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NLCS Game 1: St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers - 3:05 PM CDT

Let's clear one thing up real quick: I don't much care for the Brew Crew Ball SBN blog. It ranks right there next to Red Reporter for me. That said, if you go there and troll, you will be banned from THIS blog. My advice is to stay off that blog entirely for this series. It is sure to get heated at some point during these games and interblog wars are not pleasant.

So, baseball. The Brewers will send Zach Greinke to the mound to face off against the Cardinals Jaime Garcia. Though he didn't quite make a full season of starts due to injury, Greinke was just about everything the Brewer's could have hoped for when they acquired him. He pitched 171 innings this season with a 2.98 FIP. The move to the NL was a kind one for Greinke who would post the best strikeout rate of his career: 10.54 K/9 IP.

Jaime Garcia is no slouch though. After a superb rookie season, Garcia cut a full walk off his rate and maintained his strikeout rate. He pitched 194 innings with a 3.23 FIP. These pitchers are well matched to face each other in the first game of the season even if they aren't each team's nominal 'ace'.

What the Cardinals have to hope for is that their offense shows up. The Cardinals bats were worth four additional wins than the Brewers during their respective 2011 campaigns. What the Brewers have to hope for is that the Cardinals defense doesn't show up as the offensive disparity is largely erased on the defensive side of the ball.

This will be a close match between two teams that are very evenly matched. This isn't the roster with Ryan Franklin and Miguel Batista blowing saves. It's not the roster with Ryan Theriot booting balls at shortstop. It's a roster that can hit from top to bottom and is better than it was 2 months ago.

Current Series

4 game series vs Brewers @ Miller Park

St. Louis Cardinals
@ Milwaukee Brewers

Sunday, Oct 9, 2011, 4:05 PM EDT
Miller Park

Jaime Garcia vs Zack Greinke

Sunny. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Game time temperature around 75.


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Mon 10/10 8:05 PM EDT
Wed 10/12 8:05 PM EDT
Thu 10/13 8:05 PM EDT