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Cards have no answer for Brewers’ power in Game 1

Oct 9, 2011, 7:44 PM EDT

Yuniesky Betancourt AP

Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt both homered and doubled, and Prince Fielder added a two-run bomb of his own against the Cardinals as the Brewers claimed Game 1 of the NLCS 9-6.

In all, the Brewers had eight extra-base hits, the most any team has had in a postseason game since 2007. Only seven teams have ever had more extra-base hits in a postseason game:

13: NYY vs. Bos – 2004 ALCS Game 3 (won 19-8)
12: Bos vs. Cle – 1999 ALDS Game 4 (won 23-7)
10: Bos vs. NYY – 1999 ALCS Game 3 (won 13-1)
9: Pit vs. WSH – 1925 WS Game 7 (won 9-7)
9: Cle vs. Sea – 2001 ALDS Game 3 (won 17-2)
9: CHC vs. Fla – 2003 NLCS Game 1 (lost 9-8)
9: Bos vs. Col – 2007 WS Game 1 (won 13-1)

This was the first time since 2003 that an NL club had eight extra-base hits in either an LCS or World Series game. Game 1 of the 2003 NLCS between the Marlins and Cubs had both teams do it. The Marlins had eight and won 9-8 even though the Cubs had nine.

Braun got the scoring started in the first, hitting a two-run homer off Jaime Garcia. He also had a two-run double as part of the Brewers’ big six-run fifth inning. He now has seven extra-base hits and eight RBI in six postseason games this year and nine extra-base hits and 10 RBI in 10 postseason games in his career.

The bigger surprise, though, was Betancourt. Sometimes reviled for his tendency to make first-pitch outs, he had two long at-bats today, including the one that resulted in a two-run homer off Octavio Dotel in the fifth. He’s now 6-for-18 with four extra-base hits in his first postseason.

Fielder’s homer was his second this October and third in 10 career postseason games.

The Brewers also got doubles from Jerry Hairston Jr., Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 9, 2011 at 7:50 PM

    No surprise given the Brewers record when playing at home.

  2. paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:08 PM

    You have Allen Craig on the bench, but you pinch hit with Nick Punto to lead off the 9th inning? *sigh*

    Seriously, R-L matchups should not take priority over ability. During his short MLB career, Craig has OPSed .830 vs righties…during his long career Punto has OPSed .649 as a lefty against righties….but hey, lets go with the guy that sucks.

    Tonight it didn’t matter, they would have lost anyway (though it may have been closer if the best available players were on the roster and not say….Kyle McClellan)….but often, it does matter….and it is frustrating.

    …..anyway, yeah….pretty much what you expect in Milwaukee….their lineup is really only 5 guys deep…if you can’t get out the last 4….you don’t deserve to win.

    • paperlions - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM

      Anyone that disagrees….feel free to provide the logic for consistently playing inferior players because of which hand they use or which side of the plate they stand on…..I’d even like insight into why McClellan should be on the roster instead of the clearly superior (and apparently healthy) Sanchez. I’ll check back later to read these sage insights.

      • Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:25 PM

        I cannot offer you logic. I can only offer you tradition.

      • badmamainphilliesjamas - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:01 PM

        Can’t figure why you got thumbs down on that . . . have wondered the same myself.

      • mrznyc - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

        John McGraw started it and in the process got Casey Stengel’s batting average well over .300 – Stengel revered McGraw as the second coming and made wide use of the R/L move when with the Yanks. The rest, as they say, is history (or tradition)

      • gostlcards5 - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        ‘lions: I might be wrong here, but I think that the two stats TLR uses are:
        – Pitcher’s BA against LH batters vs BA against RH batters
        – BA of the players (in your example, Craig and Punto, vs the pitcher).

        The one that I think (in specialized circumstances) is the most important is the BA against, for example – if you have a pitcher that clearly dominates RH batters. but in the general circumstance, I agree with you. In most cases, I think you should take the player that is clearly more talented, but perhaps TLR was thinking he would have another opportunity to use Craig, or perhaps he was thinking of a double-switch after Punto, where Craig would remain in the game.

        I’ve been watching the guy manage since I was a kid, which is to say, for over 30 years (my dad and brother were White Sox fans), and I still wonder what the heck he’s thinking sometimes. When his schemes works great, he looks like a genius, and when they don’t, he looks like an absolute schmuck.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:14 PM

      You should know by now that there is no logic to the thumbs up/thrumbs down feature. People are probably giving up a thumbs down because you are a Cardinal fan, they are a TLR fan, or had some previous run in with you. I wouldn’t expect any logical retorts to your assertions as well. If it is any consellation, I agree with you. Also, I would like to restate that I don’t like the Brewers at all. I don’t particularly like the Cardinals, but there is something in the demeanor of the Brewers that agitates me. Perhaps it is the way they carry themselves on the field, I don’t know. As smug as I find TLR and the Cardinals in general, I find the Brewers exponentially more obnoxious. So, until the end of the season (never thought I’d say this and I sincerely hope to never say it again) go Cards.

      • lukeslice - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:47 AM

        I give thumbs downs to everyone that whines about getting thumbs downs just for the record. Who f’ing cares?!??!

      • lukeslice - Oct 10, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        I wish I had more hands…so I could give these comments 4 thumbs down! (skip to 4:15)

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:14 PM

      In a nutshell…R/L matchups happen for the same reason switch hitters…switch hit.

  3. thefalcon123 - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:15 PM

    woah, wait a second….there are teams the Cardinals have to beat *after* the Phillies to get the title?


  4. Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:22 PM

    I’m not sure why, but I somehow didn’t much notice earlier in the playoffs or during the regular season just how fat and out of shape Prince Fielder has allowed himself to become. Watching him hit the deck on an inside pitch in the eighth was like watching someone offload a sack of feed on the loading dock of an Agway store. Watching him running – if that’s the word for it – to first in his lunging groundout to end that same at-bat was almost as much of an effort as it looked like it took for him to run at all.

    Ordinarily I wouldn’t ever bother remarking on this except that the local Feeshwrapper and spawrts tawrk raydeeo programs here in Macando have been full of rumors and speculation that Scrooge McLoria is going to make a serious run at signing Fielder during the orffseason. Okay, let me declaim in advance that the likelihood of this organization (I snicker contemptuously as I type) outbidding one of the big market teams for Fielder’s services seems more than a little absurd. However, signing this guy to an extended commitment for big bucks seems insane when you know the connective tissue in his legs just ain’t gonna support that cornucopia of avoirdupois hanging over his belt without doing repeated impersonations of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. That, and dear Buddha, the per diems….maybe it was just the image of Ryan Howard rupturing his Achilles tendon on the last out of the NLDS but I find Fielder’s lack of conditioning a red flag – buoy might be a better image – that ought to convince Larry Beinfest and the Chihuahua, not to mention the uber-tightwad himself, to stop and have a long think about this one.

    • glennsyank13 - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM

      I wonder how fat and out of shape Old Gator is? My mistake, I’m sure he will let us know he is a true specimen…

      • Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:40 PM

        Well, I would admittedly have problems turning a solitary head on a female hydra at this point in my life, but then I’m not the one angling for someone to bet fifteen million a year for ten years on me, am I?

    • mrznyc - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      Wow, Agway, Tacaoma Narrows Bridge and Female Hydra references with avoirdupois just thrown in for good measure in a post and reply – I’m impressed. A Roscoe Arbuckle would have been appropiate if you could have managed it, but nice work anyway.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:00 PM

        New! San Francisco Style frozen mixed metaphors. Just break the ice and serve.

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:01 PM

        Oh yeah, and just for the record, I do know that there aren’t any “female” hydras. But it’s like mama always said: two’s androgyny; three’s a crowd.

    • stlouis1baseball - Oct 10, 2011 at 12:13 PM

      Gator…Prince has missed what…2 games over the last 3 years? I also think you will find (if researched)…that he leads ALL of MLB in games played over the last 6 years. Hard to believe? Sure. But it is a fact. Go Cardinals!

      • Old Gator - Oct 10, 2011 at 1:58 PM

        I know that, but he’s still young. He won’t be by the time his next contract is up. Unless he happens to be an android with carbon fiber enhanced nylon tendons – perhaps the first operating model out of Tyrell Corporation – that bulk is going to catch up with his hips, knees and hamstrings sooner or later. Are you the lucky owner who wants him taking up a space and a half on your disabled list when it all pulls even with him?

  5. 8man - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    Expected. Cards can still steal home park advantage with a win in game 2. That being said, I’m calling this the Beer World Series and rooting for the winner of this series to take it all,

    Seriously, what makes more sense than a team called the Brewers winning it all or a team from St. Louis where beer is king taking the crown?

    Go Beer!

    • lukeslice - Oct 10, 2011 at 10:48 AM

      Typical rugby guy! Jesus can’t play rugby, any idea why?

  6. otis52gsh - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:34 PM

    As a cubs fan I hate the Brewers, but I hate the cardinals even more. Go Brewers!!!

    • dondada10 - Oct 9, 2011 at 8:42 PM

      As a Mets fan, screw the Cardinals…Go Brew Crew!

      • Old Gator - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:23 PM

        As a Feesh fan, I fear spraining something trying to make myself give a rat’s ass who wins this series. I’m just pulling for real baseball over designatedhitterball, as always.

  7. fearlessleader - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:14 PM

    I had an answer for the Brewers’ power. It was called “getting Jaime Garcia out of there before the game was out of reach, or, better yet, not starting him in game 1 at all.” Sadly, the Squirrel Express failed to get the message to Tony in time, and once Dotel contributed to the suckage with an error and a gopherball, we were solidly in “we’ll get ’em tomorrow” territory.

    The Cards opened the NLDS with a worse loss to a better team, so there’s no crying in Budville just yet!

    • rollinghighwayblues - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:26 PM

      Am I on an island here, or did it seem that Pujols didn’t even attempt to corral the Dotel throwing error?

      The blaring of the The Gap Band after the Fielder HR was amazing!

      • gostlcards5 - Oct 10, 2011 at 2:07 PM

        Answer to your question (imho, of course): You’re on an island.

        The runner was coming, and the ball took him into the base path. It looked to me like he was trying to read the hop, but perhaps he was tentative, because it was a similar play that caused him the injury to his forearm earlier this season.

  8. churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Brewers play the Gap Band after a HR, good enough reason for me to cheer for them.

  9. surly1n1nd1anapol1s - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:48 PM

    I’m sure LaRussa will unwind with a bottle of wine. Then take a drive around town to clear his head. You know how it is. Find a nice intersection to rest.

    • dannomac21 - Oct 10, 2011 at 3:46 PM


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