Stats & Info: Mike Stanley

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
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.
Today’s Trivia: Can you name the only two players with 50+ home runs for both the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees?

Quick Hits: Let’s take a look at some fast facts regarding the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry and what the fresh faces might mean for 2011.

• The Red Sox and Yankees have split the season series 9-9 in each of the past three seasons. That includes 2009 when the Red Sox took the first eight games against New York.

• Joe Girardi took over in 2008, so that makes him an even 27-27 against Boston while with New York. Including the postseason, Terry Francona is 67-69 against the Yankees as Boston manager.

• According to Elias, this will be the 28th time that the Red Sox have had their home opener against the Yankees. Boston has won the last six and in 14-13 overall.

• The last time the Red Sox faced the Yankees while on a six-game losing streak. According to Elias, it was in the midst of a nine-game streak in 2001. The last time the Red Sox snapped a six-game losing streak against the Yankees? May 1998.

• Mark Teixeira hit eight home runs against the Red Sox last season. That’s the most by a Yankees hitter since Mickey Mantle clubbed nine in 1958. Oddly, Teixeira hit just .237 against Boston in 2010.
Adrian Gonzalez
Gonzalez

• Adrian Gonzalez has never beaten the Yankees, though he’s only had had three chances. Friday is also the Fenway Park debut for the hitter who has the most opposite field home runs in the majors since 2008.

• By contrast, Carl Crawford has almost a full season of data against New York. With a .301 lifetime average, he has 171 hits in 138 games. Among active players, only Manny Ramirez and Vernon Wells have more hits against New York, who is actually tied with David Ortiz for third. In 2005, Crawford tallied 35 hits against the Yankees, the first person to do that since Dale Mitchell in 1952.

• Since 2009, Dan Wheeler has made 10 appearances against the Yankees, but only lasted 5⅓ innings while allowing six home runs. His ERA in that span? 20.25. The Yankees are hitting .467 with a 1.634 OPS.

• It looks like Dennys Reyes won’t quite get to experience the rivalry, as he was designated for assignment Friday. If this is it for Reyes in a Boston uniform, he will go down as the only pitcher in Red Sox history with more hit batsmen (2) than innings pitched (1⅔).

• Russell Martin has faced the Red Sox in three games, and is just 1-for-11 (.091).
Rafael Soriano
Soriano

• Rafael Soriano has been excellent against the Red Sox in his career with a 2.61 ERA and .178 opponent batting average. He had five saves against Boston last season, the most for a pitcher since Francisco Rodriguez in 2008.

Trivia Answer: Johnny Damon and Mike Stanley are the only players with 50+ HR with both the Yankees and Red Sox. Babe Ruth? He only had 49 homers with Boston.

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