Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
By Josh Greene
Let’s face it. Just days ago, it looked as if the only way the D-backs were going to see the city of Milwaukee again before next season was to catch a rerun of “Happy Days.”
But that’s what back-to-back must-wins at Chase Field will do for you. Now the team prepares for an improbable-turned-decisive Game 5 back at Miller Park Friday afternoon.
Just like Game 1, starters Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo will tangle once again. Last Sunday, the D-backs’ ace got tagged for the loss after surrendering 8 runs on 4 hits, 2 walks and 2 hit batters to go along with his 3 strikeouts in 6.2 innings. Meanwhile, his Brewers counterpart went 8 innings, giving up 1 run on 4 hits and fanning 9 in the win.
“Ever game is separate,” said D-backs centerfielder Chris Young. “He pitched good against us the last time we were there, but that truly has nothing to do with this start. He could miss his spots. We could take advantage. We could get a couple of bloop hits. (Paul Goldschmidt) could hit another bomb. You never know in this game.”
And nobody wants another chance at Game 1 redemption more than the National League’s first 20-game winner this season.
“Like any experience, you learn from it,” Kennedy said. “You try to build and learn the positive things from it. I’ve definitely got the first one under my belt. And that one hopefully helps me my next start … and hopefully the outcome will be different.”
Seeing their runs-per-game average jump to 9 over the last two games, the D-backs are riding a two-game winning streak, but they know they’ll have to make it three (with this one being on the road) to advance to the NLCS.
“I feel like it’s a brand new series,” Young added. “When you’re down 0-2, you feel like your back is against the wall and you feel like the pressure is on you. Now we’ve been able to tie it back up, and we have to go back to their house. We have to forget about what we did when we were there. But I think take only the good things from this home stand. Try to take the momentum with us and hope that they remember it, as well. And if we’re able to jump on Gallardo early, I think it will make a big difference.”
First pitch is at 2:07 p.m. on Friday, Phoenix time. The game airs on TBS.