The series stays in Saint Louis, and is now tied 2-2. A win by Saint Louis tonight would put Milwaukee’s backs against the wall, needing to win two straight at home to make it through to the World Series. We’ll take a look at who might prevail in this crucial game five
NLCS: Milwaukee Brewers AT Saint Louis Cardinals
Friday, Oct 14, 2011 at 8 PM EST
Moneyline: MIL (29/25), STL (50/63)
Milwaukee came back to win game four, 4-2 in Saint Louis, after losing game 3. Now, Milwaukee will turn to the outspoken Zach Greinke while the Cardinals counter with Jaime Garcia.
The last victory at Saint Louis was more significant than it might appear on paper. It was Milwaukee’s first playoff road win in 29 years.
Brewer’s slugger Ryan Braun did not understate the victory, commenting, “It’s obviously huge…it feels good to know that we are going to get to go back home.” Indeed, it will be the home cooking that Braun has experienced at Miller Park that may end up making the difference in this series. If Milwaukee wins tonight, it would be the first time since 1981 that they have won consecutive road games in the post season. Braun is 7 of 16 with 5 RBIs in this series and is batting .471 with 9 RBIs in the post season. He certainly looks to have all the makings of a potential World Series MVP, but the Brewers can’t think too far ahead. Braun hit .280 against Garcia this season and hit a two run homer against Garcia in Game one.
The teams have split their 22 meetings this season so far, and now it all comes down to a best of three. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke doesn’t think a victory tonight is a must. He said “Hopefully we (go back home=) with a lead…we have got two games there.”
Last game Garcia gave up 6 runs and 3 walks in four innings as the Cards lost 9-6 in gqame one. Lohse couldn’t get past the fifth inning last game, and he was just one of the last four who have failed to do so. Such was expected against the Brewers, though, with the high octane lineup they have, nevermind their great success at their home stadium.
Greinke has not been able to back up his strong verbage from before the series, when he criticized Chris Carpenter of the Cardinals. His 8.18 ERA was good enough for a victory, but only by virtue of the Cardinals scoring 9 runs. He gave up three homers in five innings, so it’s tough to say he had a good day pitching. Ever one to rationalize the impossible, Greinke said he has “been really happy with how (he’s) pitched.” It makes you wonder what he might think about himself had he actually pitched well.
Greinke has struggled on the road too. He is 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA away from Miller Park this year. He did record a quality start in a 2-0 loss on September 7th, though, and he does have the propensity to pitch long innings with success. Matt Holliday is 7 of 15 against Greinke and Pujols is 8 of 15, but hits only .286 against Greinke.
This match is a great one to drop a wager on, as Saint Louis has the best chance at victory. If Saint Louis wins this game, they could take the series, but a loss tonight would spell certain doom as it is difficult to imagine them taking two straight games in Milwaukee to close out the series. It’s do or die for the favored Cardinals. If you feel inclined to back them, you could drop a bet at Bodog, where you are given a 10% deposit bonus and they have a free and easy cashout system.