2011 National League Championship Series
|MVP:||David Freese (St. Louis)|
|TV announcers:||Brian Anderson, Ron Darling and John Smoltz|
|Radio announcers:||Jon Sciambi (Games 1–3, 6), Dave O'Brien (Games 4–5), Bobby Valentine (Games 1–4, 6) and Buck Martinez (Game 5)|
|Umpires:||Gary Darling (crew chief), Tim Timmons, Sam Holbrook, Mike Everitt, Bill Miller, Mike Winters|
|NLDS:||St. Louis Cardinals over Philadelphia Phillies (3–2)|
|Milwaukee Brewers over Arizona Diamondbacks (3–2)|
|2011 World Series|
The 2011 National League Championship Series (abbreviated NLCS) was a best-of-seven playoff pitting the winners of the 2011 National League Division Series, the St. Louis Cardinals and Milwaukee Brewers, against each other for the National League championship and the right to be the league's representative in the 2011 World Series. The series was the 42nd in league history.
The series began on October 9 to accommodate the World Series, which was scheduled to begin on October 19.TBS televised all games in the United States with Game 1 starting at 4:05pm EDT. Games 1, 2 and 6 were played at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, while the other games were played at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. By coincidence, Brian Anderson, who usually calls Brewers games on Fox Sports Wisconsin during the regular season, did the play-by-play for the NLCS on TBS, along with Ron Darling and John Smoltz. Anderson filled in for regular TBS lead baseball announcer Ernie Johnson, who was tending to a son in the hospital.
This was the Brewers' first ever appearance in the NLCS, having moved to the National League in 1998. As an American League team, the Brewers made the ALCS in their pennant season of 1982, defeating the California Angels 3–2. The Cardinals, meanwhile, appeared in the NLCS for the first time since winning the 2006 World Series. This was a rematch of the 1982 World Series (a.k.a. the "Suds Series", with both cities associated with the brewing industry—Milwaukee, whose ballpark was named after the Miller Brewing Company, and St. Louis, whose Anheuser-Busch company is namesake of the Cardinals' ballpark), in which the Cardinals won 4–3.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis won the series, 4–2.
|1||October 9||St. Louis Cardinals – 6, Milwaukee Brewers – 9||Miller Park||3:35||43,613|
|2||October 10||St. Louis Cardinals – 12, Milwaukee Brewers – 3||Miller Park||3:36||43,937|
|3||October 12||Milwaukee Brewers – 3, St. Louis Cardinals – 4||Busch Stadium||3:10||43,584|
|4||October 13||Milwaukee Brewers – 4, St. Louis Cardinals – 2||Busch Stadium||3:25||45,606|
|5||October 14||Milwaukee Brewers – 1, St. Louis Cardinals – 7||Busch Stadium||3:09||46,904|
|6||October 16||St. Louis Cardinals – 12, Milwaukee Brewers – 6||Miller Park||3:43||43,926|
|WP: Zack Greinke (1–0) LP: Jaime García (0–1) Sv: John Axford (1)
STL: David Freese (1)
MIL: Ryan Braun (1), Prince Fielder (1), Yuniesky Betancourt (1)
Game 1 would be a back and forth affair. The Cardinals manufactured a run in the first with a walk by Jon Jay, a single by Albert Pujols, and a two-out single from Matt Holliday. The Brewers answered with a two-run home run from Ryan Braun in bottom half. The Cardinals would go ahead in the fourth on a David Freese three-run home run and would add on a run with a Lance Berkman single in the fifth. The Brewers came storming back in the fifth. The inning began with a Corey Hart single and a Jerry Hairston double. Braun then hit a ground-rule double, making the score 5–4. Prince Fielder put the Brewers ahead with a two-run home run and Yuniesky Betancourt hit another two-run home run to make it 8–5 Brewers. A Pujols double-play grounder would make it 8–6, but the Brewers got the run back with a Jonathan Lucroy RBI single in the seventh. Francisco Rodríguez would pitch a scoreless eighth inning and John Axford would get the save in the ninth as the Brewers took Game 1, 9–6.
|WP: Lance Lynn (1–0) LP: Shaun Marcum (0–1)
STL: Albert Pujols (1), David Freese (2)
MIL: Rickie Weeks (1), Prince Fielder (2)
The Cardinals' offense erupted on Shaun Marcum for Game 2, with Albert Pujols leading the way with a home run, three doubles, three runs scored, and five RBI's. The Brewers had a chance to put the game within one run in the fifth, but Rickie Weeks grounded into a double play with the bases loaded, killing the Brewers rally. The Cardinals rallied for four more runs in the seventh to put the game away. The Cardinals won 12–3, tying the Series at a game apiece as well as potential momentum going back to St. Louis.
|WP: Chris Carpenter (1–0) LP: Yovani Gallardo (0–1) Sv: Jason Motte (1)
MIL: Mark Kotsay (1)
The Cardinals rallied for four runs in the first inning of Yovani Gallardo, but the Brewers tried to come back, scoring two runs in the second and another in the third on a Mark Kotsay home run. The Cardinals bullpen proved to be the difference, pitching four scoreless innings of relief for Chris Carpenter, giving the Cardinals the 4–3 win and a 2–1 series lead.
|WP: Randy Wolf (1–0) LP: Kyle Lohse (0–1) Sv: John Axford (2)
STL: Matt Holliday (1), Allen Craig (1)
Brewers starter Randy Wolf kept Milwaukee from falling into a 1–3 series deficit, throwing seven stellar innings, striking out six batters. The Brewers scored two runs to tie the game in the fourth inning, with Jerry Hairston Jr. hitting an RBI double to score Prince Fielder, and Yuniesky Betancourt followed with a single to score Hairston. The Brewers scored another run in the fifth on a single by Ryan Braun, and another run in the sixth, thanks to a crucial error by Ryan Theriot. Though the Cardinals had the tying run at the plate in three of the last four innings, Wolf, along with relievers Francisco Rodríguez and John Axford, shut the Cardinals down to even the series at two games apiece and guaranteeing that the series would end in Milwaukee. It was also the Brewers first playoff win on the road since Game 1 of the 1982 World Series.
|WP: Octavio Dotel (1–0) LP: Zack Greinke (1–1) Sv: Jason Motte (2)|
The Cardinals took advantage of four Milwaukee errors to grab a 3–2 series lead. Octavio Dotel got the win in relief of Jaime García and Jason Motte earned another save. Matt Holliday's two-run double in the eighth put the game out of reach.
|WP: Marc Rzepczynski (1–0) LP: Shaun Marcum (0–2)
STL: David Freese (3), Rafael Furcal (1), Albert Pujols (2)
MIL: Corey Hart (1), Rickie Weeks (2), Jonathan Lucroy (1)
The Cardinals got off to a quick start, scoring four runs off Shaun Marcum in the first. Lance Berkman got things started with an RBI single. Series MVP David Freese hit a three-run blast to extend their early lead. Marcum would last only this one inning. The Brewers got a run right back on a leadoff solo shot by Corey Hart in the bottom half of the inning, but the Redbirds would make it a four run game again as Rafael Furcal homered to make the score 5–1 in the second. Milwaukee would start to claw their way back in their half of the inning, as Rickie Weeks and Jonathan Lucroy hit a pair of home runs to make the score 5–4. In the third, however, Albert Pujols led off with a solo shot of his own. St. Louis would add three more runs to give themselves a commanding 9–4 lead. In the ninth, with the score 12–6, Cardinals closer Jason Motte came on to pitch in a non-save situation. Motte struck Mark Kotsay out swinging to end the game and give St. Louis the National League Pennant.
|St. Louis Cardinals||11||5||7||5||5||1||5||3||1||43||67||2|
|Total attendance: 267,570 Average attendance: 44,595|
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