MILWAUKEE -- If needed, Zack Greinke will be available out of the Brewers' bullpen Friday for Game 5 of the National League Division Series against the D-backs.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke opted to bring back Game 1 starter Yovani Gallardo on extra rest for the final game of the series, rather than pitch Greinke on regular rest. But with it being an elimination game, Greinke will be one of the top options out of the bullpen if needed.
"Zack would be available, and not just if Yo isn't pitching well," Roenicke said. "Who knows, [Gallardo] could get a line drive back off a leg or something, and he's got to come out. So Zack will be available tomorrow."
Roenicke said he already has had a conversation with Greinke about a potential relief appearance in Game 5. Greinke pitched as a reliever in 2007, when after eight starts he was moved to the Royals' bullpen for nearly four months.
Greinke is 5-1 with a 3.62 ERA in 41 career relief appearances, picking up one save. He last pitched out of the bullpen on Aug. 20, 2007.
Weeks to remain in lineup unless ankle acts up
MILWAUKEE -- As long as his ankle is fine, Rickie Weeks is going to stay in the Brewers' lineup.
Despite his struggles offensively in the first four games of the National League Division Series, it is not likely Weeks will come out of the lineup unless he tells manager Ron Roenicke there's something wrong with his left ankle, which he severely sprained in late July.
"You guys still see the ankle, it isn't right. We knew it wouldn't be," Roenicke said. "But we were hoping offensively that he would get locked in and be able to really hold down that fifth spot, which we've talked about all year."
Weeks has batted just .067 (1-for-15) through four postseason games, including an 0-for-5 performance Wednesday in Game 4 in which he left six runners on base.
In 14 games, Weeks hit .243 in September with one home run, one double and six RBIs. Weeks returned Sept. 10 after missing 41 games with the ankle injury.
But while Weeks hasn't provided the type of protection the Brewers would like in the No. 5 spot behind cleanup hitter Prince Fielder, it remains up to the health of his ankle whether he'll play in Game 5 or any other games this postseason.
"Unless he comes in and unless something is going on with the ankle that he would say, 'You know something, I'm really not close to 100 percent,' then maybe something would change," Roenicke said. "Those things are hard to do."
Roenicke: Prince focused on game, not future
MILWAUKEE -- Here's a scenario the Brewers want no part of with a decisive Game 5 of the National League Division Series looming Friday:Might this be Prince Fielder's final game with the Brewers? The question has been asked before with much more certainty in the schedule. This time, the Brewers can ensure the extension of Fielder's tenure by beating the D-backs and clinching a spot in the NL Championship Series. That would push the question of Fielder's future, his pending free agency, to a later date. "I think he's kind of beyond that a little bit," manager Ron Roenicke said. "I think the last game of the [regular] season here was a little bit emotional for him. But right now, he is so focused on what we need to do and trying to win this game so that we can go on, that I don't think that's going to come into play with him. He's locked in on what we need to do. He knows his at-bats are going to be important." Fielder, of course, did not address the possibility of playing his final home game in the moments after Game 4. He and the Brewers are focused on winning Game 5. "As a player, it's tough hearing things like that, questioning about a contract or whether you're going to come back or not," Game 5 starter Yovani Gallardo said. "He goes out there and plays. Obviously, that's the only thing he can worry about. And whatever happens, whether he stays or not, he'll know he enjoyed being here, no matter what."
Ash interested in Carpenter-Halladay matchup
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash will have a keen eye on the National League's other Game 5 on Friday night, regardless of whether the Brewers punch their ticket to the NL Championship Series earlier in the day.The late game will feature the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter against the Phillies' Roy Halladay, a dream matchup of particular interest to Ash. He was the Blue Jays' GM when Carpenter and Halladay forged a bond as Toronto teammates, two young right-handers struggling to gain their foothold in the Major Leagues. "The torch got passed from [Roger] Clemens to [Pat] Hentgen and Hentgen to those two guys, and they were very close, very similar in terms of experience," Ash said. "They came up somewhat on the same path. "Chris came up and had some initial success and faltered a bit and had to go to back to Triple-A and came back. The same is well documented with Roy. I think they competed with each other and they pushed each other. They were pretty intense and enjoyed the camaraderie off the field and pushed themselves on the field." Now they will be pushing against each other. The decisive Game 5 of the Cardinals-Phillies series is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. CT on TBS, about three and a half hours after the Brewers and D-backs begin their own Game 5 at Miller Park.
The Brewers' Nos. 3-5 hitters -- Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks -- combined to go 10-for-22 in Games 1 and 2 at Miller Park and 3-for-23 in Games 3 and 4 at Chase Field. Just don't accuse them of pressing at the plate in the two losses."I think when people say you're pressing, that's just an excuse," Fielder said. "This is Major League Baseball -- you press anyways, this game is not easy and you're trying to do your job." The Brewers announced that Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. "Bud" Selig will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday's Game 5. The Miller Park parking lots will open at 1 p.m. CT and the gates will open at 2 p.m. First pitch is scheduled for just after 4 p.m. on TBS.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.