Some things to read while scheduling rehearsals.
I think Howie Magner summed up how I'm feeling about this team right now:
No need for Farmer's Almanac. Friday, #Brewers will let Milwaukee know if the winter is mild or cold.
So apparently Randy Wolf broke his jockstrap during pregame warmups last night. The Brewers might have been better off if he'd decided to go back to Milwaukee for a fresh one. He was left in the game for three innings despite allowing two home runs (including a grand slam) in the first and walking the pitcher to lead off the second, leading JD of View From Bernie's Chalet to say this:
I kind of feel like Roenicke managed his pitchers these last two games like he was okay losing and playing a game 5 at home. #Brewers #NLDS
At any rate, we enter Game 5 tomorrow night with both teams having swept their home games to this point. Bob Nightengale of USA Today says now we can see the importance of securing home field advantage in this series. The decisive game will be played at 4:07 on Friday, and Mike Bauman of MLB.com has the preview while Jordan Bastian has an in-depth look at Yovani Gallardo. If you're ready to make your predictions, the Prognostikeggers thread is open.
Other notes from the field:
- The Diamondbacks are the first team with grand slams in back-to-back playoff games since the 1977 Dodgers.
- The Diamondbacks have a slam in each of their last four home games, while the Brewers have allowed one in three straight postseason road games.
- Ryan Roberts, Ryan Braun and Randy Wolf are leading FanGraphs' Star of the Game voting.
- If you went to bed at a reasonable hour you might have missed Ron Roenicke's postgame comments, this post on Ryan Braun and the best postseason Brewers ever, and highlights of last night's turning points.
- Trevor Hoffman, Geoff Jenkins and Tony Graffanino were all hanging around during BP yesterday.
- Bob Uecker and Cory Provus were ok after a foul ball sailed into their radio booth.
With Randy Wolf on the mound, George Kottaras got the start behind the plate and went 0-for-3 with a walk and an RBI last night. Todd Rosiak talked to Ron Roenicke why Wolf couldn't pitch to Lucroy, who would have been a natural fit to start against lefty Joe Saunders. Meanwhile, there's no apparent friction between Lucroy and Shaun Marcum.
Via Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus, here are some of last night's home run trot times:
|Carlos Gomez||16.92 seconds|
|Chris Young (#1)||21.19 seconds|
|Ryan Roberts||21.5 seconds|
You can read Larry's recap of last night's game here.
Meanwhile, the lack of fan support in Arizona remains one of this series' biggest side stories. They drew just 38,830 fans last night (10,000 below capacity), and didn't even start selling NLCS tickets until today. Meanwhile, the Brewers are saying they could've sold 100,000 tickets to Game 5 if they'd had room for everyone.
Carlos Gomez had the Brewers' only home run last night (they've had one in every game in the series), but he also did this: Rob Neyer says Gomez made a silly mistake by sliding into first while trying to leg out a bunt single in the sixth, and awarded another silly mistake to the official scorer for crediting him with a sacrifice for advancing the runner to second in a 7-3 game.
Ron Roenicke is taking a fair amount of heat (and perhaps for good reason) for his actions over the last couple of days, but one of his decisions is still widely accepted: 66% of BCB Tracking Poll voters feel he made the right move by starting Zack Greinke on short rest on Sunday.
It hadn't drawn a lot of attention until last night, but Rickie Weeks is really having a poor series. He's 1-for-15 in the first four games and ended four different innings last night, including three with runners on base. With that said, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com says he's not frustrated.
Looking back another day, David Pinto of Baseball Analytics has a great post looking at Josh Collmenter's start Tuesday night and the stuff he used to hold the Brewers to just two hits over seven innings.
Here's the kind of thing I don't really want to think about: If the Brewers can't pull out a win tomorrow night, then there's a strong chance Takashi Saito's scoreless eighth inning last night will be his final major league appearance. Aaron Gleeman notes that Saito has posted an ERA under three in each of his six major league appearances.
In the minors:
- Baseball America listed Wily Peralta as the #8 prospect in the Southern League. He was the only Brewer to crack the top 20.
- Five Brewers appeared in the game and each one made an impact in Peoria's first AFL win yesterday. Brewer prospects drove in six of the Javelinas' 13 runs and pitched three scoreless innings in the game. You can read about that and more in today's AFL Notes.
- Scooter Gennett had a home run in the game, and Keith Law called it a "no doubter."
Astros: Pitchers Lance Pendleton and Xavier Cedeno have been removed from the 40 man roster and will be free agents.
Athletics: Hired former Mets third base coach Chip Hale as their new bench coach.
Marlins: Relief pitcher Brian Sanches and utilityman Vinny Rottino have been outrighted off the 40 man roster and will be free agents.
Mets: Bench coach Ken Oberkfell will not return for 2012, and first base coach Mookie Wilson and bullpen coach John Debus will be reassigned within the organization.
Red Sox: Fired first base coach Ron Johnson.
The Brewers aren't the only team maximizing their first round drama: Three of the four Division Series matchups will play a Game 5 for the third time in major league history and the first since 2001. The Tigers and Yankees play theirs tonight, and this morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs has everything you need to know to be ready.
Have you memorized "Written in the Stars" yet? Ben Badler of Baseball America has a couple of theories on its hidden significance. For me, though, it's just a cue to post another #legendborninOctober. Elsewhere in postseason memes, Lookout Landing has today's playoff puns.
Today in baseball economics: The Nationals finished 14th in the National League by averaging slightly less than 24,000 fans per game this season, but this number raises a relatively significant question about the size of their fan base: Despite the fact that the Nats were somewhat competitive this season (finishing 80-81), they have baseball's smallest average TV audience at approximately 29,000 fans per telecast.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to check the archives.