It's a big day for the Brewers...and hopefully not the last big day for Prince Fielder.
Some things to read while steering clear.
One way or the other, we stand just a few hours away from history. The Brewers and Diamondbacks will start the most important contest ever played at Miller Park at 4:07 today, with Yovani Gallardo taking the mound against Ian Kennedy for the second time in a week. Adam McCalvy has a guide for those headed out to the game, where Bud Selig will throw out the first pitch. If you're not excited yet, this Miller Park Drunk post should help you get there.
There are reasons to be nervous about today's game, but there are also reasons for optimism: Jack Moore of Disciples of Uecker notes that Accuscore gives the Brewers a 64% chance to taking the game and Yovani Gallardo has been very good recently on five days rest. Gallardo recognizes the significance of the start, and Mike Bauman of MLB.com says having him on the mound is more important than home field advantage. Nick Prill of The Brewers Bar says the Crew has the edge, and lists reasons why.
If the Brewers win today, Zack Greinke is almost certain to be the Game 1 starter in the NLCS on Sunday. If needed, though, he's available out of the bullpen. 58% of voters in our poll thought the Brewers should be open to using him if the right situation comes along.
Of course, we wouldn't be talking about this game today if the Brewers hadn't laid a pair of eggs in Arizona on Tuesday and Wednesday. Brewers in 11 notes that Randy Wolf's performance Wednesday night was among the 15 worst ever by a postseason starting pitcher by WPA.
Rickie Weeks has really struggled in this series' first four games, but he'll get another chance tonight: Adam McCalvy says he'll be in the lineup unless his ankle forces him to come out.
Meanwhile, Carlos Gomez's recent play hasn't been enough to get him more opportunities. Ron Roenicke acknowledged that GoGo has been better lately, but appears poised to stick with Nyjer Morgan.
This week's stories about Kirk Gibson have crossed the entire spectrum, as he's been called both an idiot and a genius in a matter of days. Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic has a look at his week. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com has a look at tonight's managerial matchup.
I don't need to remind you that we could be watching Prince Fielder's final moments as a Brewer. Free agency looms on the horizon for the Brewer first baseman, but Tom Haudricourt reports that he's focused on taking the team to the NLCS. Baltimore Sports and Life talked to 17 analysts and got a wide variety of opinions on Fielder's next contract and the possibility he'll head to Baltimore. (h/t MLBTR)
A loss tonight would mean the likely final Brewer appearance for several players, but might it also be the last time we see Dale Sveum? He's reportedly on the Red Sox list of managerial candidates.
I'm not thinking ahead very far today, but if you are then you might be interested in Satchel Price of Beyond the Box Score's post on this winter's shortstop market.
I'm also not ready to start thinking about snow. With that said, my yard could use a Brewer snowman.
In the minors:
- Tyler Thornburg, Logan Schafer and Kentrail Davis were in action yesterday as Peoria dropped a game to Phoenix in AFL play. You can read more about that in this morning's AFL Notes.
If you missed it last night, Fox 6 News sent a reporter up to Appleton yesterday to talk to me about BCB and the excitement of the last few months. Fox 11 in Green Bay also ran the story this morning, but called the site "Brew Crew Baseball" and mispronounced my name. We can't all be perfect, I guess.
If you haven't gotten your predictions in yet, there's still time to enter today's Prognostikeggers challenge. Hopefully it's not the last one until spring.
If you'd like more Brewer content this morning but you're sick of reading, this week's View From Bernie's Chalet Podcast is up. This week's topics include the NLDS, Arizona Fall League, playoff predictions and more.
White Sox: Hired Robin Ventura as their new manager.
Obviously we'll be spending most of the day today here talking about the Brewers and Diamondbacks, but there's another Game 5 in the NL tonight as the Phillies and Cardinals resolve their series. This morning's edition of Around the MLB Playoffs has everything you need to know to be ready.
"Beast Mode" and "The Snake" have been a big part of conversation about the NLDS, so why shouldn't everyone join in on the fun? Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation has some suggested antics for non-participating teams. J.J. Putz of the Diamondbacks seems to get the fun and silliness of Beast Mode. If the Brewers open a series against the Cardinals on Sunday, you can rest assured they won't get it.
If you're discussing today's Brewer game with someone from another culture, this may be useful: Flip Flop Fly Ball translated "baseball" into dozens of languages.
The new Marlins stadium/logo/name remains a fascinating story. Grant Brisbee of Baseball Nation has a look at their new home run celebration monument, which has to be seen to be believed. It made me think of Katamari Damacy. I think of Katamari Damacy a lot lately.
Today has the potential to be one of the best or worst days in Brewer history. With that said, Carson Cistulli managed to remind us all it could be worse.
Here's another way it could be worse: You could be Tim Lincecum's landlord.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to form a support group.