There is no reason to think that the Arizona Diamondbacks
can’t pull off on Friday what has never been done before
since baseball switched to the current playoff format in
1995: winning the NLDS after losing the first two games.
That’s right, while it has been accomplished four times in
the American League, no National League team in 19
attempts has come back to win a series after dropping the
first two. So why shouldn’t Arizona be the first?
For the Milwaukee Brewers to advance they will have to
beat Cy Young candidate Ian Kennedy a second time in five
days, and that will not be easy. Kennedy was ready to
pitch Wednesday on three days’ rest but manager Kirk
Gibson chose Joe Saunders, and although the veteran lefty
only lasted three innings, Gibson’s decision paid off. Now
Kennedy goes on full rest against Brewers ace Yovani
Gallardo in a winner takes all matchup. And Kennedy will
have learned from his mistakes in Game 1 and have a better
approach in dealing with Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder.
Chris Young Wednesday night after the game talked about
jumping on Gallardo early and that will be the key. Home
field has proven to be huge in this series so far and
Milwaukee did have the best home record in the Major
Leagues at 57-24. But jumping on Gallardo early could take
the Miller Park crowd out of the game, and that would be
huge because home teams feed off the adrenaline they get
from the fans.
What we learned about Milwaukee is that they didn’t have
the killer instinct, the ability to step on the D-backs’
throats and put Arizona away. Now Arizona is back in the
series and swinging the bats well with five players
hitting over .350. The one player that may need to get his
game on track for Game 5 is Justin Upton, who is hitting
just .188 and not looking good or comfortable at the
plate. It looks like Upton is expanding the strike zone
and trying to hit home runs. Maybe watching all of his
teammates hit the long ball has him trying to do the same,
but Upton needs to get back to driving the ball because a
big game from him could be the difference in Game 5.