Back home at Miller Park, the Brewers got three hits from Hardy and a sharp outing from Dave Bush to beat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-1 Saturday night and stave off elimination in the NL division series.
“Tonight was big for us,” Hardy said. “I think we’re going to be able to relax a little bit more and come out and play early tomorrow.”
“It was good to really create some pressure for them,” Brewers outfielder Mike Cameron said. “We haven’t played well the first two games, but today it was all about the energy. We were able to feed off of it and get out early and put a little pressure on their team.”
But Shane Victorino, who hit a grand slam off Sabathia in Game 2, was called for interference when he didn’t slide into second. The runners were sent back to second and third, and Carlos Ruiz tapped back to Torres for the final out.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel continued to discuss the play with umpires after the game.
“I’ve seen times, probably, when they didn’t call that, but the umpire is standing right there on it,” Manuel said.
Only seven teams in baseball history have come back from an 0-2 deficit in a best-of-five playoff series—but the ’82 Brewers were one of them.
Interim manager Dale Sveum said the victory gave the Brewers confidence— and seemed pretty confident himself that the series was going the full five games.
“Hopefully, it pays off for the next two ballgames,” Sveum said.
The Brewers managed just three runs and seven hits as the Phillies won the first two games convincingly. But Milwaukee showed some patience facing Jamie Moyer in Game 3 that was noticeably lacking in Philadelphia.
It was a surprising development for an offense that made it to the playoffs with a homer-or-nothing mentality.
“These guys knew what they had to do with a guy like Moyer on the mound,” Sveum said.
Cameron and Bill Hall, two free-swinging Brewers, walked with no outs in the first against Moyer, known for his control. Both runners moved up on a wild pitch before Fielder hit a sacrifice fly to right with one out.
Hardy followed with a run-scoring single to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
“Jamie Moyer is kind of (Greg) Maddux,” Hall said. “As the crowd gets louder, he throws softer. We were trying to be patient and if he was going to walk us, we were going to take it. He is not going to throw many pitches over the plate. He wants you to get yourself out. We were patient early and that set the tone.”
The Phillies hid their own offensive problems in the first two games behind dominant outings from starters Cole Hamels and Brett Myers. But their struggles continued on Saturday, as Chase Utley, Howard and Pat Burrell went a combined 3-for-11 at the plate.
“Yeah, I’m concerned about it,” Manuel said. “But I don’t know what you can do right now, especially this time of year.”
Bush (1-0) allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in four of the first six innings but managed to wiggle out of trouble. He departed with one out and a runner on third in the sixth, and Howard’s groundout off Mitch Stetter cut Milwaukee’s lead to 3-1.
“It was a big thrill,” Bush said. “The crowd was outstanding.”
Moyer (0-1) was lifted in favor of pinch-hitter Matt Stairs in the fifth. The 45-year-old left-hander allowed four hits and two runs in four innings.
“I was comfortable, I just couldn’t create any consistency,” Moyer said. “I felt it was going to come … and it did. But it was a little too late.”
Clay Condrey replaced Moyer and hit Cameron with a pitch to lead off the fifth. Cameron went to third on Hall’s single and scored on Braun’s sacrifice fly to left.
Milwaukee loaded the bases with two outs but Craig Counsell, who replaced Rickie Weeks at second base after Weeks sprained his left knee, took a called third strike to end the inning. The Brewers also left the bases loaded in the sixth.
Bush allowed a leadoff single to Utley in the fourth but got out of a potential big inning by mowing down the heart of the Phillies’ lineup.
Utley advanced to second on Howard’s groundout. But Burrell flew out to right, and Victorino lined out sharply to shortstop Hardy to end the inning.
Victorino slammed his helmet to the ground as he ran down the first-base line.
Cameron returned to Milwaukee on Saturday after flying home to be with his wife, JaBreka, for the birth of their fourth child, a daughter named Lilo Christina. “It’s been pretty good, nothing bad,” Cameron said. “I was able to get where I needed to go, just haven’t slept a lot.” … Howard and Jayson Werth both finished with two hits. … Kendall’s RBI single came in the seventh.