Can Ian Kennedy Pitch Surprise D-Backs into NLCS?
By Cam Cain 10-7-11
Another October Day. Another chance for Milwaukee It’s do-or die this evening at Miller Park for the Brewers who were heavily favored coming into this series. At 5:07 Eastern time, the Brewers, who had the best home record in the majors at 57-24, will take the field against Justin Upton and a hot-hitting Arizona squad. Taking the mound for Arizona will be ace, and Cy Young Award Candidate Ian Kennedy.(21-4, 2.88) Prior to this season, Kennedy, in his second full season and a top prospect with the Yankees had only won 10 games. Kennedy lost Game 1 in Milwaukee 4-1 due to a strong performance by Brewers starter Yovani Gallardo. Kennedy did not drop back-to-back decisions all yaer and has not since June 26 and July 5th of 2010.
On the other end of the matchup is Milwaukee starter Yovani Gallardo.(17-10, 3.52) Gallardo is 5-0 in 5 starts against Arizona including Game 1 of this year’s playoffs with a 1.20 ERA and 32 Ks in 30 innings. Gallardo was fantastic in Game 1 through 8 innings.
The home team has won all 4 games this series. Milwaukee, as I said earlier, has the best home record in the Majors. Adv. Brew Crew. However, since 2002, the team who has had the best record in front of their home crowd has only won the world series once (2009 Yankees) and has only won the pennant twice, the other being the Rays of 2008. And I don’t think there’s any psychological boost behind a half-empty crowd. It is incredible that Milwaukee, winning 96 games, had a poor record away from home. (39-42) “We do love playing at home” says third baseman Jerry Hairston.
Another note is that this could potentially be star 1B Prince Fielder’s final game in a Brewers uniform. Fielder becomes a free agent following the season. Since 2007, Fielder is second in the majors in Home Runs and 5th in RBIs and the Brewers have gotten this far in large part to him.
2011 teenviewonmlb.wordpress.com Information taken from mlb.com, espn.com, baseballreference.com