Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Milwaukee Brewers traveled to Wrigley
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Milwaukee Brewers traveled to Wrigleyin Aufbau und Regelwerk 01.03.2019 08:05
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Field on Monday and will head back home as both the top seed in the National League postseason and the NL Central champions following their 3-1 win over the Chicago Cubs.MVP candidate Christian Yelich and veterans Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun led the way http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-brandon-moss-jersey , each registering RBI singles in the victory, while five Brewers pitchers combined to give up just three hits and one run.Anthony Rizzo's fifth-inning homer was the lone run for Chicago.The Brewers will next play Thursday and await the winner of Tuesday's NL Wild Card Game. That matchup will be between the Cubs and the loser of Monday evening's NL West-deciding game between the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.Brewers in Driver's Seat After Securing Home-Field Advantage in NL PlayoffsThe Brewers have had a magical September, erasing a five-game deficit earlier in the month to emerge as NL Central champions. But more importantly, their path grew easier Monday as they secured home-field advantage throughout the postseason.Lose, and the Brewers would have been facing the dreaded play-in game Tuesday. Had they won that, they'd have a series against the Cubs without home-field advantage.Instead, they get two days off and will host either the Cubs, Dodgers or Rockies at Miller Park come Thursday.Maximiliano Bretos mbretosESPNGood for you Milwaukee, good for you Brewers . Has to feel like a million bucks to celebrate on Wrigley Field.Dan Wolken DanWolkenBrewers have been great down the stretch. Very deserving winner.Avoiding the play-in game was crucial. A team's season can be over in the blink of an eye, lost due to a flukey bounce of the ball or at the hands of a suddenly unhittable pitcher.But the Brewers are also red-hot. Since Sept. 1, they are 20-7, winning eight games in a row and 10 of their last 11. They have a deep bullpen and a fearsome top of the lineup, led by Yelich Bo Jackson Jersey , who might be the best player in baseball this season.All of this is happening ahead of schedule, as Dan O'Donnell of NewsTalk 1130 noted:Dan ODonnell DanODonnellShowTwo years into a 鈥渞ebuild,鈥?the Brewers:-Won 96 games-Won their division -Had the best record in the NL-Secured home field advantage throughout the NL playoffs-Have the MVP frontrunner and serious Manager and Executive of the Year candidatesWhile the pieces are falling into place, none of that matters if the Brewers suddenly start playing poorly. But Milwaukee looks like it could make a World Series run this October.Continued Heroics from Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun Will Be Crucial in PostseasonPerhaps lost amid the magic of Milwaukee's run to the postseason is the fact that the Brewers aren't brimming with postseason experience.Players such as Yelich, Jesus Aguilar, Josh Hader, Jhoulys Chacin and Chase Anderson have never been in the playoffs. Travis Shaw has appeared in one postseason contest.Players like Cain and Braun, however, have danced in October. Cain in particular won a World Series with the Kansas City Royals in 2015.Both looked the part of wily veterans Monday. Cain's eighth-inning RBI single proved to be the game-winning hit. Two batters later, Braun gave the team some wiggle room with an RBI single of his own.Stephen A Smith stephenasmithBut before that, Lorenzo Cain reminded everyone that he knows a thing or two about championship-caliber play, smacking an RBI single up the middle. Brewers up 2-1.Stephen A Smith stephenasmithRyan Braun....RBI single. And to think, once upon a time Paulo Orlando Jersey , we thought his career was on the verge of being overObviously, the Brewers will only go as far as their top players take them. If Yelich suddenly goes ice-cold and Aguilar goes through a power drought, they'll be in trouble. But they have veterans,including Cain and even MikeMoustakas, who can not only contribute on the field but also guide the younger players behind the scenes.And if they consistently come up as clutch, as they did Monday, the Brewers are going to be difficult to beat.Joe Maddon's Liberal Bullpen Use Could Haunt Cubs in Play-In GameManager Joe Maddon was not shy about utilizing his bullpen Monday, using seven pitchers. It was clear he was going all out to avoid the play-in game, but following the loss, that strategy could come back to bite the team.Of course, all is not lost with Jon Lester on the mound. And Chicago will have a home game against either the Dodgers or Rockies, who will be traveling from Los Angeles overnight. But it isn't the ideal path either.Jon Heyman JonHeymancubs still alive. play for the wild card tomorrow at Wrigley. jon lester, among actives the most successful postseason pitcher http://www.royalsfanproshop.com/authentic-danny-duffy-jersey , will start for them.Jeff Passan JeffPassanThe Cubs will play the loser of the Dodgers-Rockies game tomorrow night at Wrigley Field. Jon Lester will start. The winner will advance to face Milwaukee. Its not the worst-case scenario, by any means, but all things considered, its a pretty big kick in the gut for Chicago.If Lester falters, the Cubs could turn to Cole Hamels, with Kyle Hendricks likely to start Thursday should the team advance.Jesse Rogers ESPNChiCubsMaddon clarified. Hamels in pen tomorrow. Hendricks prepping for Thur so not avail but he was today RT ESPNChiCubs: Maddon says Hamels and maybe Hendricks in the pen tomorrowNo doubt, Chicago will be in desperation mode Tuesday. So maybe Maddon's gambit won't matter. If Lester deals鈥攐r if Hamels is called upon and gives his team several strong innings鈥攏obody will remember that Maddon that used six pitchers after taking out Jose Quintana, who gave up six hits but just one run in five innings.But if Lester, Hamels and a potentially taxed bullpen struggle and the Cubs get knocked out of the postseason...Maddon's use of the bullpen will be a talking point in Chicago all winter. A look at what’s happening around the majors today:OPENER FOR THE OPENERThe Brewers will begin their NL Division Series against the Rockies with a bullpen game at Miller Park. Manager Craig Counsell said Wednesday he had not decided on the order of his relievers. The group will almost certainly include All-Star left-hander Josh Hader, though Colorado will have a tough test start to finish — Milwaukee led the majors with a 1.98 bullpen ERA in September.Colorado counters with Antonio Senzatela, a right-hander who is 6-6 with a 4.38 ERA in 23 games, including 13 starts. It will be the postseason debut for the 23-year-old.THE ACE AWAITSThe Braves and Dodgers open their NLDS in Los Angeles, and Atlanta has a chance to jump ahead before facing Clayton Kershaw in Game 2. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts decided to hold back his ace left-hander and will instead start Hyun-Jin Ryu in Game 1. The left-handed Ryu was 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA in 15 starts this season.Mike Foltynewicz is up for the Braves. The hard-throwing right-hander put it all together this season Frank White Jersey , posting career bests with a 2.85 ERA over 183 innings. Atlanta might be without shortstop Dansby Swanson, who appears a long shot to make the team’s roster after partially tearing a ligament in his left hand last month.RIVALRY RENEWEDThe Yankees are headed up to Fenway Park ahead of their AL Division Series opener against the Red Sox on Friday night. It’s the first time New York and Boston will clash in the postseason since the 2004 AL Championship Series. The Yankees beat the Athletics 7-2 Wednesday night in the AL wild-card game to set up the AL East showdown.Boston manager Alex Cora said Wednesday he was still deciding on his bullpen alignment for the ALDS. He has two spots available to righties Joe Kelly, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman and lefty Bobby Poyner. Relief was the biggest weakness for the team while it won a franchise-record 108 games. The Red Sox had an AL-worst 4.84 ERA in September.TAKE YOUR PICKRajai Davis has his name cemented in October baseball lore, but it might not be on Cleveland’s playoff roster this year. Indians manager Terry Francona has one spot left on his 25-man roster for the AL Division Series against the Houston Astros and it will go to either Davis or utility infielder Erik Gonzalez.“We’re debating the last spot,” Francona said Wednesday. “We’re going back and forth.”The Indians will open the ALDS in Houston on Friday and Francona must submit his roster to Major League Baseball by 10 a.m. that morning for the best-of-five series.SUSPENDEDAddison Russell’s future with the Cubs is in question after Major League Baseball suspended the Chicago shortstop 40 games for violating the league’s domestic violence policy after a series of allegations made by his ex-wife. Russell’s unpaid suspension includes the 11 regular-season games he missed after being placed on administrative leave Sept. 21.Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said he’s not sure what the odds are of Russell playing another game for the Cubs.“Domestic violence is everyone’s problem,” he said. “Because of that, we all have an obligation to be part of the solution as well. The discipline in a case like this is part of the solution going forward and so we support Major League Baseball’s decision and we think it’s appropriate. But prevention is also a big part of the solution and maybe a more important solution.”PASSING THE BUCKThe Orioles are beginning a search for a new manager and general manager a day after firing Buck Showalter and Dan Duquette. Baltimore staggered through its worst season since the team moved to Baltimore in 1954, losing a franchise-record 115 games. The club wants fresh faces to take over a potentially long rebuilding project. Director of Player Development Brian Graham will handle day-to-day oversight of baseball operations while the Orioles search for Duquette’s successor.
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