Gallardo to start Game 3 in St. Louis
Roenicke hasn't decided on Wolf or Marcum for Game 2
MILWAUKEE -- Not needing to use Zack Greinke in relief for Game 5 of the National League Division Series made things a lot easier for Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Now that Greinke can pitch Game 1 of the NL Championship Series against the Cardinals on Sunday, the only games Roenicke has to worry about are Games 2 and 4.
"If we would have used [Greinke] last night, we would have had some tough calls on how we run this rotation through the series," Roenicke said. "But the way it is now, it works out well."
Greinke is set for Game 1, and Yovani Gallardo is Milwaukee's probable Game 3 starter. If the series goes the distance, Greinke and Gallardo would pitch Games 5 and 7, respectively. That leaves right-hander Shaun Marcum and lefty Randy Wolf for Games 2, 4 and 6.
Marcum had the best road ERA among qualified starters this season, which could make him a logical choice for Game 4 in St. Louis, but he also was the Brewers' best starter for much of the season, so Roenicke likely would prefer to get two games out of him as well.
Neither Marcum nor Wolf performed well in the NLDS, as they each surrendered seven runs in short outings against the D-backs on the road. But Roenicke said he is unlikely to swap one of them out for lefty Chris Narveson, despite his good numbers against the Cards.
"I still really like these guys," Roenicke said. "I think it's comforting to know that they have pitched well against St. Louis. I think they know that, which should give them confidence.
"They know they get another shot at this, which they really want, because they weren't happy with the way they pitched the other games. So I think they'll both be fine."
Roenicke likes what he's seeing from Weeks
MILWAUKEE -- While the box score may say that Rickie Weeks went 0-for-3 in Game 5 of the National League Division Series, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday that he was pleased with Weeks' performance.
Weeks is just 1-for-18 in the postseason, and he has struggled since returning in early September after missing 41 games with a severely sprained left ankle. Even so, Roenicke liked what he saw out of Weeks in Friday's game, a 3-2 victory over the D-backs.
"First at-bat, he smokes a ball to right field. That's really where he's had some trouble," Roenicke said. "And the next one, he gets hit. [Then he] tried to bunt -- actually the bunt wasn't that bad -- but [Ian] Kennedy got off the mound great down the line to catch it."
Had he not hit it right at Justin Upton, the ball Weeks hit in his first at-bat of Game 5 would have been an easy double. His only hit of the series was an RBI triple in Game 2, which scored Prince Fielder to put Milwaukee up, 4-1.
Since that triple, Weeks has gone 0-for-14 with a strikeout and a hit-by-pitch.
Despite the struggles, Roenicke said he does not think Weeks is pressing at the plate, and he remains confident in his ability to contribute as the Brewers move on to the NL Championship Series.
"I was OK with his at-bats yesterday -- I thought that was an improvement from where he was," Roenicke said. "And I know he's feeling better all the time. Hopefully, he'll get it together in this series, and we'll see the kind of player he was before the ankle injury."
Counsell a postseason lucky charm
MILWAUKEE -- Call him the Brewers' lucky charm. For the fourth time in Craig Counsell's career on Friday night, his team won a winner-take-all playoff game in walk-off fashion.
Counsell scored the winning run for the Marlins in Game 7 of the 1997 World Series on Edgar Renteria's clinching hit. He was on deck in Game 5 of the D-backs' win in the 2001 National League Division Series when Tony Womack won it. And Counsell was at first base in Game 7 of the '01 World Series after a hit-by-pitch when Luis Gonzalez delivered his famous bloop single against the Yankees. On Friday, Counsell lined out in the bottom of the 10th inning before Carlos Gomez's speed and Nyjer Morgan's bouncer up the middle gave Milwaukee Game 5 of the NLDS.
Most Major Leaguers would love to simply appear in four postseason series. Counsell has taken it to a new level.
"It's good fortune," Counsell said. "Just to be a part of four games like that, it's the point of it. To play in those four games, you can look at that and be pretty content what's happened in your career, that's for sure."
Right fielder Corey Hart is among a group of Brewers fighting a cold. You could hear it in his voice as he addressed reporters before Saturday's workout, and he sipped occasionally from a water bottle.
"Hang with it," Hart said. "I just take enough pills and drink enough cough syrup to make it go away."
The Miller Park parking lots will open at noon CT on Sunday, the stadium gates at 1 p.m. and Zack Greinke's first pitch is at 3:05 p.m. CT. Former Brewers center fielder Gorman Thomas, part of the 1982 American League pennant-winning team, will throw the ceremonial first pitch, and Joseph Attanasio, father of principal owner Mark, will sing the national anthem. The elder Attanasio has sung before each of Milwaukee's previous Game 1s of his son's tenure.
"They called me this afternoon as I was going to the pumpkin farm," Thomas said. "They said, 'How is your arm?' I'm terrified I'm going to bounce the thing. I just went outside and threw some to see how it went."
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.