Are you surprised? The Diamondbacks found themselves at home. I almost expected a sweep after the first two games against the Brew Crew, but tonight, Arizona struck back, and struck hard.
Josh Collmenter, the tomahawk-chucker as they called him, started off with a rocky start in the first inning pitching for Arizona. Ryan Braun was walked, and then Prince Fielder took a pitch to the elbow. With two men out, Rickie Weeks stepped into the box, but failed to produce and went down swinging.
Willie Bloomquist reached first in the bottom of the first on an infield bloop that dribbled just past the tip of Jerry Hairston Jr.’s glove. Then Bloomquist stole second and almost took Weeks down with him when he slid right into his feet.
And maybe that was a sign of the storm to come. For the DBacks rattled the Brewers that inning, and continued to rain runs all night long. Arizona got their first lead of the series with basckstop Miguel Montero’s 407-foot double that the Crew’s Nyjer Morgan could not snag, though he found himself becoming one with the outfield wall. The hit brought Bloomquist into score. Surging with the energy from the home crowd, Paul Goldschmidt subsequently singled to right field to bring Montero in for the 2-0 lead.
Corey Hart, the Brewer’s lone ranger for the evening, brought his rifle to the plate in the third inning and shot a dinger deep to left centerfield for his first postseason homer to put the Brewers on the board 2-1.
Shawn Marcum, who made his first postseason start as Milwaukee’s pitcher, took some heat in the bottom of the third when he walked two in a row. First Aaron Hill, then Justin Upton took their bases. Montero stepped into the box and knocked a single to centerfield that allowed Hill to score. Weeks went to cover second, but saw Upton trucking towards home, so Weeks fired the ball to the plate and Jonathan Lucroy applied the tag just in time to stop the damage and hold the Dbacks to their 3-1 lead.
The Diamondbacks, suddenly surging with opportunity, managed to load ‘em up in the bottom of the fifth inning on two outs. The crowd roared like Chase Stadium had probably never heard a crowd roar before (besides perhaps the 2011 All-Star Game). And then, the unthinkable happened. Goldschmidt hit a GRAND SLAM. A four-run four-bagger. For the Arizona Diamondbacks! Arizona’s safety net grew to a lead of 7-1.
At that point, it was time for Marcum to take a seat on the pine. Kameron Loe came in from the pen and tossed one to Chris Young, which easily bounced off Young’s bat and towards Hairston Jr. The plays that followed were , simply put: embarrassing.
First, Hairston Jr. barehanded the ball to Fielder, for what should have been an easy out at first to end the inning. But Hairston’s disgraceful throw was totally uncatchable, and Young wrapped around the basepath and trotted to second. Young later stole third. And then, Young casually strolled home to score Arizona’s eighth run of the evening, when Ryan Roberts tripped the Crew’s infielders with his drive to centerfield.
The remainder of the game carried on with little further drama, the Brewers made no headway on the Diamondbacks impressive seven-run lead. In the top of the ninth, Fielder reached first on a throwing error by John McDonald, and Fielder even made a nice tumble to second base (please, pause and imagine Prince Fielder tumbling), but the Crew’s hope was unmatched by their offense, and Milwaukee was not able to spark a comeback.
Game four of the NLDS is scheduled at Chase Field for Wednesday, October 05, at 9:30pm Eastern Time on TBS. The Brewers currently lead the best-of-five series 2-1.