One day after the Rangers and Tigers opened up the American League Championship League Series, the Cardinals and Brewers will begin their own battle for the National League pennant. These two NL Central rivals have been at each others' throats for a few years now and there is no need to manufacture any drama here. Just a few weeks ago, Cards skipper Tony La Russa made comments disparaging the Brewers' idiosyncratic NLDS hero Nyjer Morgan. And, just the other day, the Brewers' starter in Sunday's opener Zack Greinke had a few critical words for Redbirds ace Chris Carpenter. While it may not be the most sociable party, the latest edition of the "Suds Series" should provide plenty of drama.
Stay tuned here for live updates throughout both games and tweet to @HuffPostSports to join in the conversation.
|@ DonWalkerJS : #Brewers stay undefeated at home in #postseason, beating Stl. Cards, 9-6. Lead series, 1-0. #Beastmode|
|@ Haudricourt : #Brewers now 17-0 at home with Greinke on mound. Even when he struggles, they find a way to win.|
Jay smacks on back to Axford that hits him in the gut (or arm as he pulled it to his body) but he recovers to field it and throws to Prince.
Jon Jay is up. Pujols on deck. Axford aggressive after Jay as he doesn't want to get into the next few hitters.
Furcal just swung himself into a knot for third strike on a slider down near his knee.
With his finely manicured facial hair, he's taking pitches to start. Two moving fastballs. 1-1 count.
Axford sits down Punto with a nasty high fastball that bends onto top corner of zone.
With tall pitchers like Randy Johnson they would say that it felt like he reached out and handed the ball to the catcher with his long arms and delivery. Axford's mustache pops the mitt.
Opens up Punto with a fastball.
Seeing all heat from Boggs, Kotsay flies out to center for third out.
After getting off the floor, he sends a grounder to Theriot. Braun advances and Fielder retired. Two down and one on for pinch-hitter Mark Kotsay.
Fielder drops away from one at his hip. Full count. Between that evasive move and that web gem at first earlier, Fielder has flashed some agility I didn't know he had.
Braun heads down to first base. Fielder up.
After falling behind, 3-1, Boggs gets a swing and a miss on a fastball down the middle at 97. Braun was greenlighted and looking for that pitch. Just blew by him. Full count.
The chants go through the first two pitches of the at-bat. Two balls, one inside and one out. Both fast.
Right-handed on facing Hairston. Comebacker ends that meeting quickly. Here comes Braun.
|@ CardsInsider : Cardinals will have a pinch-hitter, Furcal (2-4) and Jay (1-3) due up in the 9th.|
K-Rod comes with his fastball right after Theriot and he grounds out. One pitch. One out. He's through the eighth.
Perhaps those low-away pitches once he got to 1-2 would have been better in the zone.
|@ JesseSanchezMLB : Better back end of the bullpen? #Rangers or #Brewers? #Postseason|
K-Rod coming into zone more against Freese. He gets ahead 1-2 and then tries to get him chasing low-away. Freese holds. Same on next pitch. He wants to strike him out.
Yeah, his velocity is down from earlier in his career but K-Rod still fools these hitters with his varied pitches and that wild, flailing delivery.
K-Rod trying to get righties to chase, Molina checks swing and count goes full.
Rodriguez K's Holliday to open top of the eighth. Here comes Yadi.
|@ CardsInsider : Brewers will make a double-switch, keeping pinch-hitter Morgan in the game in right field and summoning Rodriguez from the bullpen.|
|@ injuryexpert : Hart shows the only good reason to slide into first.|
The Brewers' leadoff hitter back up with two down and one on for Brewers.
And, La Russa has at least a moral victory to savor tonight.