Suds Series, again: Brewers, Cards in NLCS
Welcome back to the Suds Series. Twenty-nine years after the Brewers and Cardinals last met in the postseason, they will meet again.
Milwaukee and St. Louis are set for the National League Championship Series, a rematch of a 1982 World Series staged when the Cardinals’ Ozzie Smith was backflipping his way to shortstop and the Brewers were bashing homers in the American League. It’s Miller Park vs. Busch Stadium. NL Central vs. NL Central. Tony Plush vs. Tony La Russa.
It’s a matchup of two teams that don’t legitimately don’t like each other, and had no trouble showed it in 2011.
“With St. Louis, there’s going to be a little but more fire in both teams with everything that we went through this year,” said Brewers closer John Axford, who was smiling Friday despite blowing a save for the first time in nearly six months.
Axford surrendered the tying run in the ninth inning but the Brewers rallied to beat the D-backs in the 10th, winning the NL Division Series on Plush’s — er, outfielder Nyjer Morgan’s — walk-off single. It gave the Brewers their first postseason series win since ’82, when they beat the Angels to set-up a showdown with St. Louis.
Game 1 of the NLCS is Sunday at Miller Park at 3 p.m. CT. Zack Greinke will start for the Brewers, likely against Cardinals left-hander Jamie Garcia.
If the 18 regular-season Brewers-Cardinals matchups were any indication, there will be some brushbacks. Most of the fireworks were saved for August and September, when both teams were vying for the division and tensions ran high.
“Well, it’s going to be a battle,” Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter said after pitching his team past the Phillies on Friday. “Those guys can play, man. … They’ve been a battle with us no matter if they were in the playoffs, not in the playoffs. It’s been like that since I’ve been here as a St. Louis Cardinal since 2003, when we were winning 100 games a year in ’04 and ’05. These guys battled us every single time we played them no matter if we were at home or on the road, and it’s been like that since then and it’s still going to be like that.
“It’s going to be a good series, I think. We’ve got some talented players on both sides that are showcase stars, guys that people want to watch play, and it’s going to be a lot of fun. I can’t wait for it.”
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.