in Game 1, as well.
Goat: Marcum will have trouble sleeping not only because of the pitches he made, but also the play he didn't. Marcum's final line was 4 2/3 innings pitched, seven hits, seven runs, three walks and three stikeouts. Oh, and one pretty big home run.@eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: September 30, 2011 12:40 am
Edited on: September 30, 2011 9:11 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
This time of year, pitching can carry an otherwise flawed team all the way to a title, we saw that last year when the Giants rode their starters and a shut-down closer to a World Series championship. So which teams have the best rotations heading into this postseason? Glad you asked…
Here's our ranking of the eight playoff rotations:
Like there was a doubt? Halladay started last postseason with a no-hitter. It'll be tough to top that, but we'll see what happens when the National League's best pitching staff takes on the National League's best offense.
Joe Maddon is taking one heck of a chance giving a rookie with fewer than 10 big-league innings under his belt on the hill to start Game 1, but Moore is amazingly talented -- and he's never lost a start for the Rays (small sample size alert!).
Gallardo is perhaps the least-heralded of the Brewers' starters, but that could just be that unlike the other members of the team's rotation, he's spent his entire season in Milwaukee. The 25-year-old right-hander has gone 44-29 with a 3.69 ERA over the last three years. There's also former Cy Young winner Zack Greinke who wanted to be traded from Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs. Now he's here and it's time to deliver.
Call them top-heavy, and even heavier at the top since Fister joined the rotation. Fister, acquired at the deadline from Seattle, has gone 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA in 10 starts for the Tigers. Add him to Justin Verlander and you have a heck of a 1-2 punch. It's the 3-4 that lacks punch.
It looks like Arizona will go with a three-man rotation in the playoffs, which will certainly help the bullpen with the addition to Josh Collmenter. Kennedy was the breakout star of the Diamondbacks' rotation, winning 21 games, while Hudson and Saudners have also pitched well.
Sure, they don't have Lee this year, but they do have Wilson, who has established himself as an ace, going 16-7 with a 2.94 ERA this season, striking out 206 batters in 223 1/3 innings. Colby Lewis (14-10, 4.40 ERA) is the only right-hander in the rotation.
The Cardinals' two best pitchers are pitching Games 3 and 4, but everyone has contributed down the stretch. St. Louis would be higher on the list with Adam Wainwright, but he's not coming back this season. Jackson has pitched well since joining the team and Lohse, a former Phillie, has had a bounce-back season.
Sabathia's as good of a big-game pitcher as there is in the game, but Nova is a rookie and Garcia is anything but. The fact the team is going with a three-man rotation tells you what you need to know about the guys not in the rotation. Garcia's the team's third-best starter -- I guess $196 million doesn't buy what it once did.
Tags: 2011 playoffs, AL Central, AL East, AL West, ALDS, Brewers, Brewers-Diamondbacks, C. Trent Rosecrans, C.J. Wilson, Cardinals, CC Sabathia, Chris Carpenter, Cliff Lee, Colby Lewis, Cole Hamels, Daniel Hudson, David Price, Derek Holland, Diamondbacks, Doug Fister, Edwin Jackson, Freddy Garcia, Ian Kennedy, Ivan Nova, Jaime Garcia, James Shields, Jeremy Hellickson, Joe Saunders, Justin Verlander, Kyle Lohse, Matt Harrison, Matt Moore, Max Scherzer, MLB playoffs, MLB playoffs, NL Central, NL East, NL West, NLDS, Phillies, Phillies-Cardinals, Randy Wolf, Rangers, Rangers-Rays, Rays, Rick Porcello, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, Shaun Marcum, Tigers, Yankees-Tigers, Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke
Posted on: September 10, 2011 11:22 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.
Tough draw: The Brewers have lost four in a row -- after winning four in a row -- and seen their lead in the NL Central shrink to seven games. While the Brewers are still fully in control of the NL Central race with 16 games remaining, they'd love to end this skid. The problem is they face the Phillies' Cliff Lee on Saturday. Lee has been fantastic of late, winning each of his last seven starts and allowing just six runs in that time, good for a 0.96 ERA. If you take away the first game of that stretch in which he gave up four runs to the Pirates, Lee has a 0.37 ERA in his last six starts. Lefty Randy Wolf is 6-1 in his last eight starts with a 3.11 ERA. Phillies at Brewers, 7:10 p.m. ET
Shrinking lead: The American League Wild Card may actually turn out to be a race, as the Rays are now just 5.5 games behind the Red Sox and have six more games against Boston (and seven against the Yankees). Boston has lost three in a row and seven of its last nine. It may not make anyone in the Hub feel safe with Kyle Weiland on the mound. Weiland, the former Notre Dame closer, is making his third big-league start Saturday. He last pitched five days ago in relief, throwing two scoreless innings. Both of his starts so far this season have been against Baltimore, getting roughed up in a no-descision on July 10, allowing six runs on eight hits in four innings and then nine days later allowing three runs on six hits in six innings, earning the loss. Overall, he's 0-1 with a 6.75 ERA. He'll be opposite another rookie -- but a possible Rookie of the Year -- Jeremy Hellickson, who is 12-10 with a 2.90 ERA, throwing a complete game against the Orioles in his last start. He's 1-1 with a 3.65 ERA in two starts against the Red Sox this season. Red Sox at Rays, 7:10 p.m. ET
Best matchup: Not only are the Yankees and Angels in the only two races left in baseball, but they're also putting on the best pitching matchup of the night -- CC Sabathia against Dan Haren. Sabathia's searching for his 20th win of the season -- despite averaging nearly 16 wins a year in his first 10 years in baseball, Sabathia recorded his first 20-win season last year when he went 21-7 for the Yankees. So far this season he's 19-7 with a 2.97 ERA. Haren's averaged 14 wins in his first six seasons as a full-time starter and needs two more wins this season to match his career high in the stat. He won 16 games for the Diamondbacks in 2008 and 15 in 2007. He's 14-8 with a 3.20 ERA this season. Yankees at Angels, 9:05 p.m. ETFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: July 23, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: July 23, 2011 10:55 am
By C. Trent Rosecrans
Keeping pace: With Friday's victory, the Cardinals are now tied with the Pirates -- a game behind Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Cardinals have lefty Jaime Garcia on the mound. Garcia pitched well in his first start since his new extension last Sunday, but he picked up the loss against the Reds despite allowing just one earned run (two total) in seven innings. In his only career start at PNC Park, he lost in similar fashion, allowing a run and seven hits in six innings in a loss last season. Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia has struggled at home this season, going 2-5 with a 5.94 ERA at home and 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA on the road. Cardinals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m ET (Follow live)
Progressive steps for Dunn: Chicago's Adam Dunn was 2 for 5 in Friday's victory over Cleveland, raising his batting average from .158 to .163. He's 6 for 15 with a homer at Cleveland's Progressive Field this season and is 2 for 2 with a double against Indians starter, lefty David Huff. Sure, that's not a whole lot of reason for optimism, but for the White Sox version of Dunn, it's about as good as you can get. White Sox at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)
Sneak peak at fall? Milwaukee took the first game in this weekend's only series between two first-place teams behind Shaun Marcum's performance and has lefty Randy Wolf on the mound for Game 2. Wolf's had success in his career at AT&T Park and against the Giants. He's 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA in nine career starts in San Francisco and 9-5 with a 2.77 ERA against the Giants. Ryan Vogelsong has already beaten his previous career best for wins with seven and has a 2.02 ERA. Brewers at Giants, 9:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.