Tag:Brewers-Diamondbacks
Posted on: October 2, 2011 2:02 pm
 

NLDS Game 2 preview: Brewers can take control



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks at Brewers, 5:07 p.m. ET, Miller Park, TBS

Diamondbacks Brewers
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Willie Bloomquist SS 1 Corey Hart RF
2 Aaron Hill 2B 2 Nyjer Morgan CF
3 Justin Upton RF 3 Ryan Braun LF
4 Miguel Montero C 4 Prince Fielder 1B
5 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 5 Rickie Weeks 2B
6 Chris Young CF 6 Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B
7 Ryan Roberts 3B 7 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
8 Gerardo Parra LF 8 Jonathan Lucroy C
9 Daniel Hudson RHP 9 Zack Greinke RHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Hudson vs. Brewers: In Hudson's only start against the Brewers this season, he allowed six runs (five earned) in just four innings, while giving up eight hits. Both Hart and Shaun Marcum took him deep in the game at Miller Park on July 4, but Arizona came back to beat the Brewers that day. Every Brewer starter who has faced Hudson has at least a hit against him. Hudson's never faced Braun. 

Greinke vs. Diamondbacks: Greinke earned the loss in his only start against the Diamondbacks this season, but he pitched well enough to win. On July 21 at Chase Field, Greinke allowed just five hits and two runs in seven innings, but his offense was shutout. Montero and Upton touched him up for solo homers in the loss. Upton is 3 for 7 in his career against Greinke, with a double and a homer. 

NOTES

Full Playoff Coverage
  • The Brewers have announced the roof at Miller Park will be closed for today's game. Weather.com says it will be 62 degrees at first pitch. The roof was closed for Game 1, but it was about 10 degrees cooler. The Brewers say the shadows are not as bad when the roof is closed for a 5 p.m. ET start.
  • Although Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke hinted he would play Casey McGehee in Game 2, he stayed with Hairston, who drove in the Brewers' first run in Game 1 with a sacrifice fly. McGehee is 5 for 5 with a homer in his career against Arizona's Hudson, while Hairston is 1 for 4.
  • Greinke is pitching on three days rest, something he did in his last start, going 6 innings, allowing five hits and two earned runs in a victory over the Pirates that helped Milwaukee get homefield advantage for this round of the playoffs. He threw just 74 pitches on Wednesday. Greinke is much better at home than on the road. At Miller Park, he's 11-0 with a 3.13 ERA and 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA on the road.
  • Greinke wasn't the only Brewer better at home -- the whole team performed better at Miller Park. The Brewers had the best home record in baseball, going 57-24 at home and 39-42 on the road.
  • Hudson has struggled in first innings this season, putting up an average of 6.00 in the first inning.
  • The only real lineup change from Game 1 is Arizona's Goldschmidt starting at first for Overbay. Overbay has faced Greinke more than any other Diamondbacks, and has been successful. He's hitting .348/.375/.652 with two homers and six RBI in 23 at-bats against the Brewers' right-hander.
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Posted on: October 1, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 7:12 pm
 

Gallardo looks like an ace for Brewers



By C. Trent Rosecrans

MIlwaukee spent much of its offseason searching for an ace. Turns out they may have already had one.

While the team added Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum in big trades before the 2011 season, but it's been Yovani Gallardo, a player the Brewers drafted in 2004, who has been their best pitcher this season. And as good as Gallardo has been this season, he was better on Saturday in the Brewers' 4-1 victory over the Diamondbacks in Game 1 of the National League division series.

Gallardo allowed just a run on four hits while striking out nine in eight innings.

Even with the addition of Marcum and Greinke, Gallardo led Brewers starters in wins (17), ERA (3.52) and strikeouts (207). He trailed only Greinke in xFIP (3.19) and WAR (3.1). So while Greinke wasn't available to start Game 1 after coming back on short rest at the end of the season to clinch home-field advantage, Gallardo was more than up for the challenge to start the first game of the series.

In fact, it wasn't even the 25-year-old's first Game 1 playoff start of his career. Three years ago when CC Sabathia pitched on short rest to give the Brewers the wild card, Gallardo started the 2008 NLDS against the Phillies. He earned the loss, but he only allowed three unearned runs in his four-inning start, while Cole Hamels shut down the Brewers bats.

The Diamondbacks' best chance off of Gallardo came in the first when Willie Bloomquist singled on the first pitch and then after Aaron Hill popped up, Bloomquist stole second. Justin Upton singled to left, but Ryan Braun threw out Bloomquist at the plate. Gallardo then retired the next seven batters he faced. That streak was broken when he recorded his only walk of the game to Aaron Hill starting off the fourth. He retired eight straight before allowing a single. Gallardo then retired the next five before making his only mistake of the game -- a fastball Ryan Roberts hammered for a solo homer in the top of the eighth. Gallardo then went on to strike out the last three batters he faced.

Gallardo finished with just 106 pitches in his eight innings and is now scheduled to pitch again in Game 5 if needed. If it doesn't go that far, the Brewers will feel pretty good when he takes the mound in the next series.

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Brewers-Diamondbacks series | 2011 playoffs

Video: Gallardo and Prince Fielder discuss the Game 1 victory.



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Posted on: October 1, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 6:28 pm
 

D-Backs aggressiveness backfires in Game 1

Kirk Gibson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

All year long, the Diamondbacks were lauded for their aggressiveness. The team, it was said, was a reflection of its manager, Kirk Gibson.

Gibson was not only a great baseball player, but he was also an All-American football player at Michigan State. He was known as a player for his football mentality, and he's getting a similar reputation as a manager. The Diamondbacks were sixth in the big leagues in going first-to-third and also second in outs on the basepaths with 75. But on Saturday was he just two aggressive? Three times the Diamondbacks chose to be aggressive -- and all three times it backfired.

• As mentioned earlier, third-base coach Matt Williams sent Willie Bloomquist from second on Justin Upton's single in the first inning. Ryan Braun's throw to the plate was there in plenty of time.

• In the sixth inning, Yuniesky Betancourt tripled with two outs. Instead of intentionally walking catcher and No. 8 hitter Jonathan Lucroy to face the pitcher, Ian Kennedy went after Lucroy, a .265 hitter on the season. Lucroy blooped a pitch out of the zone into left field, allowing Betancourt to score and give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.

• The the big decision, Gibson left in the hands of his starter. After Ryan Braun's two-out double in the seventh, Gibson went to the mound to deliberate with Kennedy about what the right-hander wanted to do with Prince Fielder. Kennedy told his manager he wanted to go after the Brewers' slugger. After a first-pitch fastball called for a strike, the TBS cameras got a great shot of Fielder smiling, realizing Kennedy was actually going to come after him. The next pitch was a curveball down and in that Brewer crushed for a two-run homer. Coincidentally, it harkened back to the 1984 World Series when Goose Gossage pitched to Gibson, who followed with a homer. In the postgame press conference, Jerry Hairston Jr., said he pointed out the similarities to Fielder after the game. Fielder, who grew up around the Tigers as the son of Cecil Fielder, said he thought of the same play, as well.

The Diamondbacks lost because of these three decisions, but they're also in the playoffs because of that same aggressiveness, that attitude that they need to push and a go for every run they can, but at the same time challenging other teams to beat them. It backfired today, it's just who they are. They'll likely take those chances again, and more often than not they'll work out.

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Brewers-Diamondbacks series | 2011 playoffs

Video: Gibson discusses Kennedy's performance, decision to pitch to Fielder.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:52 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 8:45 pm
 

Instant Reaction: Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 1

Prince Fielder

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brewers 4, Diamondbacks 1

WP: Yovani Gallardo

LP: Ian Kennedy

S: John Axford

HR:
Prince Fielder, Ryan Roberts

Series: Brewers lead 1-0

Hero: Gallardo was outstanding -- allowing just four hits and a run in eight innings of work, while striking out nine. Twice in the game, Gallardo retired seven straight batters. His only mistake was a fastball that Ryan Roberts crushed for a homer in the seventh, but by that time the Brewers had a four-run lead.

Goat: After Ryan Braun's seventh-inning double, Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson came out to the mound to see just what his starter wanted to do with Fielder. Kennedy wanted to attack the Brewers' slugger and that turned out to be the wrong decision, as Kennedy's second pitch was a slider low and in that Fielder hit for a homer. Up to that point, Kennedy had pitched well, allowing just a sacrifice fly to score a run and a bloop single that scored another.

Next: 10/2 at Milwaukee, 5.07 p.m. ET. Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49) vs. Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83)

More postseason coverage: Postseason schedule | Brewers-Diamondbacks series | 2011 playoffs

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:13 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 4:54 pm
 

Brewers' defense comes up big in 1st

Ryan BraunBy C. Trent Rosecrans

For a team derided all season as having one of baseball's worst defenses, the Brewers got a big defensive play in the first inning of the first game of the National League divisional series when Ryan Braun threw out Arizona's Willie Bloomquist at the plate.

Watch the play here.

Bloomquist, who singled on the first pitch of the game, stole second and then tried to score on Justin Upton's single to left. Braun fielded the ball cleanly and made a two-hop throw to the plate, where catcher Jonathan Lucroy complete blocked the plate to record the second out of the inning. After the play, Gallardo settled down, retiring the next seven batters he faced before walking Aaron Hill to start the fourth. After the Hill walk, he retired the next seven he faced, as the Brewers took the lead in the fourth and added to it with another run in the sixth. Milwaukee went on to win, 4-1.

The Diamondbacks pride themselves on their aggressive base running, taking the extra base and third base coach Matt Williams waved Bloomquist around.

"Teams can't like us making them make the play all the time," manager Kirk Gibson told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. "They don't like it. I'm telling you. There's pressure. . . . I've made the determination that we'll be a better team by encouraging aggressiveness rather than subduing them. Understanding those risks, I just think we're a better team overall that way."

The Diamondbacks took that risk against Braun, and lost.

More Brewers-Diamondbacks

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 11:56 am
 

NLDS Game 1 preview: Gallardo owns D-Backs

Yovani Gallardo

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Diamondbacks at Brewers, 2:07 p.m. ET, Miller Park, TBS

Diamondbacks Brewers
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Willie Bloomquist SS 1 Corey Hart RF
2 Aaron Hill 2B 2 Nyjer Morgan CF
3 Justin Upton RF 3 Ryan Braun LF
4 Miguel Montero C 4 Prince Fielder 1B
5 Chris Young CF 5 Rickie Weeks 2B
6 Lyle Overbay 1B 6 Jerry Hairston Jr. 3B
7 Ryan Roberts 3B 7 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
8 Gerardo Parra LF 8 Jonathan Lucroy C
9 Ian Kennedy RHP 9 Yovani Gallardo RHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Kennedy vs. Brewers: The Diamondbacks' 21-game winner faced the Brewers just once this season, holding the potent Brewers offense to just four hits in seven scoreless innings. However, that one start was in Arizona and the Brewers are a much different team at home. Milwaukee is hitting .277/.344/.461 at home and .246/.307/391 away from Miller Park. Kennedy's had susccess in smalll sample sizes against Brewers batters, with Craig Counsell having the most success against him (2 for 5), while Fielder is the only Brewer batter to hit a homer off of Kennedy, tagging the right-hander once in eight at-bats, but also striking out five times. 

Gallardo vs. Diamondbacks: The Brewers right-hander has dominated the Brewers in his career, putting up a 5-0 record and 1.20 ERA in five career starts against Arizona. This season he faced Arizona twice, beating them in Milwaukee on July 6 and in Arizona on July 19. 

NOTES

Full Playoff Coverage
  • The Brewers have announced the roof at Miller Park will be closed for today's game. Weather.com says it will be 54 degrees at first pitch.
  • Fun with small sample sizes seems to be the reason for the Diamondbacks starting Overbay at first over rookie Paul Goldschmidt. Overbay is 2 for 3 in his career against Gallardo. Overbay is one of just two Diamondbacks with an average better than .333 against Gallardo, Cole Gillespie (1 for 2 with a homer) is the other. Overbay is also hot, hitting .381/.480/.667 with a homer in 25 plate appearances in September -- against, small sample sizes.
  • Another surprise in the lineups is third base for the Brewers, where Hairston gets the nod over Casey McGehee. Neither has a hit in their career against Kennedy. Expect McGehee back in the lineup Sunday against right-hander Daniel Hudson. McGehee is 5 for 5 with a homer against Hudson in his career.
  • Morgan is back in center field for Milwaukee after missing the last two regular-season games. On Monday, Morgan fouled two pitches off his right leg.
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Posted on: September 30, 2011 4:29 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 3:22 pm
 

2011 NLDS matchup: Brewers vs. Diamondbacks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Milwaukee made a splash in the winter acquiring Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum -- it was a signal to the baseball world that the Brewers were going for it in 2011 and anything short of the postseason would be a disappointment in what figures to be Prince Fielder's last season in Milwaukee. Well, the Brewers responded by winning their first division title since 1982, when Harvey's Wallbangers went to the World Series as the American League representatives. While the Brewers were picked by many to be in the playoffs, the Diamondbacks were a complete surprise. Both teams have used pitching to get here, so expect some strong pitching performances.

TEAM INFORMATION

Milwaukee Brewers (host games 1, 2, 5)
96-66, NL Central champions
Manager: Ron Roenicke
Team batting statistics: .261 batting average (3rd in NL), .325 on-base percentage (4th), .425 slugging percentage (2nd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.64 ERA (7th), 1.240 WHIP (3rd), 2.86 K/BB (2nd)
Star player: LF Ryan Braun -- .332/.397/.597 33 HR, 111 RBI, 109 R, 38 2B, 6 3B, 33 SB

Arizona Diamondbacks (host games 3, 4)
94-68, NL West champions
Manager: Kirk Gibson
Team batting statistics: .250 batting average (10th in NL), .322 on-base percentage (7th), .413 slugging percentage (3rd)
Team pitching statistics: 3.80 ERA (9th), 1.286 WHIP (7th), 2.39 K/BB (7th)
Star player: RF Justin Upton -- .289/.369/.529 31 HR, 88 RBI, 105 R, 39 2B, 5 3B, 21 SB

SCHEDULE (Click here to view the entire postseason schedule)  

Game 1: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 1, 2:07 p.m. ET. Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88) vs. Yovani Gallardo (17-10, 3.52)
Game 2: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 2, 4:37 p.m. ET. Daniel Hudson (16-12, 3.49) vs. Zack Greinke (16-6, 3.83)
Game 3: MIL @ ARI, Oct. 4 Shaun Marcum (13-7, 3.54) vs. Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.69)
Game 4: MIL @ ARI, Oct. 5* Randy Wolf (13-10, 3.69) vs. TBD
Game 5: ARI @ MIL, Oct. 7* TBD vs. Gallardo
* if necessary

TEAM BREAKDOWN (Click player name for statistics)

Catcher
Milwaukee: Jonathan Lucroy
Arizona: Miguel Montero

Hands-down Montero is the better offensive threat, hitting .282/.351/.469 with 18 homers and 86 batted in. The 27-year-old made his first All-Star team this year and while he was once thought of as an all-offense catcher, his defense has improved.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

First base
Milwaukee: Prince Fielder
Arizona: Paul Goldschmidt

The rookie Goldschmidt has come up big in some important games, but he still has 222 fewer career homers than Fielder.

Advantage: Brewers

Second base
Milwaukee: Rickie Weeks
Arizona: Aaron Hill

The Diamondbacks and Blue Jays pulled off an August deal for struggling second basemen, sending Kelly Johnson north of the border and Hill going to Arizona. The change of scenery worked for Hill, who is hitting .315/.386/.492 in 33 games with the Diamondbacks. Weeks' numbers are down and he's coming off an ankle injury that limited him to 14 games since the end of July.

Advantage: Brewers

Shortstop
Milwaukee: Yuniesky Betancourt
Arizona: John McDonald

McDonald was an emergency stopgap acquired from the Blue Jays along with Hill in August, for the injured Stephen Drew. And Yuniesky Betancourt is Yuniesky Bentancourt, one of the worst all-around players in all of baseball.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Third base
Milwaukee: Casey McGehee
Arizona: Ryan Roberts

Roberts is better known for his tattoos, but he's also had a decent season for the Diamondbacks, while McGehee has had a disastrous 2011. With a .223/.280/.346 line, McGehee's OPS+ is just 69. There's pop in that bat, but it's been hard to find.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Left field
Milwaukee: Ryan Braun
Arizona: Gerardo Parra

Braun is going to be one of the favorites to win the MVP, Parra is not.

Advantage: Brewers

Center field
Milwaukee: Nyjer Morgan
Arizona: Chris Young

Young is one of the best defensive center fielders in the game, but has struggled a bit at the plate. Morgan is the Brewres' spark plug and resurrected his career in Milwaukee. Morgan's intangibles are huge -- and in the Brewers' favor.

Advantage: Brewers

Right field
Milwaukee: Corey Hart
Arizona: Justin Upton

Hart sometimes get lost in the shadow of Fielder and Braun, but he's had a pretty good season, as well, hitting .285/.356/.510 with 26 homers in 130 games. That said, Upton is one of the best young players in the game and will be in the top 10 of the MVP results.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Starting pitching
Milwaukee: Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, Randy Wolf
Arizona: Ian Kennedy, Daniel Hudson, Joe Saunders

Both teams are strong at the top, but the Brewers have more depth, with Marcum starting Game 3 and Randy Wolf possibly starting Game 4. Of course, the three-man rotation could really help the Diamondbacks, allowing Kennedy and Hudson to pitch twice if needed. Greinke wanted out of Kansas City so he could pitch in the playoffs, and now he gets his shot.

Advantage: Brewers

Relief pitching
Milwaukee closer: John Axford
Arizona closer: J.J. Putz

Last season the Diamondbacks had a historically bad bullpen. This year it's one of the reasons they're in the playoffs. While Axford is the best of the three closers in this series (counting the Brewers' Francisco Rodriguez), the Diamondbacks have the deeper bullpen, which only improved when Kirk Gibson decided to go with a three-man rotation and put right-hander Josh Collmenter in the bullpen, where he started the season.

Advantage: Diamondbacks

Total advantage: Tie: Diamondbacks (5), Brewers (5)

PREDICTION (click here to see full postseason predictions)

CBS Experts
Evan Brunell: Brewers in 5
Gregg Doyel: Brewers in 5
Danny Knobler: Diamondbacks in 5
Scott Miller: Brewers in 4
C. Trent Rosecrans: Brewers in 4
Matt Snyder: Brewers in 4

Trent's take: I'm still not exactly sure how the Diamondbacks wound up in the playoffs. The team has been doubted from spring training to the All-Star break and even at the start of the regular season's final month. Nobody has believed in the Diamondbacks at any point of this season. So I'm pretty sure they won't be too upset to be picked against here. Milwaukee has famously "gone for it" since last season, pulling off moves big (Greinke, Rodriguez) and small (Morgan). No pitcher likes to see Braun and Fielder back-to-back in that Brewers lineup, not even a 21-winner like Kennedy. The Brewers also have the arms in the rotation to be dangerous. I like the Brewers, but it wouldn't be the first time I was wrong about Arizona.

More Brewers-Diamondbacks NLDS coverage

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Posted on: September 30, 2011 1:35 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2011 2:49 pm
 

D-Backs' Baylor faints, sent to hospital

By C. Trent Rosecrans  and Evan Brunell
Full Playoff Coverage

Diamondbacks hitting coach Don Baylor was taken out of the Miller Park clubhouse on a stretcher, Tom Haudricourt of the the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel tweets.

“Don Baylor was lightheaded and fainted earlier this morning," GM Kevin Towers said in an official team release. "He was taken to the hospital for precautionary reasons and further tests.”

Baylor had just finished eating breakfast when he began to feel light-headed, Towers said according to the Arizona Republic. An EKG test came back clean, and Baylor is undergoing a CT scan, Towers added to the Republic.

There are no more details available.

Baylor, 62, played 19 seasons in the big leagues with the Angels, Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Athletics and Twins. He also served as the manager for the Rockies' first-ever manager. He was 440-469 in six years with the Rockies and went 187-220 in three years as manager of the Cubs (2000-2003).

Baylor is known as one of the best hitting coaches in the game, serving in that position for the Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Mariners and Rockies. He joined Kirk Gibson's Diamondbacks staff after the 2010 season.

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