When it comes to predictions, sometimes you eat the bar and sometimes the bar eats you. I wish I would have been wrong about the pitching match-ups in Arizona. While I feel that the Brewers will win today, a realistic assessment of the probablity would have to place their chances at substantially less than even.
There are some good things. Yovanni Gallardo has allowed only three runs in twenty innings against Arizona and, of all the Brewers pitchers, he's the one I like best in a big game. He's mentally tough. I think he'll come out sharp.
But so will Kennedy and, as good as Gallardo is, Kennedy is (at least this year) a better and more consistent pitcher. He allowed 4 runs in game one. He allowed that many only six times in 33 starts this year. He allowed that many back to back only once - actually a three game stretch at the end of June. At best, the game is likely to come down to a bad bounce or a Texas Leaguer. The D'backs gave gotten back into it with the long ball and Gallardo is susceptible to that (27 on the year as opposed to 19 for Kennedy). At worst, he serves up a few more and the Brewers go quietly.
You'd feel better if the last two losses hadn't been so ugly and momentum is certainly with Arizona, but baseball is a funny game. Momentum cuts both ways. Confidence is important. Emotion less so (except in a negative way). The problem here is that the Brewers' offensive streakiness reflects a tendency to panic when things go bad.
Of course, I have been following the Brewers since the beginning and am marinated in failure. I remember the meltdown in the '82 series and their inability to handle the Yankees in that era. The Brewers have had precious few big games in 41 years and they have tended not to go well.
Having got my negativity out of the way, I can go out there today and be of good cheer. I'm hoping that the game stays close and the Brewers get to the D'Backs pen. A couple of runs in the eighth to tie and a run scoring single by Braun in the ninth. 5-4
So says my heart. My brain is not so sure.