Sunday, October 16, 2011
Brewers hope home is sweet in Game 6
By Katie Sharp
The NLCS is back in Milwaukee for Game 6, where the Milwaukee Brewers will try to avoid elimination tonight. This will be just the second Game 6 the franchise has played in its 43-year history. The first one didn’t go so well – a 13-1 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in the 1982 World Series.
However, the Brewers are happy to be playing at the friendly confines of Miller Park. The Brew Crew is 10-5 all-time in home postseason games, which is tied with the New York Mets (26-13) for the all-time best home winning percentage in the postseason (min. 15 games).
The Cardinals are looking to clinch a World Series berth for the 18th time in franchise history, which would put them in a tie with the Giants and Dodgers for the second-most appearances all-time, behind only the Yankees (40).
On the Mound
The Brewers send Shaun Marcum to the mound with their season on the line. Marcum has struggled in his last six starts since the beginning of September, with a 8.18 ERA and 1-4 record over that span. Prior to this recent slide, he was 12-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 29 starts.
Marcum is an off-speed specialist, throwing his fastball less than 30 percent of the time this season, but it was his heater that the Cardinals pounded in Game 2 of the NLCS.
Of the six fastballs the Cardinals swung at, four went for hits, including two doubles and a homer. The three extra-base hits were the most against his fastball in any start this season.
Edwin Jackson takes the mound in this potential pennant-clinching game for the Cardinals. In his last two starts in Milwaukee, including Game 2 of this series, he has a 2.38 ERA and walked just one of the 47 batters he faced.
He had a lot success when he was able to keep the ball down, as the Brewers went a combined 1-for-13 in at-bats ending on pitches in the bottom third of the zone and below, and missed on 12 of their 28 swings at those pitches.
Inside the Series
Including the playoffs, these teams have now played each other 23 times this season and the Cardinals have won 12 times, outscoring the Brewers by just four runs. So it would be no surprise if this series went the distance
And research by the Elias Sports Bureau confirms this. There have been 89 seven-game postseason series where a team trailed 3-2. Forty-nine of those 89 series, or 55 percent, went to a winner-take-all Game 7.