After two home team wins in Philadelphia, the Brewers and Phillies are on their way to sunny Wisconsin for the first baseball playoff game in Milwaukee since the halcyon days of 1982. You remember 1982, right? When "Happy Days" was a hit TV show on ABC and Bob Uecker was the best beer salesman in all the land? Fast-forward to 2008, where the New York Times has dubbed Milwaukee's Fonzie statue the "most photographed statue in the city" and Mr. Uecker is lucky enough to throw out the first pitch in tomorrow's game. Plus ça change...
The Brewers may be down two games to none in the series but things aren't as bad as they seem. After all, the Phillies have only scored in two of sixteen innings against Brewers pitching. While starters CC Sabathia and Yovani Gallardo have taken a collective dump on the mound at CBP, allowing nine walks in just over seven combined innings, the Milwaukee bullpen has thrown 8 1/3 scoreless innings against a tough Philly lineup.
But with Ben Sheets inactive, the Brewers are stuck sending Dave Bush to the mound in Game 3. Bush faced the Phils twice this year, earned two no-decisions, and gave up four tater tots in 12 innings. Pat Burrell has faced Bush 14 times in his career and hit three homers. Ryan Howard and Pedro Feliz have hit two homers apiece off Bush. Chase Utley has a 1.532 OPS against Bush. Even the Phanatic laced a double to the gap in Bush's last start against Philly.
On the flipside, Jamie Moyer faced the Brewers twice this season and went 1-0 with a 3.09 ERA. His one win came on three days' rest in the second week of September, part of a four-game sweep of the Brewers that helped Philly win the NL East.
Gametime is 6:30 EDT tomorrow. Expect an enthusiastically drunken crowd to show up at Miller Park and cheer like crazy people, up until the Brewers go down 5-0 in the second inning. At that point, the hangover will come faster than anyone expected and the festive atmosphere will devolve into a funerary feel.