Tag:NLDS
Posted on: October 2, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 4:56 pm
 

NLDS Game 2 preview: Carpenter goes on short rest



By C. Trent Rosecrans

Cardinals at Phillies, 8:37 p.m. ET, Citizens Bank Park, TBS

Cardinals Phillies
No. Name Pos No. Name Pos
1 Rafael Furcal SS 1 Jimmy Rollins SS
2 Allen Craig RF 2 Chase Utley 2B
3 Albert Pujols 1B 3 Hunter Pence RF
4 Lance Berkman LF 4 Ryan Howard 1B
5 David Freese 3B 5 Shane Victorino CF
6 Yadier Molina C 6 Raul Ibanez LF
7 Ryan Theriot 2B 7 Placido Polanco 3B
8 Jon Jay CF 8 Carlos Ruiz C
9 Chris Carpenter RHP 9 Cliff Lee LHP

PITCHING MATCHUPS

Carpenter vs. Phillies: The Phillies can't be too excited about facing Carpenter again as the Cardinals' ace has dominated Philly this season. In two starts against Philadelphia, Carpenter's allowed just a single earned run and beaten the Phillies in both outings. Most recently, he held the Phillies scoreless through eight innings in the Cardinals' 5-0 victory at Citizens Bank Park on Sept. 18. On June 23 in St. Louis, Carpenter allowed one earned run on five hits in seven innings, striking out seven and walking one. Utley's had the most success of any Phillies hitter against Carpenter, going 7 for 15 in his career. Pence and Fielder have homered off of Carpenter, but Pence is 4 for 22 (.182) and Howard is 2 for 9 (.222). 

Lee vs. Cardinals: A full sixth of Lee's 42 walks this year have come against the Cardinals, as the Phillies left-hander is 1-1 with a 1.76 ERA in two starts against St. Louis this season. Six of those seven walks, however were in one game, a loss at Busch Stadium on May 16. In his last outing, he pitched a six-hit shutout on June 22 at Citizens Bank Park. Berkman's had the most success against Lee in his career, with five hits in 13 at-bats, including three doubles. Pujols, on the other hand, has just one hit in eight at-bats against Lee. The only Cardinals to homer off of Lee is Furcal, who is 2 for 3 in his career off of the lefty. 

NOTES

Full Playoff Coverage
  • According to Weather.com, there are possible showers Sunday night at Citizens Bank Park, but no real threat of prolonged delays.
  • Matt Holliday is out of the lineup again with a strained tendon in his right palm. Tony La Russa said before Game 1 that he'd be available to pinch-hit and hoped he'd be ready for Game 2. Holliday left the penultimate game of the regular season and hasn't played since.
  • Carpenter is starting on three days rest for the first time in his career. He threw a 105-pitch shutout over the Astros on the final day of the regular season to help the Cardinals win the wild card.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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.
For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:20 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 4:32 pm
 

Halladay masterful after bad first inning

By Matt Snyder

If you missed Game 1 of the Phillies-Cardinals NLDS and merely saw the 11-6 final score, the immediate thought would be that there was an awful lot of offense and very little pitching. Wrong.

Sure, the Phillies flexed their muscles offensively, pounding out 11 runs on 14 hits, including two home runs -- like the big blow provided by Ryan Howard in the sixth inning. This all came against the team that sported the best offense in the NL during the regular season. And someone had to hold that powerful offense down. Aside from the first inning, Roy Halladay did just that.

In the first, Halladay ran into serious trouble and the Cardinals gained an early 3-0 advantage on a Lance Berkman home run. From then on, however, Halladay absolutely slammed the door in the face of the Cardinals.

After Berkman's three-run shot, Halladay faced 24 batters. One of them reached base. On a single. Otherwise, "Doc" struck out seven, induced 13 groundouts, got two pop-outs and one line-drive out to left field. It was pure artistry on the hill and, to reiterate, this was against the team that was first in the National League in runs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

More LDS Coverage
Halladay's full final line isn't nearly as impressive -- though eight innings, three hits, three runs, one walk and eight strikeouts is still pretty damn good -- but it doesn't come close to telling how masterful he was after the first. As locked in as Halladay was, the game felt over the second Howard hit the big three-run homer to put the Phillies up 4-3.

It wasn't exactly a no-hitter like last season's NLDS opener, but we once again witnessed that -- as Clayton Kershaw told me at the All-Star Game -- "Roy is the man."

Video: Halladay, Howard talk about the Game 1 victory



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 1, 2011 8:04 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 4:31 pm
 

Instant Reaction: Phillies 11, Cardinals 6



By Matt Snyder


Philadelphia 11, St. Louis 6

WP: Roy Halladay

LP: Kyle Lohse

More LDS Coverage
HR: Lance Berkman, Ryan Howard, Raul Ibanez

Series: Phillies lead 1-0

Hero: Ryan Howard's three-run home run was a series-altering type blow. He's the easy choice in a team effort. The burly first baseman wasn't bad last postseason (he hit .318 with a .900 OPS in the NLCS), but he was homerless. His last postseason home run came in Game 6 of the 2009 World Series -- a two-run shot off Andy Pettitte. In fact, Howard had zero RBI in the 2010 playoffs, too, so that home run against Pettitte marked his last postseason RBI until Saturday's three-run homer (he later added a sac-fly RBI, giving him four on the afternoon). Howard's re-emergence as a postseason run producer very well could propel the Phillies to a series win -- but they still have two more wins to go.

Goat: Did Tony La Russa -- the king of over-managing -- actually leave Kyle Lohse out there too long? Sure felt like it. Lohse was perfect through three innings and ran into slight trouble the second time through the meat of the order, but escaped with just one unearned run. Still, when he faced Ryan Howard with two on in the sixth, the game hung in the balance. Howard entered the game 8-for-16 with 2 homers and eight RBI in his career against Lohse. Howard is also much worse against lefties than righties and has been throughout his career. La Russa had two left-handed options in the bullpen, too, and had to realize Halladay was absolutely locked in at that point. Even if you believe the sixth inning is too early to start playing matchups, Lohse certainly needed to be pulled after allowing the Howard homer. He stayed in, giving up a single to Shane Victorino and a home run to Raul Ibanez. There was no recovering from the Howard bomb and Lohse was hanging his change all inning, so he needed to be pulled earlier than he was. Instead, the Phillies had turned a 3-1 deficit into a 6-3 lead in a mere matter of minutes. Things fell apart further from there -- save for a relatively meaningless ninth-inning surge -- and the Cardinals face a tall order of winning three of four from the Phillies to take the series.

Next: 10/2 at Philadelphia, 8:37 p.m. ET. Chris Carpenter (11-9, 3.45) vs. Cliff Lee (17-8, 2.40)

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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.



For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 1, 2011 5:31 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2011 4:30 pm
 

Berkman gives Cardinals early boost

By Matt Snyder

In the series matching the best offense in the NL against the best pitching staff in the NL, offense got the first laugh Saturday. Lance Berkman sent a Roy Halladay pitch deep into the right-field stands at Citizens Bank Park, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead before the Phillies ever got an at-bat.

This movement is even more interesting because of Berkman's recent history against Halladay.

On September 19, Berkman also homered in the first inning against Halladay. Further, the two recent home runs by Berkman off Halladay marked the only two Halladay has allowed at home to a left-handed hitter in 2011 (Jayson Stark of ESPN.com). And, via Big League Stew, the blast marked the first time Halladay had allowed a three-run home run since joining the Phillies.

Last season, Halladay threw a no-hitter in his first NLDS start. This season, he's trailing 3-0 and apparently has a new nemesis in Lance Berkman. This movement is easily the big story early in the game. But it's a long game.

Click here to follow the action live on CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
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.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

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

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com