Diamondbacks Face Brewers In NLDS: News, Schedule And More

The Arizona Diamondbacks will face the Milwaukee Brewers in a playoffs series that the big East Coast media won't pay much attention to. We will.

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17 Total Updates since September 28, 2011
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MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks Playoff Roster Includes Jarrod Parker

The Arizona Diamondbacks released their roster for the start of 2011 MLB Playoffs. The 25 players that will be eligible to take the field in the NLDS series against the Milwaukee Brewers includes the expected names like Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy but also a surprise addition with rookie Jarrod Parker.

Parker has a total of five innings pitched in the major leagues but made the roster as a possible long reliever or spot starter over fellow rookie Wade Miley who's started seven games (4-2, 4.50 ERA). Also left off the bullpen roster are lefties Zach Duke and Alberto Castillo.

Manager Kirk Gibson has only two lefties at all and one of them is likely Game 3 starter Joe Saunders. Joe Paterson is the only left-handed reliever available out the pen.

The Brewers only have two regular hitters in the lineup that bat from the left side but they are both dangerous --Prince Fielder and Nyjer Morgan. Gibson is likely counting on his starters going six or seven innings so he can turn the ball over to David Hernandez in the eight and J.J. Putz in the ninth. 

Parker wasn't called up to the team until the middle of September which left some question if he was even eligible but apparently he was allowed to replace only of the eligible players who are on the disabled list (Xavier Nady or Jason Marquis).

The Diamondbacks can reset their playoff roster and put a few more lefties in the bullpen should they advance to the NLCS should the match-ups dictate that.

There were no surprises with the position players that made the roster.

Here's the Diamondbacks playoff roster for the 2011 MLB NLDS:

PITCHERS (11)

No. 15      Micah Owings       RHP

No. 29      Brad Ziegler           RHP

No. 30      David Hernandez   RHP

No. 31      Ian Kennedy          RHP

No. 34      Joe Saunders          LHP

No. 39      Bryan Shaw           RHP

No. 40      J.J. Putz                 RHP

No. 41      Daniel Hudson      RHP

No. 47      Joe Paterson          LHP

No. 55      Josh Collmenter     RHP

No. 56      Jarrod Parker         RHP

CATCHERS (2)

No. 12      Henry Blanco

No. 26      Miguel Montero

 INFIELDERS (8)

No. 2        Aaron Hill

No. 11      Sean Burroughs

No. 14      Ryan Roberts

No. 16      John McDonald

No. 18      Willie Bloomquist

No. 27      Geoff Blum

No. 37      Lyle Overbay

No. 44      Paul Goldschmidt

 OUTFIELDERS (4)

No. 4       Collin Cowgill

No. 8       Gerardo Parra

No. 10     Justin Upton

No. 24     Chris Young

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MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks, Gibson Ready For War

The Arizona Diamondbacks are expecting tight games and a full battle when they face the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2011 NLDS. Manager Kirk Gibson wouldn't have it any other way.

"If I could script it out it wouldn't be an easy thing. The tougher the better. Love it. My team will be ready for it," Gibson told the media in Milwaukee on Friday.

Gibson is always looking for an edge and one way he's doing that is by waiting until the last possible moment to announce his playoff roster and pitching rotations. 

The D-backs traveled with 30 players to Milwaukee including young RHP Jarrod Parker who could only be added to the roster as an injury replacement since he wasn't called up until after the September 1st deadline. Relief pitchers Ryan Cook, Zack Duke and Albert Castillo are also on the bubble for making the roster which will be announced on Saturday morning.

The only information Gibson would allow is that Ian Kennedy would take the ball in Game 1 and Daniel Hudson in Game 2. We expect to see LHP Joe Saunders in Game 3 but it is possible that Gibson goes with RHP Josh Collmenter who had success in two starts against the right-handed heavy Brewers lineup.

Ian Kennedy talked about his opponent and repeated the obvious, saying the Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder are a big part of the Brewers offense. But when asked if he was concerned about them or anyone else he showed his confidence.

"Personally, there's no one that really concerns me," Kennedy said.

Notes:

  • Gibson stressed his team's ability to deal with anything that comes along was a reflection of a spring training visit by US Navy SEAL team members. The special forces warriors explained their "DWI" mentality as the key to being able to "deal with it", no matter what you have to overcome. The D-backs have come from behind to win 48 times, the best in the MLB.
  • Gibson first met Prince Fielder when he was a kid living two blocks from Kirk when he played in Detroit. Prince's father, Cecil was teammate with Gibson and brought young Prince to the field to hit. Gibson said the future Brewers slugger was hitting upper deck shots when he was in eight and ninth grade.

For more on this NLDS series, visit AZ Snake Pit and Brew Crew Ball.

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MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers By The Numbers

On paper, the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers are similar teams. They also share small market challenges (although the Brewers payroll is $32m higher) and both teams have an aggressive mentality and approach to the game.

Despite the similarities, there are of course differences that come up as we put together these quick stats and key facts from both teams. 

Hitting

  • During the regular season the Milwaukee Brewers hit for an average of .261 which ranked 8th in Major League Baseball. The Diamondbacks hit for an average of .250 which ranked 19th in Major League Baseball. 
  • The Brewers hit 185 home runs as a team and the Diamondbacks hit 172 as a team. 
  • The Brewers had a team on base percentage of .325, and the Diamondbacks had an on base percentage of .322. 
  • Ryan Braun led the Brewers in hitting with an average of .332. 
  • Prince Fielder led the Brewers in home runs (38) and RBI's (120). 
  • Braun finished second in both categories with 33 home runs and 111 RBI's. 

The Diamondbacks have less impressive offensive statistics.

  • Gerardo Parra leads the Diamondbacks in average with .292. 
  • Justin Upton leads the team in every other major offensive category. 
  • Upton finished with: 31 home runs, 88 RBI's, and 105 runs scored. 
  • Overall the Diamondbacks have less firepower than the Brewers. 
  • While the Brewers have two players that have over 30 home runs.  The Diamondbacks only have Upton. 
  • Chris Young is second on the team with 20 home runs. 
  • The Diamondbacks proved to be the more aggressive team on the base paths. The D-backs stole 133 bases while the Brewers stole 94. Arizona stole more bases than the Brewers attempted to steal. 

Pitching

  • The Brewers had a team ERA of 3.63 which was good for 7th in Major League Baseball. 
  • The Diamondbacks had a team ERA of 3.80 good for 9th in Major League Baseball. 
  • The Diamondbacks are lead by Cy Young candidate Ian Kennedy.  Kennedy finished with 21 wins (tied for most in NL) and was top ten in ERA. 
  • Starters Daniel Hudson and Josh Collmenter both finished with ERA's under 3.50. 
  • J.J. Putz held down the much improved D-backs bullpen; converting 45 of 49 saves. 
  • David Hernandez finished with a 3.38 ERA as the setup man, he struck out 77 in 69.1 innings pitched and converted 11 of 14 saves. 
  • The Brewers were lead ace Yovani Gallardo.  Gallardo lead the Brewers in wins (17), ERA (3.52), and strikeouts (207). 
  • Zach Greinke was second in wins with 16 and hat 201 strikeouts in 171.2 innings pitched. 
  • Shawn Marcum finished tied for third on the team in wins (13), he finished second in ERA (3.54), and Marcum lead the team in WHIP (1.16). 
  • John Axford converted 46 of 48 saves and finished with 1.95 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 73.2 IP. 
  • Fransisco Rodriguez is the setup man, he finished with a 2.64 ERA and 79 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched. 
  • The Brewers and the Diamondbacks are almost identical when it comes to pitching.  Both finished in the top ten in team ERA, both teams elite closers and solid bulpens. 

Head to Head

  • The Milwaukee Brewers and the Arizona Diamondbacks played seven games this season. The Diamondbacks won 2 of 3 in Milwaukee and the teams split 2-2 in Arizona. 
  • Miguel Montero went 8-20 against the Brewers with 6 RBI's.  Gerardo Parra went 7-21 with 3 RBI's, and Chris Young struggled against the Brewers going 5-25 with only 1 RBI. 
  • Three of the four starting pitchers for the Diamondbacks have quality numbers against the Brewers this season. 
  • Ian Kennedy had one start and threw 7 shutout innings striking out 5.  Joe Saunders started once; he threw 7 innings gave up 2 ER and 5 hits.  Josh Collmenter started twice against the Brewers.  He pitched 14 innings, not allowing a run and striking out 10. 
  • The only starter for the Diamondbacks the struggled against the Brewers was Daniel Hudson.  Hudson had one start and threw 4 innings and gave up 5 ER and 8 hits.
  • Ryan Braun played in only 3 of the 7 meetings this season.  Braun went 5-12 with 4 RBI's. 
  • Fielder struggled against the D-Backs.  Fielder went 6-27 with only 2 RBI's.  The
  • Diamondbacks hit Randy Wolf very hard.  Wolf pitched 13.1 innings, he gave up 18 hits and 9 ER.  Brewers ace Yovani Gallardo started 2 of the 7 games.  He pitched 13 innings giving up 8 hits and 2 ER.  

One big advantage for the D-backs in this series is defense. Arizona is a top-ten defensive club by most available measures while the Brewers are bottom third. In a close series, defense could be the difference.

For more advanced statistical look at this series, check out these links:

  • Tale of the Tape: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers - AZ Snake Pit Saturday sees the start of the National League Division series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Milwaukee Brewers. It looks set to be a intriguing series, already described by one neutral as having "the makings of the most competitive first-round matchup." Arizona won the regular-season series 4-3, but last faced Milwaukee on July 21. Since then, the Brewers have been the hottest team in baseball, going 43-19. However, the D-backs are not far behind, with a 41-22 record. Let's take a look at each position and see how the teams stack up.
  • 2011 MLB Playoff NLDS Preview: Diamondbacks vs. Brewers - Beyond the Box Score Both teams are capable of getting men on base (league-average OBP), and then driving them home with some significant power (+6/7% slugging, +14% and +21% HR/FB ratios). The issue in this series will be the run prevention, particularly how Arizona handles the Brewers offense on the road.
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MLB Playoffs: Diamondbacks Vs. Brewers Pairs Two Similar Teams For Great Series

When the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers begin their 2011 MLB NLDS series on Saturday, the two teams staring across the diamond at each other will be looking at something very familiar. Both teams come from smaller, non-coast markets and neither team has made a lot of noise in the playoffs recently. More importantly, both teams play a similar style of baseball.

"They have a lot of power. I think they're line up is very similar (to ours). Both teams are very similar in numbers. It's kind of eerie how close in everything we stack up. Pitching ERA, home runs, home records," Diamondbacks ace Ian Kennedy said, adding, "I think it's going to be a fun series."

Here's a quick breakdown of those stats Kennedy mentioned and a few others:

(Diamondbacks / Brewers)

  • Record: 94-68 / 96-66
  • Team ERA: 3.80 / 3.63
  • Home runs: 172 / 185
  • Runs scored: 731 / 721
  • Home wins: 51 / 57
  • Road wins: 43 / 39
  • Payroll: $53.6m / $85.5m

Of course, teams are far more than their stats and these two teams have more in common according to D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, "They have very powerful players. (They have) an interesting mix of speed. They're very aggressive, much the same way we are."

Where the two teams are probably most different is the way each side creates offense.

The Brewers rely more on their two stars, Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun to drive in runs. The Diamondbacks on the other hand, have Justin Upton as the primary threat but then get production from a lot of other sources ranging from Miguel Montero to Aaron Hill. The D-backs attack can be unpredictable while the Brewers middle of the order is more dangerous.

The D-backs won four of the seven games the teams played this season including two of three in Milwaukee. All seven games were played in July and the teams are very different now according to Gibson. Ryan Braun missed four of those games and the D-backs hadn't yet traded for 2B Aaron Hill or called up 1B Paul Goldschmidt.

Most importantly, the playoffs are a different beast and so whatever the record in the regular season, it doesn't matter now according to D-backs CF Chris Young.

"If we were 0-7 against them we would still go into the series confident. If we were 7-0 you still can't lay back. I think you have to go into it like it's an entirely new series," Young said.

This series doesn't feature the Boston Red Sox or Atlanta Braves, but for true baseball fans even outside of Arizona or Wisconsin this promises to be a great series.

"It will be great," Gibson said. "Good hard baseball. A lot of respect on both sides."

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