Now, thanks to the late heroics of Mike Moustakas, the Brewers have a chance to take a commanding lead in the best-of-five series when it resumes Friday afternoon.
“It was a roller coaster ride for the fans tonight,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after Milwaukee’s 3-2 series-opening victory. “(I’m) proud of the way we pitched the whole night.
Offensively, however, the Brewers will have to be better against Rockies left-hander Tyler Anderson. Milwaukee stranded 18 runners Thursday and squandered chances to break the game open in the final innings before the Rockies rallied for two runs in the ninth against closer Jeremy Jeffress.
“Offensively we’ve got to do a little better job with the opportunities that we had. We had a bunch of opportunities where contact gets us a run, and we didn’t capitalize on that. We left some runs out there because of that.”
Anderson didn’t fare well in his only meeting with the Brewers this season, allowing seven runs in a Rockies loss at Miller Park back on Aug. 4.
“This team right now is hot,” Anderson said. “They have a good lineup. They’ve been good all year. Obviously, that’s how they’re in this position.
They have a lot of dangerous hitters. They have a lot of power, a lot of guys that can hit the ball out of the yard. With any lineup like that, obviously the game plan is to try to limit that power as much as you can.”
It’s not exactly an easy task when facing a lineup that includes presumptive National League MVP winner Christian Yelich. The Brewers’ outfielder made a big impact in first taste of postseason play, going 2-for-3 with two walks and a two-run home run.
“What a good game,” Black said. “His timing looks like he’s impeccable. He’s on everything. Even his takes are good. It looks like he’s using the whole field, seeing the ball really well. Obviously, he’s in a good spot.”
Black things his team is in a good spot, mentally and physically, after a whirlwind week of travel. The Rockies wrapped up their regular season at home last Sunday against the Nationals then traveled to Los Angeles for the NL West Tiebreaker on Monday and Chicago on Tuesday for the Wild Card Game.
“I think we’re okay,” Black said. “I think we’re hanging in there. It’s been a rough stretch the last three or four days, but I think the day off yesterday helped, and I think the postseason energizes players, so we’re fine.”
Going back to Denver with the series tied at 1 would be even more energizing, and the Rockies will get a chance to do that against Jhoulys Chacin.
Chacin will be pitching on short rest after allowing just a hit over 5 2/3 innings against the Cubs on Monday. He’s never started on short rest during his career but doesn’t think it will be a factor Friday.
“I feel good,” Chacin said. “My last, I don’t know, five, six games, I haven’t thrown that many pitches in games. I think that I’m just well to go.
“It’s always a challenge to pitch on three days’ rest instead of four, but like I say, I feel well-rested, and I feel I’m up to the challenge.”