D-Backs, Brewers ready for deciderYovani Gallardo readily calls this start the biggest of his career. Ian Kennedy hoped for any chance to pitch again this season. “It’s definitely a whole different atmosphere,” Gallardo said. “Anything can happen.”
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Yovani Gallardo readily calls this start the biggest of his career. Ian Kennedy hoped for any chance to pitch again this season.
“It’s definitely a whole different atmosphere,” Gallardo said. “Anything can happen.”
The Arizona Diamondbacks look to complete their biggest rally of the season after being down 0-2 on Friday when they face the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 5 with a berth in the NL championship series at stake.
It’s a rematch of Game 1 starters when Gallardo bested Kennedy to keep his perfect record against the Diamondbacks intact. Milwaukee went on to win the first two games at Miller Park, where the Brewers had a majors-best 57 home victories in the regular season, before Arizona stayed alive by winning the next two in Phoenix.
“I don’t think anything in the past will carry over into Milwaukee,” Diamondbacks center fielder Chris Young said. “It’s pretty much a one-game playoff. Everybody talks about Milwaukee’s home record and our record on the road or whatever, but that’s over an entire season.
“We have to deal with this one game that we have coming up and the game’s really open to anybody.”
Gallardo retired 14 of 15 at one point, allowing one run on four hits over eight innings in a 4-1 victory in Game 1. The 25-year-old right-hander is 6-0 with a 1.18 ERA in six career starts against Arizona, but acknowledges he’s never pitched in an elimination game on any level.
“I just try to stay as relaxed as I can. I’m the same person no matter what. So it’s going to be a little bit tougher, but I just have to stay out there, relax, and just pitch my game and see what happens,” Gallardo said. “I would say definitely it is the most important game in my career.”
Milwaukee used a five-run sixth inning to win 9-4 in Game 2, but the beastly offensive attack ended in Arizona, where the Diamondbacks won both games facing elimination.
Milwaukee’s middle of the order — Ryan Braun, Fielder and Rickie Weeks — went 3 for 23 in Arizona in two games after going a combined 10 for 22 at Miller Park.
Fielder said it would be special to be a star in a winner-take-all game.
“But I don’t necessarily have to do something,” Fielder said. “I just want to win. I don’t care who does it.”
It could also be Fielder’s last game in Milwaukee, a topic that’s come up repeatedly over the past two years. He was the subject of trade rumors all last year and will hit free agency after this season.
“Right now he is so focused on what we need to do and trying to win this game so that we can go on that I don’t think that’s going to come into play with him,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “He’s locked in on what we need to do. He knows his at-bats are going to be important. And hopefully with Ryan and the boys on in front of him, we’ll see what happens.”
‘Dream’ matchup pits Halladay vs. Carpenter
PHILADELPHIA — Roy Halladay and Chris Carpenter grew up together with the Toronto Blue Jays, and the BFFs have spent plenty of time competing on golf courses and fishing boats.
The stakes will be much higher when the All-Stars go head-to-head on a mound for the first time Friday night.
It’ll be Halladay vs. Carpenter in Game 5 with a berth in the NL championship series on the line for the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals.
“You definitely look forward to it,” Halladay said Thursday. “Not only is Chris a good pitcher, but obviously a good friend. We’ve talked about this scenario. I think it’s something we’re both looking forward to. It’s going to be a challenge.
“Going in, you know what you’re up against, you know how good they are, you know how good Chris is. We haven’t got a chance to pitch against each other, and if you’re going to do it for the first time, might as well be now,” he said.
The best buddies already have made offseason plans for a fishing trip. One of them will get a head start on his vacation.
“It’s been a pretty good friendship for a long time,” Carpenter said. “We’ve pitched together, we’ve vacationed together, we communicate a bunch during the offseason and during the season. He just invited me to go fishing this winter, so I mean, we’ve got a real good relationship. It’s going to be a lot of fun.”