Saturday, October 1, 2011

NLDS Game 1: Diamondbacks at Brewers

US Presswire photo
Ryan Bruan, Nyjer Morgan and Corey Hart lead the Brewers into the playoffs.
No team in baseball enjoyed home-field advantage this season more than the Milwaukee Brewers, who posted a dominant 57-24 record inside the friendly confines of Miller Park. On the road, however, the Brewers were a mere 39-42, all the more reason it was critical for them to hang on in late September, hold off the NL West champion Arizona Diamondbacks and secure home-field advantage for this division series.

Milwaukee has a lot going for itself entering the postseason. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder might be the best 1-2 offensive punch in baseball right now. Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke make for a pretty impressive 1-2 rotation punch. Heck, even Nyjer Morgan and Jerry Hairston have been major contributors for the NL Central champs.

The Diamondbacks, though, quietly put together a really impressive season of their own. They may lack some of the big names off the Brewers lineup, but Justin Upton is as dynamic as any player in the game, and Ian Kennedy had a dominant season on the mound. Arizona will need Kennedy to come up big in Game 1 today if it has any visions of taking down Milwaukee in its home park.

Who's going to win the series? Scroll down for my prediction...

Where: Miller Park
Gametime: 2:07 p.m.
Radio: XM 188
Weather: Roof closed
SS Willie Bloomquist
2B Aaron Hill
RF Justin Upton
C Miguel Montero
CF Chris Young
1B Lyle Overbay
3B Ryan Roberts
LF Gerardo Parra
P Ian Kennedy

RF Corey Hart
CF Nyjer Morgan
LF Ryan Braun
1B Prince Fielder
2B Rickie Weeks
3B Jerry Hairston
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
C Jonathan Lucroy
P Yovani Gallardo
PREDICTION: The Brewers enter as heavy favorites, but this series is probably more evenly matched than you realize. For all of Milwaukee's offensive firepower, did you know Arizona actually scored more runs this season (731 to 721)? That said, the Brewers' rotation depth seems to give them a slight edge in what should be a very compelling series. MILWAUKEE IN FIVE.


Gonat said...

Good prediction Mark. I think the Brewers take it in 4 games. If the Brewers don't let Justin Upton hurt them, I think they solve the DBacks offensive momentum.

Also, Rickie Weeks is back for the Brewers.

alexva said...

It will be interesting to watch Morgan in this series. For all the love he is getting this year, them most telling comment for me in the Sport Illustrated cover story was Braun saying his act probably wouldn't go over too well if they weren't winning games.

Eugene in Oregon said...

Regarding the Nats -- and forgive me if this is old news -- it seems that Mr. Gomes is no longer estimated to become even a Type B free agent (at least according to the reverse-engineered calculations over at

baseballswami said...

Forgive me for not paying enough attention to teams not named the Nationals -- but, is Jerry Hairston, Jr. a regular or platoon player for the Brewers? I will always have a soft spot in my heart for him for the way he covered for RZim when he was out. I don't like some of the comments he made when he left, but when he was here he seemed like a good guy. Regarding Nyger - we all know that he is streaky baseball-wise and manic personality- wise. I think if he is on your team you always have to be holding your breath a little because he is unpredictable. There will not be any place for his antics if they go deeper into the playoffs. I think this series could go either way - I think they are the most evenly matched of any series going. Of course, I thought the Rangers could take the Rays, too, but the Rays are just another story.

FS said...

Why are we looking at Flores only as backup if he can do full time duties at AAA? Have pudge back as the backup? no? that makes sense to me.

FS - Nats offseason means fantasizing about 2012 said...

Am I the only person watching this game on MLB.TV?

anyways, how about Gardner in LF, with Morse over to RF and Werth in CF? He has great on base percentage and speed. Totally fits the leadoff hitter position in our lineup since he is lefty too. Only problem would be if Yanks willing to part with him.

Mark'd said...

Eugene in Oregon said... Regarding the Nats --and forgive me if this is old news --it seems that Mr. Gomes is no longer estimated to become even a TypeB free agent (at least according to the reverse-engineered calculations over at
Didn't know that. Gomes was a waste I hate to say. Was actually worse than Stairs as a pinch hitter if you can believe it.

Anonymous said...

Hairston was the best bench player the Nats had and they gave him away.

baseballswami said...

Hairston has an rbi sac fly in this very tight 2 run game. He is also playing a mean third base - he had tons of practice there when Zim was injured. I don't remember - did we get minor leaguers for Hairston? Ian Kennedy not looking great today. This must really stink for Jason Marquis - he could have been in the playoffs, too. FS - I see Flores as trade bait - he really needs to be an everyday player at his age, not a backup.

natsfan1a said...

Hairston was traded for minor league OF Erik Komatsu.

NatsLady said...

Hairston is a free agent. If we had not traded him, we would have gotten nothing. Plus, he wanted to go, and play "meaningful games." It was a shame for us he had to be traded, but we were not going to the playoffs (in 2011), so you get what you can.

Anonymous said...

Why are we looking at Flores only as backup if he can do full time duties at AAA? Have pudge back as the backup? no? that makes sense to me.

He is now too old and proven himself a tad too talented to return to AAA. As for backup catcher they would be better off using Jhonatan Solano for this role as they continue to develop Derrek Norris and switch hitting Sandy Leon. Norris could conceivably be the starting catcher in AAA next year, if not right away after a short period in AA.

At this point Flores should be packaged in a trade in return for more prospects to fill the still recuperating farm system or a player that can be used on the major league roster in 2012. My guess at this point is an exchange of prospects.

Anonymous said...

Hairston was the best bench player the Nats had and they gave him away.

So, they could look at guys like Lombardozzi? If it was Riggleman he would still be on the team playing almost every day and they would almost certainly not have reached 80 victories. Really, I am firm believer that Matt Antonelli might have reprised that role better than Hairston and he is younger. He still may if the Nats manage to keep him because he would fit perfectly. Of course they also do have Bixler, Lombardozzi and Rendon will soon need a slot in the infield mix.

Joe S. said...

I'll agree with Anonymous@4:28. Flores, Lannan and Marrero for a legit leadoff guy or a strong #3 pitcher would be a good move, if any other team will bite.
For once, we have quality quantity to trade for quality quality.

Anonymous said...

In the end the guy they traded AND HURT the most was MORGAN. According to Rizzo he is what this team was missing and what he intends to make as his first priority. And they really did get NOTHING for Morgan. Komatsu is actually a pretty decent player. Morgan's attitude aside he was effective for the Brewers in the same role the Nats envisioned him in after they rescued him from Pittsburg.

Anonymous said...

Lombardozzi doesn't even remotely resemble a major league hitter and Davey Johnson knows it. That is why he was given so little playing time.

Anonymous said...

Morgan will eventually implode in Miwaukee because he is a certified head case. A team can't tolerate a player picking fights with teammates. Morgan's play was erratic here. He hit only .250 last season with a very low OBP. His fielding was erratic and his base running was atrocious.

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