The D-backs showed plenty of bite Tuesday after failing to lead in either of the first two games.
Miguel Montero, hitless in the first two games of the series, drove in two runs
early, then was intentionally walked before the big hit of the game, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt's opposite-field grand slam to right center on a 1-2 pitch from Shaun Marcum.
"He ended up throwing a fastball, and I'm sure he missed his spot
because it ended up down the middle and I was able to get a good part of the bat
on it," Goldschmidt said after the game.
Goldschmidt also singled in Montero in the first inning and tied a franchise postseason record with five RBI, first set by Steve Finley in Game 2 of the 1999 NLDS against the New York Mets and tied by Danny Bautista in Game 6 of the 2001 World Series.
While there were chants of "Gold-Schmidt!" in the stands even as Montero
was being intentionally passed, rookie hurler Josh Collmenter was probably
deserving of even greater accolade, but as usual, his performance flew under the
Collmenter finally gave up a run to the Brewers this season, his first in three starts, but otherwise had another commanding outing. He gave up two hits and two walks while striking out six in seven innings and lowered his season ERA to 0.43 in 21 innings against the them in three starts this season.
"What our coaching staff is asking ourselves is, why is this guy so good?" Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "It's something about the deception on the fastball. The changeup is very good. The changeup is down in the zone always, and he's got great motion on it."
This time, Collmenter surprised even himself.
"I exceeded my expectations a little bit," he admitted. "My goal was to
give the team a win."
The standout performances of the two rookies may have been buoyed by a
new celebratory icon created by one of the veterans.
While dropping the first two games of the series at Miller Park over the weekend, the D-backs saw various Brewers in their
celebratory "beast mode," a pose in which players muscle up -- taken from the movie
Monsters, Inc. So when Miguel Montero doubled in a run in the first inning Tuesday, he looked into the D-backs' dugout and did the "snake" -- right arm perpendicular to the turf, right wrist flexing back and forth to simulate a snake strike.
"It worked for them. We have to find something that works for us," Montero said. "We came with that one today. I got the double and, boom, I dropped it. The snake worked today. We'll try to bring the snake back tomorrow. Let's see if it becomes poisonous. I'm going to bite you."
"We like our snakes. You have to be careful. It's tough to catch. Sneaky. It probably has to bite a couple of more times to catch the monster."
--1B Paul Goldschmidt continues to use the whole field in critical situations -- his grand slam in the fifth inning went to right center, and his RBI single to cap a two-run first inning was lined to right.
"My approach has pretty much stayed the game, but it's just worked out in my favor a few times when the cameras are on," Goldschmidt said. Goldschmidt tied Steve Finley (Game 2, 1999 NLDS) and Danny Bautista (Game 6, 2001 World Series) for a franchise postseason record with five RBI.
--RHP J.J. Putz made the first postseason appearance of his nine-year major league career in a scoreless ninth inning, giving up only an infield single to Prince Fielder. It was a not a save situation, obviously, but manager Kirk Gibson wanted to give Putz an inning of work after he was not used in the first two games in Milwaukee. Putz's career-high 45 saves were third in the NL in the regular season.
--Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke opened his postgame media briefing by asking if he made the right move in intentionally walking Miguel Montero with two outs and runners on second and third in a 3-1 game to get to Paul Goldschmidt, who followed with a grand slam. He thought he did the right thing. "Montero scares me. Montero is a really good hitter. There's not a whole lot of places you can go with him. That's not to say Goldschmidt isn't a good hitter. What he's doing so well is, he's not missing mistakes," Roenicke said.
--LHP Joe Saunders will make the Game 4 start as planned all series, manager Kirk Gibson confirmed after Game 3. The other option would have been to pitch ace RHP Ian Kennedy on three days' rest, something Gibson has not done with any of his pitchers this season and is generally uncomfortable with. "We've played as a team all year, and we've had total contributions," Gibson said. "Ian has 228 innings. I'm not going to shorten him up. I'm not going to do that to him."
DIAMOND STAT: 0.43 -- RHP Josh Collmenter's ERA in 21 innings against Milwaukee this season.
QUOTABLE: "We were relaxed and the dugout atmosphere
was incredible. The guys were rooting for each other and that's the way we were
doing it all year." -- SP Josh Collmenter, who remained confident down 0-2
in the series and earned the Game 3 win.
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