Looking to secure home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs, Milwaukee wraps up the regular season Wednesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Fielder hit three homers in a game for the first time and drove in a season-high five, lifting Milwaukee to a 6-4 victory Tuesday. Fielder leads the team with 38 homers and 120 RBIs, and is one point shy of finishing with a .300 batting average for the first time in his seven-year career.
“You guys know me. If I see it, I’m swinging hard,” said Fielder, who has six homers and 15 RBIs in 14 games versus the Pirates.
Wednesday’s contest could be the final regular-season one for Fielder with Milwaukee. Earlier this month in a television interview, the All-Star MVP said 2011 would likely be his last year with the Brewers as he plans to test free agency.
Braun went 1 for 2 with two walks Tuesday and is hitting .335 - one point behind the Mets’ Jose Reyes(notes) in the chase for the NL batting title. Braun has hit safely in all eight home games against the Pirates this year, going 11 for 24 (.458) with three homers and 12 RBIs.
The Brewers (95-66), who have a franchise-best 56 wins at Miller Park, would secure home-field advantage in the opening round with a win over the Pirates.
“That’s very important,” Fielder said. “Not that we can’t do it on the road by any means, but everybody knows we play a lot better at home. It’s good to have the fans behind you, get your confidence, a little swag before you have to go on the road.”
Greinke (15-6, 3.86 ERA) has been instrumental to the Brewers’ success at home. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner has gone 10-0 in 14 starts at Miller Park - all Milwaukee wins.
However, he failed to get a decision for the second straight home game in Saturday’s 6-4 win over Florida after allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings.
If Greinke wins Wednesday, he would be the eighth pitcher since 1946 to win at least 11 home games without a loss, and first since Minnesota’s Johan Santana(notes) was 12-0 in 2006. Orel Hershiser was the last NL pitcher to do so when he went 11-0 in 1985.
Greinke is 2-1 with a 6.63 ERA in three starts versus Pittsburgh this year. Both wins have come at home, where he’s posted a 4.97 ERA.
The Pirates (72-89) are finishing up a 19th straight losing season in which they were in first place as late as July 19. They tumbled from the top spot by losing 15 of 18, quickly ending any playoff speculation.
The left-hander didn’t get a decision after yielding one run and six hits in 4 2-3 innings of Friday’s 4-3 win over Cincinnati. Locke had allowed three runs in each of his first two starts.