Stats & Info: Gary Sheffield

The Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals try to take control of the NLCS Friday in St. Louis with the series tied at two apiece. Four previous times the Cardinals have been tied 2-2 in the NLCS (1985, 1987, 2004, 2006). All four times they won the series and advanced to the World Series. The Brewers have only been in one previous best-of-seven series that was tied at two games, the 1982 World Series, which they lost in seven games to the Cardinals despite winning Game 5.

On the Mound
This is a rematch of the starting pitchers for Game 1 of this series – Zack Greinke and Jaime Garcia.

Greinke is making his third career postseason start. In the Game 1 start of this series, he went six innings while allowing six earned runs, but still earned the win. In fact, Greinke probably wishes this start was at home since he’s 12-0 in Miller Park this season (regular and postseason combined).

Greinke is 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA in eight career starts against the Cardinals (including postseason).

Garcia is also making his third career postseason start. He enters 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA, which includes allowing six earned runs in four innings in Game 1 against Milwaukee.

Garcia - who’s 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers - has struggled after a promising start to the season. Garcia began the year 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his first 10 starts, but since then, he’s only 8-9 with a 4.62 ERA.

Players to Watch
Albert Pujols is 8-for-15 (.533) with six RBI in this series and David Freese is 8-for-16 (.500) with six runs batted in. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, they are the first pair of teammates in major-league history to each bat at least .500 with six or more RBIs through their team's first four games of a postseason series.

Ryan Braun
Can the Cardinals slow down Ryan Braun? He has nine RBI this postseason. Only Cecil Cooper had more in a single postseason for the Brewers, with 10 in 1982. Braun also has reached base safely in the first inning in each of his last eight postseason games. That's the longest streak in MLB history, surpassing the mark he shared with Gary Sheffield for the 1997 Marlins. With 21 hits in his first 50 postseason at-bats, he is the first player since Mike Stanley (1995-1999) to accomplish that feat. Six other players did it prior to Stanley.

Stat of the Game
This is the third best-of-seven postseason series of Tony La Russa's managerial career that was tied 2-2 through four games. According to Elias, his team won each of the previous two such series in seven games: the 2004 NLCS against the Houston Astros and the 2006 NLCS vs. the New York Mets.

Best Little Leaguers to become big leaguers

August, 17, 2011

Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Sean Burroughs led Long Beach, CA to consecutive LLWS titles in 1992 and 1993, the first -and only - U.S. team to accomplish the feat.

For two weeks in August the kids become the stars in Williamsport at the Little League World Series (coverage begins Thursday, August 18 on ESPN and ESPN2). For some it’s the beginning of bigger things to come. We give you the best Little Leaguers to become big leaguers.

LHP - Wilson Alvarez, 1982 Maracaibo, Venezuela
•  In his second LLWS start Alvarez struck out 15 batters while allowing only two hits in a win over Madrid, Spain. Second starts were good to Alvarez who pitched a no-hitter in his second career start in the Majors.

RHP - Jason Marquis, 1991 Staten Island, NY
•  Marquis pitched a three-hit shutout while striking out 11 hitters against Ohio in the U.S. Semifinals. He also added three hits and drove in three runs in the game which came on his 13th birthday.

Catcher - Jason Varitek, 1984 Altamonte Springs, FL
•  Varitek’s Little League team lost in the LLWS final. He was also on the Georgia Tech team that lost the College World Series final in 1994 and two Boston Red Sox World Series winning teams. Varitek is one of only two players (Ed Vosberg the other) to have played in all three World Series (LLWS, College, MLB).

1B - John "Boog" Powell, 1954 Lakeland, FL
•  Powell faced Jim Barbieri in two World Series: The first at the 1954 Little League World Series when Powell lost to Barbieri's team from Schenectady, NY. The second was in 1966, when Powell's Baltimore Orioles swept Barbieri's Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.

2B - Todd Frazier, 1998 Toms River, NJ
•  Frazier went 4-4, with a HR in the LLWS Championship Game win over Japan. He pitched as well, striking out a batter to end the game. Frazier finished the LLWS batting .600 with four HR. He made his MLB debut this season with the Cincinnati Reds.

3B - Carney Lansford, 1969 Santa Clara, CA
•  Lansford started in right field and went 1-3 in a LLWS championship game loss against Chinese Taipei. Lansford went on to be the fourth MLB player to play in the LLWS and MLB World Series.

SS - Gary Sheffield, 1980 Tampa, FL
•  Sheffield hit a HR and drove in five runs in a U.S. Championship game win before falling short in the LLWS champion game against Taiwan. Sheffield is the only player in the 500-HR club who played in the LLWS.

LF - Jason Bay, 1990 British Columbia, Canada
•  Bay scored Canada's only run against eventual LLWS Champion Chinese Taipei. He became the first Canadian Little Leaguer to play in the Little League World Series and play Major League Baseball.

RF - Derek Bell, 1980-81 Tampa, FL
•  In 1981, Bell drove in three runs as Tampa earned a spot in the LLWS final. Bell pitched in the final vs Chinese Taipei, striking out five batters in the first two innings before eventually taking the loss.

CF - Colby Rasmus, 1999 Phenix City, AL
•  Rasmus struck out 13 batters picking up a win to clinch a spot for Phenix City in the LLWS. Phenix City went on to win the U.S. Championship before falling to Japan in the LLWS final. His brother Cory, also a first round pick, played on that Phenix City team as well.
DH - Sean Burroughs, 1992-93 Long Beach, CA
•  Burroughs led Long Beach to consecutive LLWS titles, the first U.S. team to accomplish the feat. He pitched two no-hitters at the Little League World Series.

Manager - Lloyd McClendon, 1971 Gary, Indiana
•  McClendon hit five home runs on the first pitch in his only five official at bats, leading Gary to the LLWS title. McClendon is the manager of our team as he managed some other notable LLWS participants -- Bay and Bell -- on the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2001.