The Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers met again this evening at 5:07pm (Eastern Time) for the second game at Miller Park in their best-of-five series. The two teams’ right-handed pitchers were closely matched by stats for this bout, and the Dbacks came back from their loss looking to fight for their postseason lives. But in the end, it was the Brewers who bested them again. By approximately one mile.
Zack Greinke, who wears lucky number 13, was on the mound for the Brewers. In the resgular season, Greinke tossed 28 games with a WHIP (Walks + Hits / Innings Pitched) of 1.2 and an ERA (Earned Run Average) of 3.83.
Daniel Hudson started for Arizona. Hudson is a right handed pitcher, who started 33 games in the regular season with a WHIP of 1.2 and an ERA of 3.49.
Arizona started off eager with a man on base in the top of the first inning, but could not put the ingredients together to cook up a run.
Hudson’s first toss allowed Corey Hart to easily get a hit and reach first base. Then slugger Ryan Braun launched a loud tater, his first-ever in the postseason, that soared straight out to center field to put the Crew up 2-0.
In the top of the second, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt sent a high souvenir in the stands to answer back, which narrowed lessened to Crew’s lead to 2-1. Next up, Ryan Roberts hit the ball deep to right field for a double, but it came down to pitcher Hudson to put two sticks together. Hudson was effortlessly thrown out at first for the final out of the inning, and the Diamondbacks failed to ignite.
In the bottom of the third inning, after Braun reached base on a double, Prince Fielder stepped to the plate and took some initiative, in the form of an RBI single, to quickly douse Arizona’s attempt to catch up. Subsequently, Rickie Weeks hit a deep triple to centerfield that brought Fielder back home and brought the score to a more comfortable 4-1.
The DBacks woke up. Over the next two innings, Chris Young launched a solo shot, and in the top of the 5th, Justin Upton hit a dinger that brought Aaron Hill to score, and suddenly, for the first time in the series, the score was tied 4-4, and Arizona looked like they had a chance.
However, the tied score was all the motivation that Milwaukee needed to light the flame beneath their feet. (Or, maybe more accurately, it was all that it took for the DBacks to choke.) The Milwaukee wildfire spread in the bottom of the fifth inning, and the Brewers burned through four Arizona pitchers. Brad Ziegler trotted out from the bullpen to relieve Hudson. Ziegler inherited Jerry Hairston Jr. on second base.
All Ziegler had to do was keep the Brewers from gaining the lead.
It was the perfect nightmare.
Did you read that? ZIEGLER BALKED. But wait, it gets better. Hairston Jr. advanced to third. Yuniesky Betancourt walked to first. (Do I need to repeat that in all caps as well? Please pay attention. This is both painful and exciting.) Catcher Jonathan Lucroy bumped a sac fielder’s choice to Ziegler, which brought Hairston Jr. to score, Betancourt to second, and Lucroy landed at first.
THEN, Ziegler (poor fella) made a throwing error, which allowed Lucroy free passage to second base.
Ziegler’s nightmare was not over.
Ziegler intentionally walked Mark Kotsay. It gets EVEN BETTERWORSE: Hart singled to center field bringing Betancourt to score. Nyjer Morgan singled to centerfield, bringing both Lucroy and Kotsay to score. And then, because things always come in threes, Ziegler gave up another single, to Braun, which brought Hart home. If you could not keep track of all of that, the score up to that point was Brewers 9-4.
Oh, and then Joe Paterson relieved Ziegler. It goes without saying. (If you see Ziegler out wandering the streets, please give him a hug.)
Mighty Fielder stuck out swinging, then Bryan Shaw stepped in and finally finished the side without further bloodshed. The final score: Milwaukee 9, Arizona 4.
The DBacks will have home field advantage when the clubs head out west to Chase Field for game three, which will take place on Tuesday at 9:30pm ET and will be broadcast on TBS.