Today is a day that will live on in the Brewers history books, regardless of the outcome. What is amazing about elimination games, you learn what your team is made of. This afternoon a legend will emerge, I guarantee it. Whether it is a Brewer or a D’Back, there will be heroics and some lucky player will live on as a hero or a goat. We saw it last night with Alex Rodriguez. He had not one, but two opportunities to cement himself in Yankees folklore as a hero. A-Rod struck out both times, cementing himself as the Yankees goat until next April. The real question is, who will rise to the occasion. I have 3 Brewers that I think can cement themselves in Brewers history this afternoon, one way or another.
Yovani Gallardo – It is easy to pick the pitcher, I know. But Gallardo is the type of talent who can single-handedly win a game for you. Not only is he a dominant pitcher, he can also swing the bat with some fury. After his performance last weekend, it is not unreasonable to suspect that he could also struggle a little bit. Considering how easily the D’Backs have demolished his fellow rotation mates, their is a lot of pressure on his shoulders. If he can duplicate his Game 1 performance, he will lock down his legacy in Brewers lore. Yo’s key to heroics, keep the fastball down and do not rely on your breaking and off-speed stuff. Your fastball is what makes batters miss. To quote coach Lou Brown, “Give ’em the heater Ricky”.
Rickie Weeks – What a beautiful transition! Nice work me. If Rickie Weeks can deliver in the clutch today, no one will remember that he has gone 1-for-15 in the first four games of this series. Over the past 10 years, it seems like the guys who are the least likely to do damage come through when their team needs them the most. Weeks had one of his best seasons to date, until that damn ankle injury. If he were to bounce back, today could be his last chance. On the flip side, on Wednesday Rickie ended 4 of the Brewers 9 innings. In three of those innings there were runners on base. If I may impart my personal belief for one moment, Rickie is due. Ever since Weeks first joined the team, I have been smitten with him and it pains me to see him struggle like this at the plate. He is due, and if I was a betting man I would bet on Weeks being the hero today.
John Axford– No one loves John more than the staff at RtB. We want nothing more than to see him close out tonight’s ballgame. If we can get to the 7th inning with a lead, our odds of winning go up about 97% (67% of all statistics are made up on the spot). K-Rod has been amazing in the 8th inning, but we need John to close out what is arguably the biggest Brewers game since Ronald Reagan was the President. In a clinching game, the video clip that is always shown is the closer and catcher celebrating on the mound. That is how John will lock down his legacy in Brewers franchise history. And yet, all good things must come to an end. Not to jinx our pal, but at some point he will blow a save. It is unrealistic to assume he will never blow a save, but I hope that it’s not tonight. I have all the confidence in the world in ‘The Ax Man’. In fact, last week I got in a Twitter fight with some blowhard from New York who said the Brewers had the most over rated set-up/closer situation in baseball. Needless to say, he and I no longer follow each other. Go get ’em Stachey!!!!
I am so nervous and excited, it makes me want to puke with joy. To all of you who are reading this, I want you to know that it has been an honor and privelage to write for you this season. Should today be the end of the road, I have no regrets. There is so much for us to be thankful for this season. Once the season ends I am going to spend a lot of time going over all of the amazing accomplishments of this team. Brewers fans are the greatest fans on earth and nothing will change that. Let’s all grab a Miller Lite, wear every single piece of Brewers apparel we have, and enjoy every last mili-second of this game.
I hope that this is not the last time…GO BREWERS!!!!!!!AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!