Joe Saunders has been to this dance before. But he's never won.
Saunders is 0-3 in the postseason in his career, all with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Now he's an Arizona Diamondback and front and center Wednesday night as the D-backs face the Milwaukee Brewers in Game of their National League Division Series at Chase Field.
Saunders seeks playoff win No. 1, and he'll be facing a different lineup than what the Brewers fielded in Game 3 Tuesday. Carlos Gomez replaces Nyjer Morgan in center field batting seventh and George Kottaras, a left-handed hitter, bats eighth and is the catcher in place of Jonathan Lucroy.
Milwaukee has three left-handed hitter in there against Saunders, a lefty. Despite his 12-13 record in the regular season -- he righted the ship after an 0-5 mark in his first eight starts -- Saunders is manager Kirk Gibson's man.
"Joe's been good for us all year," Gibson said. "I've stayed in turn all year pretty much... We're a team. We've played as a team all year, and we've had total contribution."
Translation: Every guy will continue to get his turn to come up big for a team that has repeatedly come up big all season long. And Gibson isn't messing with the formula.
Saunders held the Brewers to two runs on five hits in seven innings in his only start against them this season.
"You do your homework, they do their homework and you let the chips fall where they may," Saunders said. "
The key for Saunders is throwing strikes and working ahead in the count, catcher Miguel Montero said.
"If we fall behind, I mean, it's going to be tough," Montero said. "These guys like to swing the bats and they're pretty good hitters. Joe's pretty good. He's got postseason experience and hopefully he brings his 'A' game."