All around the world Brewers fans are waking up on a Monday feeling good. Feeling confident, cocky and cool because the Brewers are the only team in the 2011 playoffs to hold a 2-0 lead over their opponent. The only team with the potential to sweep. Just writing that makes me want to say stupid things like "HOT DOG!" I don't know about you, but I am feeling GREAT this morning. This is so fun. Didn't I tell you? Didn't I?
If game 1 was the game that everything went right for the Brewers then game 2 was the game that everything didn't. Zack Greinke alternated between being a good pitcher and throwing batting practice for Diamondbacks hitters. Once up 4-1 the scoreboard read 4-4 after Justin Upton's homerun to tie the game. The mood was quiet in Miller Park when the Brewers came to bat in their half of the inning and to say the crowd was nervous at this point would be an understatement as few seemed to realize the Brewers were in the middle of a tie game. The anxiety was magnified in the 6th inning when Roenicke decided he'd had enough and turned to the bullpen. The message was clear to those looking for a reason to panic: Zack Greinke, the former Cy Young winner who was supposed to save our pitching staff, couldn't make it through the sixth inning. Takashi Saito came in and did a good job keeping the game tied, but the crowd remained reserved. When Rickie Weeks led off the following inning with a groundout it did nothing to help stir the sleeping crowd. It was a tie game that felt like a 6-4 game. Then this happened:
Jerry Hairston doubled.
For the first time in recorded history a reliever was brought in to face Yuniesky Betancourt.
Brad Ziegler BALKED Hairston to third.
Yuni WALKED. (!)
Jonathan Lucroy did the sweetest squeeze bunt ever and the Brewers took the lead.
The Brewers would go on to add five more runs in the inning, but this sequence right here is what sealed it. This sequence turned the crowd from lethargic to "Miller Park is shaking right now. Should we be worried?" mode. Just like Braun throwing out Bloomquist the night before, this was the moment that you KNEW the Brewers were going to win.
There have been only two games thus far, but the numbers look so good it's hard not to mention them. Ryan Braun is hitting .750 in the playoffs. Seven fifty. The Brewers bullpen hasn't allowed a run in five innings. Jerry Hairston is the starting third baseman all of the sudden and he's hitting .500. Yuniesky Betancourt drew a walk. Everything is looking good for this team. Everything. If the playoffs are all about luck (and I'm inclined to believe that they are) then the Brewers have got to be the favorite from here on out because at this moment every single thing is going their way.
I am going to try and not get too excited. I'm going to try and not let these two games cloud my vision. I know there is a long way to go. I know these are only two games, but wow... just wow. What a weekend.
I really can't imagine yesterday going any better for the Brewers than it did. Every starter except Hart and Morgan got on base, Yo looked amazing, Braun and Fielder showed why they are the best duo in all of baseball and from the first inning on everything seemed to go the Brewers way. From the moment Braun threw out Willie Bloomquist you just knew there was no way the Brewers were going to lose this game.
And then there was Prince's homerun. The Brewers didn't need Prince's two run homerun to win this game, but when we think back on this one that will be the image that sticks out in our minds simply because it wasn't supposed to happen this way. Nobody expected them to let Kennedy pitch to Fielder. We were supposed to get the reliever or they were supposed to walk him and then it'd be over with. Instead we got what happened, we got a moment. An image of Prince Fielder celebrating with his teammates that will be replayed over and over in Brewers highlights forever. Amazing.
Also, we got this:
It was an awesome day and yet it is only the beginning. There are going to be a lot more days like yesterday on this run. Ten more like it hopefully.
(I am playing this after every Brewers win from now on. Deal with it.)