Bring on the D-backs
The Brewers began Wednesday with more questions than answers — who will we play in the postseason? Where? — but found clarity before the end of the night thanks to the Cardinals’ win in Houston, the Braves’ loss in Atlanta and the Brewers’ own win over the Pirates at Miller Park. Milwaukee will host Arizonato begin the National League Division Series, with Game 1 on Saturday.
Major League Baseball has yet to announce times beyond Friday’s American League Game 1s. When times are available, they will immediately be posted on MLB.com.
The rundown of Brewers.com coverage from Wednesday:
— The Brewers took care of the home field question themselves by beating the Pirates, 7-3. Playing in front of 41,976 fans at Miller Park, the Brewers set the new franchise attendance record at 3,071,373, while also setting a new club mark with their 96th win of the season.
“It’s special,” Ryan Braun said. “We recognize that we’re a really tough team to beat here,” said left fielder Ryan Braun. “It’s a huge advantage for us to know that we have home-field advantage, at least for the first round.”
— While players dressed and prepared Miller Park, the Braves lost in extra innings to the Phillies, cementing the Brewers-Diamondbacks matchup. Yovani Gallardo will start but the team has some options after that, all centering around whether to bring back prized offseason acquisition Zack Greinke to pitch Game 2 on Sunday, on three days’ rest for the second straight start and only the third time in his career. Roenicke at first said Wednesday that he was against the idea, but Greinke delivered six very sharp innings to beat the Pirates, and indicated to reporters that he was interested.
If the Brewers keep Greinke on regular rest, he would pitch Game 3 in Arizona on Tuesday and Shaun Marcum or Randy Wolf would work Game 2 at Miller Park. Wolf has far more experience against Arizona, 10-5 with a 4.64 ERA in 20 starts. Marcum was better this season on the road.
The numbers are compelling for bringing back Greinke to pitch Game 2. He went 11-0 with a 3.13 ERA in 15 Miller Park starts this season, all Brewers wins.
Pitching coach Rick Kranitz said, “we’re not going to close any doors on anything,” and manager Ron Roenicke softened his own stance after the game. If Greinke asks for the assignment, Roenicke would consider it.
— MLB.com columnist Mike Bauman writes about the importance of pitching in both teams’ success this season. “The great strides these two clubs made in improving their pitching from 2010 to this season,” Bauman wrote, “have transformed these teams from also-rans to division champions.” Bauman also believes that whichever team advances to the NL Championship Series, it’s a win for Major League Baseball.
— Braun went 0-for-4 and finished second to NL batting champion Jose Reyes of the Mets, who bunted for a hit Wednesday afternoon and then left the game. Reyes was roundly ripped for that move — booed by his own fans at Citi Field in what might prove Reyes’ final appearance in a Mets uniform — but Braun was exceedingly diplomatic.
— Don’t forget, the rally at Milwaukee’s Summerfest grounds begins today at 4 p.m. CT.
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.