MILWAUKEE -- The National League Division Series moves to Coors Field on Sunday for the Rockies' first home playoff game since 2009. But after taking the first two contests at Miller Park, the Brewers, with a chance to wrap up the series, hope to give the good people of Denver just one game.
Since Monday, the Rockies have been in Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee -- unusual globetrotting for a baseball team. They hope home is sweet as they try to climb back into the series.
:: NLDS schedule and results ::
"I feel like we've been on the road forever, but it's only been four games," second baseman DJ LeMahieu said. "I've always said playing a playoff game at Coors Field would be unbelievable. To get the chance to do it, we're very excited."
Milwaukee, meanwhile, eyes its first postseason series sweep.
Brewers: The Brewers got eight hits from the Nos. 5-8 spots in their batting order in Game 2, but it wasn't exactly a breakthrough day at the plate. The Brewers were 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position before Erik Kratz's two-run bloop single in a three-run eighth inning extended the lead to 4-0. They'll hope to hit more at high altitude; especially Lorenzo Cain and Jesus Aguilar, who are a combined 0-for-14 in the NLDS.
- Lorenzo Cain, CF
- Christian Yelich, RF
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Travis Shaw, 2B
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
- Erik Kratz, C
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Wade Miley, LHP
Rockies: Playing the right-left matchup and calling on experience, Rockies manager Bud Black started Matthew Holliday in left field against lefty Miley for Game 3.
"We need his bat in the lineup to try to generate some offense," Black said. "You saw that against the Cubs on Tuesday night with [Jon] Lester. Our right-handed bats against a lefty, Matt included, will give Miley a little bit more of a dangerous effect."
Lefty-hitting Carlos Gonzalez has decent numbers (.391, one homer, two doubles) against Miley. Righty starter German Marquez has a 3.02 ERA with 171 strikeouts to 36 walks in 140 innings throwing to catcher Tony Wolters this season.
1. Charlie Blackmon, CF
- DJ LeMahieu, 2B
- Nolan Arenado, 3B
- Trevor Story, SS
- Matt Holliday, LF
- Carlos Gonzalez, RF
- Ian Desmond, 1B
- Tony Wolters, C
- German Marquez, RHP
Who are the starting pitchers?
Brewers: Instead of another bullpen day, the Brewers will trot out another starting pitcher in Miley (5-2, 2.57 ERA), who doesn't light up the radar gun like Game 1's initial out-getter, Brandon Woodruff, or have a strikeout pitch like Jhoulys Chacin's slider in Game 2. What Miley does have is a cutter that he's lifted to the forefront of his arsenal, and an ability to keep the Brewers in ballgames. In 16 starts during a regular season shortened by groin and oblique injuries, Miley never allowed more than three earned runs.
• Miley looking to complete Crew's sweep
"We were able to come out of here 2-0, and we just have to go into Colorado and try to take another one," Miley said.
Rockies: Rather than lean on the possible energy that could come from hometown lefty Kyle Freeland, the Rockies thought it was best to go with the righty Marquez (14-11, 3.77 ERA) and hold Freeland if a Game 4 is necessary.
But Coors Field is home to Marquez, too. In his past seven home starts, Marquez has held hitters to a .223 batting average, .591 OPS and has 68 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings pitched.
• Marquez ready for Game 3 task
Marquez was not pitching nearly as well when he faced the Brewers at Coors on May 10 -- 12 hits and five runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 5-2 defeat.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: The same as Games 1 and 2. Jeremy Jeffress, Corey Knebel, Josh Hader and Joakim Soria have all pitched in both of the first two games, but the Brewers entered the series with that in mind, believing they could handle it since the best-of-five format features no more than two consecutive gamedays. Expect them all to be available for Game 3 behind Miley, plus Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, who were electric while holding Colorado scoreless in the first five innings of Game 1.
Rockies: Rockies relievers gave up just one run in nine innings in Milwaukee. DJ Johnson, Harrison Musgrave and Scott Oberg escaped jams in Game 1, and Oberg did the same in Game 2. And closer Wade Davis has yet to see the mound in this series.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: No, although manager Craig Counsell might not use Jeffress for multiple innings again after he covered three innings in the first two games. Jeffress endured a blown save in a stressful ninth inning of Game 1, then rebounded to pitch two scoreless innings to seal Game 2.
Rockies: It's been a heavy week for Oberg, who appeared in all four games (including the NL West tiebreaker at Los Angeles), but the day off could help reset him. Righty Adam Ottavino, who gave up big hits in the Wild Card Game and Game 1 against the Brewers, should be ready after resting Friday.
Any injuries of note?
Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: Postseason veteran Moustakas has been the Brewers' most clutch hitter so far, following a walk-off single in the 10th inning of Game 1 with a run scored plus a run-scoring single amid a game-breaking, three-run rally in Game 2. Yelich already has walked four times in addition to his two hits. On the cold side, Cain and Aguilar are a combined 0-for-14 in the series.
Rockies: Lefty-hitting Gerardo Parra, who will come off the bench to pinch-hit and is almost certainly a defensive replacement for Holliday if the game is close, is 3-for-6. Arenado is 2-for-7 with an RBI, but he hardly qualifies as hot. Otherwise, Colorado is looking to get going offensively.
Anything else fans might want to know?
The Rockies went 47-34 at Coors. But after an eight-game losing streak, they won 36 of their next 50 at Coors. The Brewers won three of four games there in a spirited series in May, including an 11-10 win in 10 innings on May 11 that required a comeback from a six-run deficit.