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Analyzing D-backs-Brewers, Cards-Phils

Analyzing D-backs-Brewers, Cards-Phils

After a masterful outing in Game 1, Roy Halladay is back on the mound for the Phillies in Game 5.


On Friday night there will be multiple double-elimination games played on the same day for just the third time in major league history. It first happened 30 years ago, on Sunday, October 11, 1981, when three of the four strike-created Division Series, which pit that bifurcated season's first- and second-half division champions against each other, reached a decisive Game 5, with the Yankees beating the Brewers, the Dodgers beating the Astros, and the Expos, in the only postseason appearance in franchise history, beating the Phillies.

It last happened on Monday, October 15, 2001, when the two American League Division Series played their Games 5, with the Yankees beating the A's and the 116-win Mariners beating the Indians. Those were also the only seasons prior to this one in which more than two Division Series went the distance.

Tonight, the Brewers and Diamondbacks reconvene in Milwaukee for the first double-elimination game for either franchise since the seventh games of the 1982 and 2011 World Series, respectively (the Brewers, then in the American League, lost to the Cardinals and the D-backs beat the Yankees). The Cardinals and Phillies, meanwhile, return to the City of Brotherly Love, with the Cardinals playing their first double-elimination game since beating the Mets in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series, and the Phillies playing their first since their Game 5 loss to the Expos in '81.

Diamondbacks at Brewers

Series: NLDS, Game 5, series tied 2-2

Time: 5:07 p.m. EST


Starters: Ian Kennedy (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (1-0, 1.13 ERA)

? This is the 65th best-of-five series in baseball history to start 2-0. Of the first 64, 10 went to a fifth game and seven of those saw the team that started down 0-2 win the series. That's an encouraging history for Arizona, who lost the first two games of this series in Milwaukee before taking two at home.

? The home team has won every game of this series. That was not at all unexpected given the Brewers' home and road records this season. The Diamondbacks had a pretty large home/road split this season themselves, particularly on offense, where they scored nearly a run less per game on the road than they did at home. Accordingly, the games haven't even been particularly close. The Brewers took the first two games in Milwaukee by a combined score of 13-5. Then the Diamondbacks took the next two by a total of 18-7. The home team and eventual game winner has scored multiple runs in the bottom of the first inning of each of the last three games.

? The pitching matchup for Game 5 is a rematch of Game 1. The Brewers' Yovani Gallardo dominated that game, limiting the Diamondbacks to three singles and a walk through the first seven innings before finally allowing a run on a Ryan Roberts leadoff homer in the eighth. He struck out nine D-backs in his eight innings of work.

? Ian Kennedy wasn't awful in Game 1. He didn't let the Brewers get into any extended rallies, and three of the four runs he allowed in his 6 2/3 innings were largely attributable to Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder, who singled and doubled to set up a Jerry Hairston sac fly in the fourth and doubled and homered for two more runs in the seventh. He allowed just three hits and a walk to the rest of the Brewers' lineup, though he did also hit two batters and struck out just three, and one of those other hits was a Yuniesky Betancourt triple that set up another run.

? Arizona manager Kirk Gibson started lefthanded veteran Lyle Overbay at first base against the righty Gallardo in Game 1, but don't expect to see him back in the lineup tonight. Overbay went 0-for-3, and in the three games since, righty-swinging rookie first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has gone 5-for-11 with two walks, two home runs, six RBIs and four runs scored.

? As a team, the Diamondbacks have out-hit the Brewers in this series .279/.347/.507 to .265/.327/.447, doing most of their damage with the long ball, out-homering Milwaukee nine to four, though both teams have gone deep in each of the first four games. The D-backs have also struck out nearly twice as much as the Brewers (39 times to Milwaukee's 21).

? With the exception of repurposed starter Chris Narveson, who was lit up in Game 4, the Brewers' bullpen hasn't allowed a run, inherited or otherwise, in 11 innings of work through the first four games, and has struck out 13 men in those 11 frames.

Cardinals at Phillies

Series: NLDS, Game 5, series tied 2-2

Time: 8:37 p.m. EST


Starters: Chris Carpenter (0-0, 12.00 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (1-0, 3.38 ERA)

? This is the Phillies' 10th postseason series in the last five seasons, but the first to go the distance. In fact, it's just the third double-elimination game in franchise history, the other two being the 1980 NLCS, in which the Phillies beat the Astros in Game 5, and the 1981 NLDS against the Expos mentioned above. Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter was on the St. Louis team that went to Game 7 in 2006 NLCS, but he didn't start that game. Not counting the rehabbing Adam Wainwright, who recorded the final out of that series, Albert Pujols and Yadier Molina are the only other Cardinals remaining from that team. Molina hit the series-winning home run in the top of the ninth of 2006's Game 7.

? Carpenter will start this game on normal rest after his disaster start in Game 2, the first game in his major league career that he started on three-day's rest. Carpenter threw just 64 pitches in that outing, so there's unlikely to be any residual fatigue in this game. During the regular season, Carpenter faced the Phillies twice and allowed just one run in 15 innings while striking out 13 against just two walks. The Phillies expected starting eight have hit .242/.265/.348 against him in their careers with 19 strikeouts against just four walks and two home runs (by Ryan Howard and Hunter Pence) in 132 total at-bats, including Game 2 of this series.

? Roy Halladay gave up a three-run home run to Lance Berkman in the top of the first inning of Game 1 of this series, but the only baserunner he allowed after Berkman was a Skip Schumaker groundball single to lead off the second, after which he retired 21 straight Cardinals before yielding to the bullpen. In total, he struck out eight Cardinals while walking just one and allowing just four total baserunners in eight innings of work. Halladay is now 3-1 in the postseason, his only loss coming when he allowed four runs in seven innings against Tim Lincecum and the Giants in Game 1 of last year's NLCS.

? Jimmy Rollins and Chase Ultey are hitting a combined .517/.588/.793 (15-for-29) in this series. The rest of the Phillies are hitting .181/.209/.267, albeit with the team's only three home runs (by Howard, Raul Ibañez and Ben Francisco).

? The Cardinals have spread their offense around much better and now have Matt Holliday back in their lineup, replacing the suddenly cold Allen Craig (1-for-10 in this series). Holliday picked up a pinch-hit single in Game 3, then started in left field and went 1-for-3 with a single in Game 4.

? Cardinals closer Jason Motte and veteran lefty/righty set-up duo Arthur Rhodes and Octavio Dotel have combined to allow just one baserunner in six scoreless frames in this series while striking out 10 and walking none.

? The Phillies should have Cliff Lee fully available should they need him as he has had four day's of rest since his Game 2 start. Game 3 starter Cole Hamels is on his throw-day and could also make an appearance if needed. Cardinals manager Tony La Russ has confirmed that his Game 3 starter, Jaime Garcia, will join Game 1 starter Kyle Lohse in the St. Louis bullpen tonight. Garcia is a particularly compelling option as a lefty who could be called upon to face one of the Phillies' trio of lefty sluggers, Howard, Chase Utley and Ibañez.

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