Friday, October 7, 2011

T-Plush sends Brew Crew to first playoff series win since 82'

By Kshell

The Milwaukee Brewers for the first time since 1982 have won a playoff series as they defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings. The Brewers were hoping to avoid blowing a 2-0 series lead then avoided a devastating loss as they blew the lead late in the game as well. This was your typical elimination game in the playoffs which saw some great pitching and some clutch hitting. The Brewers led by Nyjer Morgan who provided the game winning hit they will be advancing to the NLCS for the first time in franchise history. The Diamondbacks who had an incredible season saw their season end when their closer gave up the game winning hit to Morgan. This game went back and forth which is exactly what you want to see in playoff baseball.

This game was shaping up to be a pitchers duel between Yovani Gallardo and Ian Kennedy. In the third inning is when the first run of the game was finally scored. Gallardo who had allowed one hit to the first 11 batters of the game would finally make a mistake. Justin Upton homered opposite field to deep right field to give the Diamondbacks an early 1-0 lead. Meanwhile Kennedy kept putting up zero's on the scoreboard while Gallardo was doing his best job at damage control. The Brewers found themselves trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning. The Brewers knew in this ballpark they had plenty of time and there was no panic. The Brewers would finally rally in the bottom of the fourth inning off of Kennedy.

In the bottom half of the fourth inning the Brewers finally got to Kennedy. Morgan began the inning with a leadoff double to deep right centerfield. Then he advanced to third on a wild pitch with still nobody out. Kennedy then walked Ryan Braun setting up Prince Fielder with first and third nobody out. Fielder popped out to shallow left center which didn't score Morgan. Kennedy then hit Richie Weeks giving the Brewers a bases loaded, one out situation. Kennedy fell behind Jerry Hariston Jr. 3-1 but jam Hariston Jr. to shallow right field. The ball was hit so shallow that Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill had to make an over the shoulder catch which allowed Morgan to tag up to tie the game at 1-1. Kennedy would then retire Yuniesky Betancourt to finally end the rally.

In the sixth inning the Brewers would have one final rally against Kennedy. Braun led the inning off with a double to shallow left field. Kennedy then walked Fielder to give the Brewers a first and second no out situation. Kennedy would have Weeks pop up on a bunt attempt so no runners advanced. Hariston Jr. would fly out to centerfield as it appeared Kennedy was going to escape the jam. Then came up former Mariners shortstop Betancourt. Betancourt would single up the middle with two outs scoring Braun from second base. The Brewers led 2-1 and can now turn the ball over to their fantastic bullpen which has been lights out all season long. For Kennedy who would strike out the next batter his day would be done. The Diamondbacks were down to their final nine outs against the Brewers bullpen which had been lights out.

In the top of the eighth inning is when the game became interesting. The Brewers gave the ball to their newly acquired setup man Francisco Rodriguez who has plenty of postseason experience. Rodriguez began the inning by walking Hill then struck out Upton. Rodriguez allowed a single to Miguel Montero to set up first and third with only one man down. Rodriguez came up with another huge strike out where only a sacrifice fly would have tied the game up. Rodriguez on a full count to Chris Young lost him to ball four. The bases loaded were loaded with two outs as Rodriguez faced Ryan Roberts who hit a grand slam in game four. Rodriguez although shaky showed why he is a premium reliever as he got Roberts to ground out to a fielders choice. The Brewers were only three outs away from their first postseason series win in 29 years.

In the ninth inning the Brewers handed the ball to closer John Axford and his amazing mustache. Axford allowed a double to deep centerfield by Gerardo Parra. Axford allowed a single giving the Diamondbacks first and third with nobody out for Willie Bloomquist another former Mariner. Bloomquist shocked everyone as he attempted to pull off a suicide squeeze. Bloomquist actually was successful with the game tying bunt single scoring Parra. Axford  already blown the save was facing a first and second nobody out situation. Axford struck out Hill to record his first out. He would then face Upton only to have him ground out in a fielder's choice. Axford would finally end the inning with another ground out which he did a good job of damage control.

In the top of the 10th inning Axford was asked to pitch his second inning. That inning was a clean inning for Axford as he retired the Diamondbacks in order including ending the inning with a strikeout. Now the Diamondbacks turned to their closer J.J.Putz hoping to go multiple innings as well. Well that plan didn't go so well for the Diamondbacks. Putz would retire Craig Counsell to start the inning off. Putz gave up a single to Carlos Gomez. Gomez would then steal second base off of Putz. With one out Morgan singled up the middle as the throw to the plate was late. Gomez scored the winning run as Morgan was the hero. The Brewers won their first playoff series since 1982 by winning all three of their home games in the process. For the Brewers they received a strong pitching performance by Gallardo who went six innings allowing one run while striking out five. For the Diamonbacks their starter was just as good as Kennedy went six innings allowing two runs while also striking out five. Morgan was the player of the game going two for five with the game winning RBI while also scoring a run earlier in the game.

In conclusion, the year of Wisconsin just continues. The year began with the Green Bay Packers winning the Super Bowl, now the Wisconsin Badgers are competing for a national title. The Milwaukee Brewers not to be forgotten are just four wins away from the World Series. The Brewers will have a few more games to enjoy Prince Fielders. This was an incredible series with two evenly matched teams which saw the home team win every single game. The Brewers are going to party like it's 1982 all over again!

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