Arizona Diamondbacks AT Milwaukee Brewers / Moneyline: MIL -163, ARI +14 / Total: 7.5
It’s come down to a decisive game 5 for this NL showdown between the Diamondbacks and Brewers, and the Diamondbacks find themselves underdogs, but remain confident with staff ace Ian Kennedy taking the mound, despite the fact he gave up 4 earned runs in game 1. Kennedy won 21 games this year but wasn’t sure he would get another chance to pitch this season after the Diamondbacks dropped game one. He said he would do “anything possible…to help out in any possible way.”
Brewers pitcher Yovini Gallardo rightly recognizes the importance of tonight’s game, commenting that “Anything can happen.” Gallardo gave up only 4 hits in 8 innings in Game 1, striking out 9 batters while recording an oustanding WHIP of 0.62. Only Diamondbacks leadoff Willie Bloomquist had a decent night against Gallardo, going 2 of 4 in the game and stealing a base. Bloomquist commented after game four that “We don’t panic when we get down. We’ve understood what we’re up against….We can’t lose….(need) to go in there and get the W somehow.”
If not for a homer by Brewers third baseman Ryan Roberts, Gallardo would have recorded a shut out. That bodes well for hte favored Brewers tonight.
Gallardo is good at keeping his poise under pressure. He commented that he simply tries “to stay relaxes as (he) can,” using the word “relax” twice in his response to a reporter. Certainly, if he can keep his composure, the Diamondbacks will have trouble getting anything going against him.
Gallardo’s dominance seemingly does not worry the Diamondbacks. Centerfielder Chris Young realizes what is obvious, “It’s pretty much a one game playoff…” he commented.
The Diamondbacks are going to have to find a way to be successful offensively on the raod though. They have hit .343 at home, but only .212 in Milwaukee. Chris Young stated the obvious, “It hasn’t been easy all season…the postseason (doesn’t) get any easier.”
Fortunately for the Diamondbacks, the same trend has applied to the hot hitting Brewers. Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and Rickie Weeks have gone 3 of 23 in Arizona, while going 10 of 22 at Miller Park. Fielder doesn’t care “who does it” (steps up to help the Brewers win). The fact that this could be Fielder’s last game in a Brewers uniform is a sobering thought to fans, though.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke realizes the distraction but said Fielder “is so focused on what we need to do…locked in on what we need to do…we’ll see what happens.”
It’s fitting that Milwaukee’s home domiance plays a role in this series. Rickie Weeks said they “played (their) butts off” for the advantage, realizing the importance of it in a series against a team nearly as good as they are in the Diamondbacks. Now they just have to go out and take care of business, to provide Gallardo with enough run support to take this series and move on to face the winner of the Cardinals – Phillies series.