Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2011

Brewers Play for Home Field; NLDS Rotation Set

By Nicole
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The Brewers' magic number to clinch home-field advantage and the #2 seed in the playoffs is 2. Any combination of Brewers wins and Diamondbacks losses that equals two will give the Brewers the #2 seed in the playoffs and home-field advantage.

But, because the Braves and Cardinals are fighting for the NL Wild Card, the Brewers won't know who their opponent will be, even if they do clinch home-field tonight.

The top two seeds cannot play the Wild Card winner if the Wild Card winner comes from their division. If the Braves win the Wild Card, the Phillies will not have to play them. If the Cardinals win the Wild Card and the Brewers are the #2 seed, the Brewers will not have to play them.

Here's how it breaks down.

If the Braves win the Wild Card and the Brewers win home-field, the Brewers will host the Braves for the NLDS.

If the Cardinals win the Wild Card, it's assured that the Brewers will play the Diamondbacks. Whichever team clinches the #2 seed will host the series.

Because the Phillies can't play the Braves and the #1 seed doesn't have to face the #2 seed, if the Braves win the Wild Card and the Brewers lose the #2 seed, the Brewers will have to travel to Philadelphia.

Everybody got it?

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Yovanni Gallardo has been named the Game 1 starter by manager Ron Roenicke.

He last pitched on Friday night. He pitched a simulated game Tuesday to help bridge the gap between his starts.

The rest of the rotation will set up based on the outcome of tonight's Brewers and Diamondbacks games. Adam McCalvy says that Zach Greinke doesn't deal with changes in his schedule well, so the Brewers are planning on pitching him on Wednesday. If home-field has been clinched, he will only pitch one or two innings. If home-field is still on the line, he will likely go longer.

If Greinke only pitches a few innings, he will be the Game 2 NLDS starter. If he has to pitch more innings, Shaun Marcum will be the Game 2 NLDS starter and Greinke will start Game 3. Randy Wolf is scheduled to be the starter for Game 4, if needed.

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