W: John Axford (1-0)
L: J.J. Putz (0-1)
HR: Justin Upton (1)
MVP: Nyjer Morgan (+.374)
LVP: Jonathan Lucroy (-.130)
Win Expectancy Graph and Star of the Game Voting
Of course it was Nyjer Morgan. Who else could it have been?
The Brewers bit, scratched and clawed their way to a 2-1 lead heading into the ninth and handed the ball to John Axford, who hadn't blown a save since April. He allowed a leadoff double to Gerardo Parra (his first hit of the series), a single to Sean Burroughs and a squeeze bunt that brought Parra home without an out. He escaped the inning without further damage, but the Brewers went down in order in the bottom of the ninth to send the game to extra frames.
But the Brewers didn't need long to finish it. Carlos Gomez singled with one out in the tenth, advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Nyjer Morgan's walkoff single.
The blown save took some of the luster off an all-time great Brewer moment for Yuniesky Betancourt. The Brewers and Diamondbacks managed just one run each heading to the bottom of the sixth, when Ryan Braun led off the inning with a double and was followed on base by a Prince Fielder walk. Rickie Weeks popped up a bunt attempt and Jerry Hairston Jr flew out (on an incredible play by Chris Young in center), leaving the situation looking pretty bleak: Two outs, runners on first and second, and Yuniesky Betancourt due up. His bloop single to center scored Ryan Braun and gave the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
It wasn't his best day, but Yovani Gallardo did everything he could to keep the Brewers in today's game. He allowed a run on six hits and a pair of walks over six innings, striking out five. His only run came on a Justin Upton home run one pitch after a controversial non-strike call that would have ended the inning. He needed 112 pitches to finish six innings, but if MLB awarded a NLDS MVP award he'd almost have to win it.
For two innings, as they have so many times this season, the bullpen took it from there. Takashi Saito pitched a scoreless seventh. Francisco Rodriguez worked his way into all kinds of trouble in the eighth but struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Ryan Roberts to get out of it. Axford's blown save negated their efforts a bit, but they're still worth acknowledging.
The Brewers will open NLCS play on Sunday at 3 pm. They'll play the winner of tonight's Cardinals/Phillies game, either in Milwaukee or Philadelphia.