Friday, October 7, 2011
Brewers celebrate like it's 1982
The Milwaukee Brewers entered Friday’s winner-take-all game just 1-5 when in position to clinch a postseason series. They did not let history dictate their future overcoming the Arizona Diamondbacks in extra innings.
The last time the Brewers won a postseason series was October 10, 1982. Nyjer Morgan, who had the game-winning RBI Friday, was two years old. His RBI single in the 10th inning was the first walk-off hit by a Brewer in a postseason game. Morgan is the 11th player with a walk-off hit in a winner-take-all game and first to do it since Aaron Boone in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
Another key storyline was the play of battery-mates Yovani Gallardo and Jonathan Lucroy. Gallardo allowed one earned run in six innings to move his career ERA versus the Diamondbacks to 1.23. That’s the lowest of any pitcher against the Diamondbacks in the history of their franchise (regular season and postseason).
Although Gallardo didn’t have the high strikeout total he did in his previous four starts (45 K), he was able to utilize his fastball and curveball enough to get the job done. Gallardo's fastball averaged 93.5 MPH, which was tied for his highest in a start this season. He used his curveball more than usual as he threw it 27 percent of the time in Game 5 compared to 20 percent in Game 1. It proved to be an effective pitch as 23 of his 30 curveballs were down in the zone and hitters were just 1 for 8 with two strikeouts in at-bats ending in curveballs.
Lucroy helped his pitcher, especially when receiving the curveball, recording 10 catcher blocks according to Baseball Info Solutions data. That's tied for his eighth-most in a game this season. Not an unusual stat as Lucroy ranked second among MLB catchers in blocks during the regular season.
The Diamondbacks failed to become the first National League team to come back from a 2-0 division series deficit. They lose two straight starts made by Ian Kennedy for the first time since June 27 to July 3. Overall, the team scored only seven runs in three games in Milwaukee, all losses. That's compared to 18 in their two wins in Arizona. They have now lost seven of their last nine postseason games.
Did you know:
The Brewers and Detroit Tigers (who advanced Thursday) are the first two teams ever to win a postseason series 3-2, where the score in the deciding game was also 3-2.