Thursday, October 13, 2011
Brewers taste victory on the road
The Milwaukee Brewers evened the National League Championship Series at two games apiece, beating the Cardinals 4-2 on Thursday in St. Louis for their first postseason road win since Game 1 of the 1982 World Series, which was a 10-0 victory at the old Busch Stadium.
The Brew Crew snapped an eight-game postseason road losing streak, which was tied for the second longest all time. Only the Senators/Twins franchise, which lost 12 road games in a row during postseason play from 1925 to 1987, had a longer streak.
Randy Wolf pitched seven solid innings for his first career postseason win, allowing two runs on six hits. The win was a long time coming for Wolf, who entered the game with 342 career regular-season starts, the most among active pitchers with no postseason victories.
Wolf had struggled in his previous postseason start, a seven-run, three-inning loss in Game 4 of the NL Divsion Series.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth pitcher in the divisional era (since 1969) to allow that many runs in that few innings pitched and then win his next postseason start.
Wolf also helped out at the plate, hitting a double in the third inning, which was the first extra-base hit ever by a Brewers pitcher in the postseason.
Ryan Braun once again got the Brewers' offense started early, with a first-inning single. Braun now has reached base safely in the first inning in a major league-record eight straight postseason games.
Braun, who finished 2-for-5 with an RBI, is rapidly climbing the Brewers' career postseason ranks. His 11 RBIs are two shy of Cecil Cooper for the most all time, while his 21 hits are one shy of the franchise record shared by Paul Molitor and Robin Yount.
The Cardinals aren’t happy to be tied with the Brewers, but there is some reason for optimism: This is the fifth time the team has been tied 2-2 in an NLCS (1985, 1987, 2004, 2006). In each of the previous four instances, the Cardinals won the series and advanced to the Fall Classic.
This is the second time the Cardinals and Brewers have met in the postseason, and the series is shaping up to be very similar to their previous meeting.
In the 1982 World Series, the Brewers won Game 1 and Game 4, while the Cardinals took Game 2 and Game 3. The Brewers will hope for a different ending this time, as the Cardinals took Games 6 and 7 to win the title in seven games.
The two teams play one more game in St. Louis, with a critical Game 5 scheduled for Friday night. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, in a best-of-seven series tied 2-2, the Game 5 winner has won 36 of 52 series, including 10 of 13 in the LCS.