Zach Greinke was one of the best pitchers at home this season. Because of that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has decided to use him on short rest this evening when his team tries to take a commanding lead in their National League Division Series matchup with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Miller Park.
Greinke, who will be making his first postseason start tonight, was a big reason Milwaukee posted the best home mark in the majors this season, as he went 11-0 with a 3.83 earned run average in 15 starts - all Brewers wins - at Miller Park.
The former American League Cy Young Award winner, though, pitched on Wednesday in an effort to lock up the National League's second seed and home field adavantage in this series. He beat the Pittsburgh Pirates that night and threw 74 pitches.
"Plenty comfortable," said Greinke, who was 16-6 overall on the year with a 3.49 ERA. "I didn't throw that many pitches last time because we planned on it possibly happening. It doesn't matter when they pitch me, but I said I'd be ready, for sure."
However, he is 0-2 in four starts versus the Diamondbacks with a 6.12 ERA.
The Brewers won Game 1 of this best-of-five set on Saturday, as Yovani Gallardo was dominant on the hill and Milwaukee's two MVP candidates combined for five hits, three runs scored and two RBI in a 4-1 win.
Gallardo's (1-0) only costly mistake in his eight-inning opus came on Ryan Roberts' home run. He was otherwise stellar as he matched a Brewers postseason record with nine strikeouts and allowed just four hits and one walk.
Prince Fielder, in perhaps his final season in Milwaukee as free agency looms, went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer, while fellow slugger Ryan Braun added three hits and two runs scored for the NL Central champs.
"It's very big," Fielder said of the Game 1 win. "I am trying to enjoy the moment...trying to enjoy the fans, the teammates and really try to have as much fun as possible."
Ian Kennedy (0-1), a 21-game-winner in the regular season, surrendered four runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings for Arizona, which won the West Division by a comfortable eight-game margin over the reigning World Series champion Giants.
Arizona will rely on righty Daniel Hudson, who is 16-12 with a 3.49 ERA. Hudson completed his first full major league season and could be running out of steam, as he enters the playoffs riding a three-start losing streak.
"Daniel is Daniel," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. "He has high expectations. I think he wants to go out and shut everybody out every day. It's just who he is. He's always going to be like that to an extent. He actually does fine."
He's 1-0 in two starts against Milwaukee, but was roughed up for six runs (five earned) in four innings in a no-decision the last time he faced them.
Arizona won four of its seven meetings with the Diamondbacks this past season.