Milwaukee Brewers: 6 Reasons The Crew Will Win Game 3 and Sweep the Diamondbacks
The Brewers have the Diamondbacks on the ropes as the NLDS heads to Arizona. Yovani Gallardo dominated the Snakeheads in a 4-1 Game 1 victory, while Arizona imploded in a five-run Brewers sixth in Game 2 as the Brewers won 9-5.
With just one more victory, the Brewers will earn their first National League Championship Series berth since joining the NL in 1998.
I think the Brewers will put away the Diamondbacks right away, taking Game 3 in Arizona and eliminating the D-Backs with a clean series sweep.
Here are six reasons why I think the NLDS is as good as over.
Arizona Has No Answer for Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun
Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are the best one-two punch in the major leagues today. So far in the NLDS, they've been completely unstoppable.
The two Brewers sluggers have combined to go 9-16 with six runs, six RBI and two home runs. Nothing the Diamondbacks have thrown their way has had any effect on this new version of Harvey's Wallbangers.
The only cloud for Brewers fans is the impending departure of Prince Fielder into free agency after the season. But Milwaukee sure is enjoying the ride while it lasts.
Rookie Starter in Pressure Situation
After Milwaukee has rocked Arizona's two best pitchers, what can rookie Josh Collmenter do?
Sure, Collmenter has had a nice rookie season. But his team is facing elimination, and this will easily be the most pressure-packed game of the young right-hander's career. The Brewers lineup is loaded and eager to close out the series with a sweep, which could spell trouble for Collmenter.
It's worth noting that a rookie pitcher has already turned in a spectacular performance this postseason. Can Collmenter replicate Rays rookie phenom Matt Moore's performance, who shut down the Rangers lineup in Game 1 of the ALDS? Will lightning strike twice?
Possibly, but I'm not betting on it.
Everyone Is Hitting
From the top of the lineup to the bottom, every Brewer is contributing at the plate.
Ron Roenicke's decision to start Jerry Hairston, Jr. rather than the struggling Casey McGehee has paid off, as Hairston has three hits and a walk and is slugging .667. Five Brewers hitters have multiple hits, and no position player with at least two plate appearances has failed to reach base. Even pitcher Zack Greinke got into the act with a hit in two at-bats on Sunday.
The Diamondbacks have already thrown their two best pitchers at this lineup and have failed to shut it down. There's no reason to think anyone else on Arizona's staff will fare much better.
Shaun Marcum is secretly the Brewers most dependable starter.
Zack Greinke may have garnered most of the headlines when the Brewers acquired him during the offseason, but Marcum has been a stud all season long. His ERA of 3.54 is mere percentage points behind Yovani Gallardo's 3.52 and his WHIP is best among Brewers starters at 1.16.
With Marcum on the mound Tuesday night, Brewers fans can be confident that he'll give their team a chance to win.
Tony Plush Is on His Game
Nyjer Morgan, aka "Tony Plush," is back on his game after a rough beginning to his postseason career in Game 1.
With a single and two RBI in Game 2, T-Plush is in Beast Mode and having the time of his life. After a career spent on losing teams, Morgan is ecstatic to be playing winning baseball in October.
For both the centerfielder and the Brewers team as a whole, the more fun Nyjer Morgan and his alter-ego Tony Plush are having, the better things will be in Milwaukee.
The Diamondbacks' Confidence Is Shot
The confidence of the Diamondbacks has to be shaken after their losses in Milwaukee. They're reeling after being outscored 13-5 in the first two games, and to avoid elimination they must win the next three straight.
The long cause for hope is that the Brewers are a much better club in the friendly confines of Miller Park than they are on the road, and the next two games are in Arizona.
But can the young D-Backs rally back from a 2-0 deficit and take three straight must-win games?
It says here that it's not happening, and deep down even the players must have their doubts about their ability to come back against the Brewers.
Milwaukee Brewers, welcome to the NLCS!