video thumbnail

Game Changer: Goldschmidt slams Brewers in Game 3

PHOENIX -- A major dust storm hit the Phoenix area Tuesday afternoon, but the big story in town was the way the Arizona Diamondbacks blew by the Milwaukee Brewers later that night.

Behind an outstanding pitching performance by Josh Collmenter and a grand slam by Paul Goldschmidt, the D-backs beat the Brewers, 8-1, in Game 3 of the National League Division Series.

The D-backs still have a hill to climb as they trail the best-of-five series 2-1 and need a win in Wednesday's Game 4 to force a decisive game in Milwaukee on Friday.

"We have to come back tomorrow and do the same," catcher Miguel Montero said.

Montero helped get the sellout crowd into the game in the first when his double to center scored Willie Bloomquist. Montero then came around to score when Goldschmidt singled to right.

It was the first hit of the series for Montero, who was 0-for-8 in the two games played at Miller Park.

It also marked the first time the D-backs had a lead in the series.

"It was nice to get on the board," D-backs closer J.J. Putz said. "We call Willie 'The Calibrator' because he gets things going for us, and the lead was good because it allowed Josh to settle into his game."

Indeed, the Brewers once again were unable to solve Collmenter and his funky over-the-top motion.

"Coming into the game, I knew I had success against Milwaukee," Collmenter said. "I knew if I executed my game plan, I could get them out. I didn't have to pitch out of my head."

In two regular-season starts against Milwaukee, Collmenter did not allow a run in 14 innings.

"It's something about that deception on the fastball," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "The changeup is very good, the changeup is down in the zone always and he's got great motion on it. And then he spots his fastball well."

The Brewers finally got to Collmenter in the third when Corey Hart led off the frame with a homer, but that was all the damage they could do as the rookie allowed just two hits and a pair of walks in seven innings of work.

"He was outstanding," Montero said. "He was locating well, mixing and moving, he elevated, the hitters didn't know what to expect. He was impressive because it was his first playoff [game] and he was nice and calm. He was just relaxed like he's been on this stage before and he just looked great. You can't ask for more than that."

The D-backs added a run in the third to go up 3-1 before blowing things wide open in the fifth.

Brewers starter Shaun Marcum got himself in trouble to start the inning when he allowed back-to-back singles to Collmenter and Bloomquist.

Two outs later, though, with runners on second and third, it appeared like Marcum might be able to wiggle out of the jam.

The D-backs had runners on second and third with the left-handed-hitting Montero strolling to the plate. Roenicke elected to play the percentages and intentionally walk Montero to get to the right-handed-hitting Goldschmidt.

The rookie was leading the Minor Leagues in homers when he was called up from Double-A Mobile on Aug. 1 and he continued to show his power in the big leagues even against good pitching, homering twice off Tim Lincecum and once off Cliff Lee.

Marcum jumped ahead of Goldschmidt, 1-2, before leaving a fastball out over the plate. Goldschmidt drove the ball the opposite way and over the wall in right to give Arizona a 7-1 lead.

"He got ahead with a first-pitch curveball and then a couple of fastballs, and with two strikes, just trying to battle, and he threw another fastball," Goldschmidt said. "Luckily he missed his location and I was able to get it out of here."

It was the first postseason grand slam in franchise history, and Goldschmidt tied the club postseason single-game record for RBIs with five.

The crowd demanded a curtain call, and two batters later, the D-backs increased their lead to 8-1 on a Ryan Roberts RBI single.

After the Hart homer in the third, Collmenter did not allow a hit the rest of the way with a walk to Nyjer Morgan in the sixth the only blemish.

"As of right now, he's a pretty big game pitcher in my opinion," Putz said.

As they have done all season, the D-backs turned things over to David Hernandez in the eighth and Putz in the ninth to close things out.

After watching the Brewers use home-field advantage to grab the momentum in the first two games, the D-backs hope some of that from Tuesday's game can carry over into Game 4, which remains a do-or-die situation for them.

"I definitely think this is one of those things that can build some momentum, and we need the momentum right now," Putz said.

The large crowd seemed to help reinvigorate the D-backs. It was just the fourth sellout of the year and the noise level was increased with the roof being closed. Club officials had hoped to have the roof open, but the dust storms in the area prevented it.

"We heard their crowd going when we were on the road, and now to be back home and have almost 50,000 screaming for us is awesome," Goldschmidt said.

MLB.com Comments