Game 1 of the NLCS is in the books and the Milwaukee Brewers hold a 1-0 advantage in the series. Thanks to a huge inning, Milwaukee was able to reel in and put away the St. Louis Cardinals in one quick motion. The end result was a 9-6 win, with six of the Brewers' runs coming in one inning.
Here are a few of the highlights from the Baseball Nation live-blog.
The Cardinals needed to score early to seize moment. Or they didn't. It's a mystery! Either way, St. Louis got on the board in the first, and Jeff Sullivan wondered whether a hockey cliche would carry over to baseball.
In a significant hockey game, coaches and broadcasters talk about the importance of the visiting team scoring a quick goal so it can get the crowd out of it. I don't know if that carries over to baseball, and I suspect it does not carry over to baseball, but the St. Louis Cardinals are going to find out if that carries over to baseball.
In the bottom half of the inning, the Cardinals learned a valuable lesson.
So with one out in the bottom of the first inning, Jaime García walked Jerry Hairston, and I was just about to start writing something brilliant about how you can't walk anybody ahead of Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder because those are the only guys who can beat you in this lineup, so if they're going to hit home runs at least make sure their solo home runs.
No sooner had that puny thought entered my consciousness than Garcia threw his first pitch to Braun, who hit it halfway to Lake Michigan to give the Brewers a 2-1 lead.
Garcia did seem to learn, settling down and pitching a scoreless second and third inning. And in the fourth, he got some help in the form of David Freese, who stepped to the plate with two on and one out.
And Greinke got out of the jam by throwing David Freese a first-pitch curveball in the center of the plate. Greinke didn't get out of the jam because Freese grounded the curve right at somebody; Greinke got out of the jam because Freese hit the curve over the right-center fence.
In the fifth, the Cardinals added a fifth run and looked poised to keep tacking insurance on until Prince Fielder did this:
Nothing to it.
It all went down the drain in the fifth, though, as Jeff Sullivan explained in graphic detail.
Whoops! Forget all that, because in the bottom of the fifth, the Brewers tackled the Cardinals, sliced open their abdomens, and feasted on their disgusting raw innards. The Brewers have made a mess of everything, but they're satiated. For now.
The Brewers chipped away and the Cardinals' lead was suddenly one run, 5-4. And because Prince Fielder gifs are fun, here's what happened next.
All of a sudden, the Brewers had a 6-5 lead, and they still weren't done. Two more runs in the inning gave Milwaukee an 8-5 lead and the Cardinals were on the ropes. And that Prince Fielder home run? It was smoked.
In the seventh, Albert Pujols came to the plate with no outs and runners on first and third. There was good and bad news for the Cardinals.
A run did come in, but it was on an around-the-horn double play that squashed the rally. It brought the Cards closer, cutting the Brewers' lead to 8-6, but with outs at a premium, St. Louis is probably just a bit disappointed with the outcome of the inning.
Milwaukee tacked on one more run for good measure and shut the door for a 9-6 Game 1 win, all thanks to that one massive inning. The Brewers and Cards get back at it on Monday at 8:05 p.m. at Miller Park, with Milwaukee looking to keep the ball rolling into the off day.