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October 7, 2011

Wezen-Ball

Game 5 Thoughts

by Larry Granillo

The Brewers will be hosting a do-or-die Game 5 this afternoon against the Diamondbacks. How about that?

Now, what's for lunch?

Yovani Gallardo, who pitched a gem of a game in Game 1 on Saturday (maybe the best game pitched this postseason) and who dominated his final three starts of the season (striking out 36 batters in only 20 innings), is starting for Milwaukee against Arizona's Ian Kennedy. Kennedy had a great year and pitched well-enough in his Game 1 start. The Diamondbacks have to be pretty happy to have their top starter back on the hill, even if he couldn't keep the Brewers' bats silent on Saturday. Of course, you never know how a game is going to turn until the players are on the field.

Hmm... I wonder if that new "Avengers" trailer is out yet?

The Brewers offense dominated Arizona last weekend. Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder led the carnage, of course, with the duo combining for nine hits and a pair of home runs. When those two came to bat, Miller Park shook and runs were put on the board. But they weren't alone. The stadium was shaking for Corey Hart and Jerry Hairston and Jonathan Lucroy and the rest of the line-up too; they didn't disappoint either. Thirteen runs and a commanding two-games-to-nil lead as they left for Phoenix proves that. But the bats went cold in Arizona - and off the back-end of the D-Backs' rotation no less! It could be a poorly timed slump. Or it could be the D-Backs' pitchers figuring out how to pitch to the heart of the order. Maybe it's Rickie Weeks' 1-for-15 on the series giving Prince no protection. Or it could just be a little bit of bad luck down at Chase Field. There were quite a few loud outs in Wednesday's game, after all. And Miller Park does treat the Brewers well.

Oh yeah - did they ever announce which theaters the "Ghostbusters" re-release will be showing at next week?

The team did win 57 games at home during the regular season. That's pretty remarkable. They won more at home than the Astros did *the entire season*. I don't know what it is, but there is definitely something about playing in Milwaukee that picks up the team. The park isn't quite the launching pad most make it out to be - park factor-rankings tend to have it in the middle of the pack - but that rightfield porch does seem to like Fielder. Fans out there always need to be ready to set down their beer and reach for a home run. Hopefully we'll see a few of those this afternoon. Kennedy's neck is probably still hurting from that bomb Prince launched last week off of him.

I wonder why I don't play the "NBA Jam" and "Sid Meier's Pirates!" games I downloaded for the iPad more often... would I ever stop playing them if I did?

It's pretty amazing how everyone has known all year that this is Fielder's last hurrah for the Brewers and the city of Milwaukee, but no one has really turned it into something crazy. Imagine what would happen if this were New York. Once Doug Melvin made the decision to keep Fielder on the team last winter - which is a decision he apparently made much earlier than we realized since it was a major selling-point in getting Zack Greinke to come here - it's like the fans all decided to understand and appreciate the situation Fielder is in and to wish him the best. "Play your heart out, Prince. Take us to the World Series. Drink the champagne of beers with us. And then go get that big contract. You deserve it. It's the most we can ask." Maybe no one's ever said those exact words before, but it's exactly what is being said every time the crowd gets on its feet and roars for the big slugger. Today's Game 5 could be the last time the city has the chance to say that.

Umm! ... what else is going on today? Umm... Oh look, the Marlins are up to their wacky ways again...

But it's not like today is the end of anything. Braun and Weeks and Hart and Gallardo are all locked up to long-term deals. Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum are both signed through next year as well. The 2012 Brewers may very well be just as good of a team as these 2011 Brewers. No reason to fear next year. No reason to worry about the end of the season. It's been a joy. Some of the most fun I've had watching a team in my life.

Hold on! There's got to be something else on the internet. Uh... Well... Hey look, that cat wants a cheeseburger!

The season is not over. There is still a game to be played. A game where Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder and the rest of the best home team in baseball get to utilize that advantage. A game where Yovani Gallardo gets to show the world that it's been ignoring an ace in the Brew City. A game that 45,000 fans in the park, and millions of fans in the state, will be loudly cheering and hollering for. A game that had to be played because it was the only way the team could celebrate on its field, with its fans. A game that gives the Brewers their best shot at the World Series in 30 years. A game that will be remembered for a long time.

A game that cannot be ignored. … Ah $*&#, why is the roof closed?!

Related Content:  Prince Fielder

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Prospectus Playoff Qui... (10/07)
<< Previous Column
Wezen-Ball: NLDS Game ... (10/06)
Next Column >>
Wezen-Ball: Some World... (10/19)
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The BP Broadside: The ... (10/07)

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