Some things to read while starting a new fashion trend.
Hopefully there are still more moments to come, but this weekend has to rank among the best in Brewer history. All four MLB Division Series are moving to new venues today and the Brewers are the only team carrying a 2-0 lead. Jeff Passan of Yahoo says they've "acquired the feel of the team nobody wants to face." (h/t Colin Fly) Miller Park Drunk is trying not to get too excited, but team employees gave Mark Attanasio an impromptu ovation as he departed last night's game.
Ryan Braun was the star again yesterday, becoming just the tenth major leaguer ever to collect three hits in each of his team's first two playoff games. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com says Braun might be the "best right handed hitter I've ever covered." He was named MLB.com's Performer of the Game.
Meanwhile, yesterday's game featured another set of headscratching decisions for Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. He left Brad Ziegler in despite the fact that he allowed six consecutive batters to reach, tying the record for a postseason appearance where no outs were recorded. And, as Jordan Schelling notes, he was presented three spots this weekend where a lefty was due up and first base was open. He intentionally walked Mark Kotsay and pitched to Prince Fielder twice.
Elsewhere in interesting decisions: Starting Zack Greinke on short rest didn't pay off for the Crew yesterday as he went just five innings and allowed four runs on eight hits, three of which left the yard. Jacob Peterson of Beyond the Box Score has a look at how Greinke's balls in play compare to other NL playoff aces, while Ben Badler of Baseball America has a critique of the way he pitched to Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
Here's a nice example of how times have changed over the years: A lot was made of the decision to start Greinke on three days rest, which he's now done three times in his career. Warren Spahn did it 282 times.
Jonathan Lucroy got a lot of attention yesterday, as his squeeze bunt plated the eventual winning run. He didn't want to talk about comments made by Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy, who called him "a guy who can't really hit."
Other notes from the field:
- Takashi Saito is the oldest Brewer ever to win a postseason game, and the oldest in the majors since Kenny Rogers in 2006.
- Ryan Braun's home run was his first ever in the playoffs.
- We have links to video highlights of four of yesterday's five turning points.
- Yuniesky Betancourt's walk was only his fourth non-intentional four pitch free pass of 2011.
- John Axford hit 98 on the gun while pitching the ninth yesterday.
- Braun, Ziegler and Lucroy are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- Here's a transcript of Ron Roenicke's postgame comments.
- 44,066 paid to see yesterday's game, meaning 240,101 fans bought tickets for either a Brewer, Packer or Badger game this weekend. That's one in roughly 24 Wisconsinites.
- The Italian won the Sausage Race.
- Colin Fly caught a picture of cars waiting in line to tailgate.
- The JS had reporters outside with notes on ticket resales, standing room only spots, a minor car accident and fans in Packer apparel at Miller Park.
Here are the times for yesterday's home run trots, via Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus:
|Paul Goldschmidt||20.66 seconds|
|Chris Young||20.8 seconds|
|Ryan Braun||22.44 seconds|
|Justin Upton||24.11 seconds|
The Brewers are in Arizona this morning and play resumes there tomorrow. Both tomorrow and Wednesday's game (if necessary) are scheduled to start at 8:30 Central time (FanShot), which will make for some fun late nights around here. Game 3 will be broadcast on TNT, not TBS. If you're still considering the possibility of making the trip, apparently there are still $12 tickets available for this week's games.
Here's another reason to be happy the Brewers have run out to an early lead: Joe West will be tomorrow's home plate umpire, so who knows what the strike zone will look like.
Shaun Marcum is taking the mound for game three, and told Jordan Bastian of MLB.com he's not concerned about pitching away from home. His ERA has been two and a half runs lower (2.21 vs 4.81) on the road this season.
"Beast Mode" is becoming one of the defining storylines of this Brewer postseason. Tom Haudricourt has a story on the national media's reaction to seeing it for the first time. Robin Yount did it after his first pitch yesterday and so did Zack Greinke after his base hit, leading to this review from Ryan Braun. Rickie Weeks did it after his triple yesterday, and Adam McCalvy said he's "never seen anything like that from him."
Prince Fielder had a hit, scored a run and drove one in yesterday. He was our final regular season Brewer of the Week.
In the minors:
- Seedlings to Stars has Taylor Green #96 on their list of baseball's top 100 prospects.
If you're looking for more coverage of this weekend's games, be sure to go back and check out Sunday's special playoff Mug. There was simply too much going on for me to take a day off at this point.
I must admit, I'm really enjoying having all the MLB.com writers (McCalvy, Schelling, Bastian and Rhett Bollinger) covering this series. That's a lot of eyes watching for interesting angles, and they use Twitter to make fun of each other in the airport.
If you'd like more Brewer content today but you're sick of reading, this week's View From Bernie's Chalet podcast is up. It was recorded late last week, but better late than never.
I don't have any transactions to report, so today's musical interlude is my favorite song off the new TMBG album:
I was asleep by the time it ended, but this morning I'm hearing the Cardinals came back from a 4-0 deficit to beat the Phillies and send their series back to St. Louis tied at 1. You already know that and much more if you've read this morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs.
There's another headline from that game, however, that I think might draw more attention going forward. Tony LaRussa was interviewed during the game by a TBS crew and called out the umpires for calling two different strike zones based on who was at the plate. As is usually the case with a TLR accusation, there doesn't appear to be any substance to the charges. LaRussa will almost certainly be fined for the comments, but saying something like that on camera during a nationally televised game puts him in somewhat uncharted territory.
I don't want to stare, but I just can't look away...Lookout Landing has today's list of playoff headline puns.
This morning's edition of Today In Brewer History covers one of the defining moments in franchise history, as the 1982 Brewers clinched a postseason appearance on the season's final day. Chris Jaffe of The Hardball Times notes that it's also the anniversary of the final major league game of several notable former Brewers:
* - It was only the final regular season game for Bando. He played in all five games of that season's ALDS.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm getting back in the van.