Corey Hart, Prince Fielder

NLDS Diamondbacks-Brewers Game 1 Live Blog

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4:52: Game of the NLDS is in the books, as the Brewers defeated the Diamondbacks 4-1. John Axford pitched a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to notch the save.

The series will resume tomorrow at 5 p.m. ET when Daniel Hudson pitches against Zack Greinke.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for a recap. Enjoy the rest of the games on the schedule for this evening.

4:43: And off we go to the top of the ninth. John Axford is indeed coming in to close this one out. The Diamondbacks have Aaron Hill, Justin Upton and Miguel Montero due up.

4:35: Gallardo followed the solo blast by Roberts by striking out three straight batters to end the top of the eighth. He’s at 106 pitches, so we’ll likely see John Axford in the top of the ninth.

Gallardo allowed just one run on four hits (including the homer by Roberts) while striking out nine and walking just one.

4:28: The Diamondbacks are finally on the board here in the top of the eighth, as Ryan Roberts just went deep to straight away center field to cut the lead to 4-1.

4:19: Well, the Brewers have some insurance. Prince Fielder just slugged a two-run homer off Ian Kennedy in the bottom of the seventh to give the Brewers a 4-0 lead. It followed a two-out double by Ryan Braun. Probably not smart to pitch to Prince with first base open.

Ian Kennedy is now done for the day after throwing 111 pitches. He allowed four runs on eight hits (including the homer by Fielder) over 6 2/3 innings while striking out three and walking one.

4:10: Make that seven scoreless frames for Gallardo. Nyjer Morgan made an excellent running catch to end the inning, eventually running into the center field wall.

Gallardo has only thrown 87 pitches. He’s really rolling right now, so one would think he’ll at least be back out there for the eighth.

4:05: Yuniesky Betancourt just almost killed Ryan Braun. OK, not really, but they did have a minor collision as Betancourt snagged a pop-fly in shallow left field. Everybody is OK, though.

4:00: Gallardo grounds into a fielder’s choice to end the bottom of the sixth, but he now has himself a 2-0 lead going into the top of the seventh.

Gallardo has only thrown 75 pitches so far this afternoon.

3:59: Jonathan Lucroy dumps one in short left field for a single to drive in Betancourt and give the Brewers a 2-0 lead.

3:56: Yuniesky Betancourt hits a two-out triple to keep the bottom of the sixth alive. Gerardo Parra had trouble tracking down the ball after it kicked off the wall in left. The Brewers need to cash this one in.

3:50: Gallardo works around a single by Willie Bloomquist to get out of the sixth. For some reason, Justin Upton dove head first into first base while trying to beat out a ground ball for the final out of the inning. Pretty positive he would have made it if he kept his stride. Oh well.

3:42: And so much for that. Fielder lines out to left for the final out of the inning. Another missed opportunity. Still 1-0 Brewers as we move to the sixth.

3:39: Braun with a broken-bat single to left. The Brewers have runners on first and second with two outs for Prince Fielder.

3:37: Kennedy hits Nyjer Morgan in the leg by a pitch with two outs. Obviously no intent there. Here comes Ryan Braun.

3:30: Gallardo just needed seven pitches to set the Diamondbacks aside. It’s 1-0 Brewers moving to the bottom of the fifth.

3:26: Ian Kennedy was able to get a couple ground balls from Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy to end the inning. He’s actually pretty fortunate to walk away with only one run scoring considering the bases were loaded with nobody out. Yovani Gallardo is dealing right now, but this could come back to bite them.

3:22: Jerry Hairston Jr. drives in the first run of the game with a sacrifice fly on the first pitch.

3:21: Rickie Weeks is hit by the pitch. And the crowd boos. Yeah, because Ian Kennedy really wants to hit somebody right now. Sigh. Bases loaded for Hairston.

3:20: Prince Fielder takes advantage of the shift for a double down the left field line. Runners on second and third for Rickie Weeks now. None out.

3:19: Ryan Braun rips a leadoff single into left field. Table set for Prince Fielder and Rickie Weeks.

3:13: Gets Chris Young swinging for the final out. Gallardo now has five strikeouts over four scoreless innings. We’re moving to the bottom of the fourth in Milwaukee.

3:10: Miguel Montero sends one to the warning track in right-center field for the second out of the inning. Hill still on first base.

3:06: Leadoff walk for Aaron Hill on a very, very close pitch. Didn’t swing, either.

3:01: This probably isn’t the case, but it sort of sounded like Nyjer Morgan has the X-Files theme for his at-bat music. Wouldn’t be that surprising, I suppose. Anyway, he goes down looking for the third out. We’re scoreless through three innings.

3:00: Gallardo pops up the first pitch, which is a shame, because he’s one of my favorite hitting pitchers. Some others? Mike Leake, Dontrelle Willis, Livan Hernandez. Any other good ones I’m missing?

2:56: And Gallardo sits them down in order. We’re still scoreless going into the bottom of the third.

2:53: And now Ian Kennedy goes down looking. Three Ks for Gallardo through the first nine batters.

2:49: Parra goes down looking for the first out. I’d still rather have him leading off than Bloomquist, though.

2:46: Lucroy flies out to left for the final out in the bottom of the second inning. A missed opportunity, as they leave two runners on and do not score.

On the bright side for the Brewers, they made Kennedy threw 27 pitches. He’s at 39 pitches through two innings.

2:42: Hairston reaches on a hard-hit infield single after a long at-bat. Ryan Roberts couldn’t quite get the handle, but he at least prevented the ball from going down the third base line.

2:37: Ian Kennedy walks Rickie Weeks for the first Brewers’ baserunner of the game. Ron Kulpa gave him the outside corner on Fielder, but he just missed this time.

2:32: These constant “Big Bang Theory” promos almost make me long for the days of Frank Caliendo. Almost.

2:30: Overbay goes down swinging for the second out while Ryan Roberts flies out to right for the final out of the top of the second.

By the way, did you happen to notice Gallardo’s final three starts this season? 12Ks, 13Ks, 11Ks. Ridiculous.

2:26: Not sure how accurate this pitch tracker is on TBS, but I’m enjoying it so far. Not too distracting.

2:22: Ian Kennedy shuts the Brewers down in order in the bottom of the first.

2:16: No score as we move to the bottom of the first. The remarkable part about that first inning was how the announcers talked about swinging at first pitches as if that is a good thing. OK.

2:12: Single to left by Justin Upton, but Bloomquist is gunned down at the plate by Ryan Braun. And it wasn’t all that close.

2:11: Bloomquist now steals second base. The Diamondbacks have a runner in scoring position with one out.

2:08: Well, he made me shut up rather quickly. Single of the first pitch of the ballgame.

2:07: Wow, nothing quite like Willie Bloomquist and his .317 career on-base percentage leading off a playoff game.

2:00 PM ET: The American League began postseason play yesterday (though not completely, thanks to the suspended game in New York), but now it’s the National League’s turn, as the Diamondbacks and Brewers will play Game 1 of the NLDS.

Ian Kennedy (21-4, 2.88 ERA) is on the hill for the D-Backs while Yovani Gallardo (17-10) will get the call for the Brewers.

I’ll be dropping some of my random thoughts and observations here throughout the ballgame. Feel free to join the conversation in our comments section.

Looking for lineups? We have you covered right here.

Alex Rodriguez lands on the 15-day DL with a strained hamstring

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez follows through on a single to right off a pitch from Texas Rangers' Shawn Tolleson in the ninth inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, April 27, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. The Yankees lost 3-2. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez
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Yankees DH Alex Rodriguez strained his right hamstring running out a ground ball in the fifth inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Orioles. The club announced it has placed him on the 15-day disabled list and recalled pitcher James Pazos from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Rodriguez lands on DL hitting .194/.275/.444 with five home runs and 12 RBI in 80 plate appearances.

Dustin Ackley replaced Rodriguez in Tuesday’s game, but the Yankees will likely cycle a handful of players in and out of the DH spot while Rodriguez heals.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Wednesday evening’s action

Philadelphia Phillies' Aaron Nola pitches to a Milwaukee Brewers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Friday, April 22, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Tom Lynn)
AP Photo/Tom Lynn
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We were treated to a handful of games this afternoon but we still have eight night games left. Let’s talk about the Phillies.

I wrote this preview of the Phillies just before the season started, predicting them to win only 65 games, which would mark only a marginal improvement over their 63-win season last year. In my defense, I wasn’t alone, as almost every expert as well as the projections had them finishing under 70 wins. And yet, here they are 27 games into the season with 16 wins. That’s on pace for a 96-win season. What the heck.

Aaron Nola pitched seven shutout innings against the Cardinals in a 1-0 victory on Tuesday, marking the Phillies’ sixth shutout of the year, the best mark in the majors. Even as the Phillies prepared to draft him, Nola was described as “major league ready” but no one expected him to be quite this dominant. In his first 19 major league starts, Nola has a 3.37 ERA with a 112/26 K/BB ratio over 117 2/3 innings. This year, not only has Nola been extremely stingy with the walks, but he’s been missing bats at an elite level. He’s only 22 years old.

Nola is joined in the rotation by Vincent Velasquez, the pitcher who highlighted the return from the Astros in the Ken Giles trade. The right-hander made headlines in April with a 16-strikeout performance against the Padres and currently stands with a 1.44 ERA with a 39/10 K/BB ratio in 31 1/3 innings. Unlike Nola, Velasquez was billed as a future ace or a dominant eighth- or ninth-inning guy.

Then there’s Jerad Eickhoff, who came over in the Cole Hamels trade last year. Though he has a ho-hum 4.15 ERA, Eickhoff is occasionally dominant as evidenced by his 32/5 K/BB ratio over 30 1/3 innings. He has a pretty curve. Look at it. Eickhoff probably won’t be an ace, but he wasn’t considered to be a future mainstay in the rotation when the Hamels trade went through. All he’s done so far is exceed expectations. Nola-Velasquez-Eickhoff makes for an outstanding start to a long-term starting rotation.

The offensive tools aren’t quite where the pitching is yet for the Phillies, as third baseman Maikel Franco has wavered between looking like Mike Schmidt and looking completely lost at the plate. He has only five hits (zero home runs) in his last 37 plate appearances. Shortstop prospect J.P. Crawford isn’t there yet, nor is outfielder Nick Williams, catcher Jorge Alfaro, and outfielder Cornelius Randolph. There’s certainly a lot of hope on the horizon.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a Phillies fan, but wearing rose-colored glasses isn’t a crime of which I’ve been often accused over the years. It has been one headache after another being a Phillies fan between 2012-15. The front office under former GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. was stubborn and out of touch. Now, under new president Andy MacPhail and GM Matt Klentak, the team has a goal and is seeing it through. No, the Phillies won’t win 96 games this year — they probably won’t even win 80 — but they’re certainly further along than a lot of us gave them credit for being.

The Phillies play game three of a four-game set in St. Louis tonight at 8:15 PM EDT. Lefty Adam Morgan will oppose the Cardinals’ Mike Leake.

The rest of Wednesday’s action…

Detroit Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Cleveland Indians (Corey Kluber), 6:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Baltimore Orioles (Tyler Wilson), 7:05 PM EDT

Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez), 7:07 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Rubby De La Rosa) @ Miami Marlins (Jose Fernandez), 7:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers (Alex Wood) @ Tampa Bay Rays (Drew Smyly), 7:10 PM EDT

Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @ Chicago White Sox (Carlos Rodon), 8:10 PM EDT

Minnesota Twins (Phil Hughes) @ Houston Astros (Mike Fiers), 8:10 PM EDT

The Marlins are suing a season ticket holder

Atlanta Braves v Miami Marlins
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A couple of years back the Marlins threatened to sue a season ticket holder who didn’t want to pay because the view they had wasn’t what they expected and the Marlins wouldn’t accommodate their request to move. That apparently got worked out without litigation. A new dispute, however, is now a matter for the courts.

The Marlins filed a lawsuit a little over a year ago against a season ticket holder named Mickey Axelbrand. The suit is just heating up now because the Marlins didn’t move to serve the defendant with the suit until recently. The suit is a straightforward breach of contract case in which the Marlins say that Axelbrand paid for two season tickets on a two-year contract, covering 2011-12, and that Axelbrand didn’t pay for the second year. The Marlins claim that he owes the team $24K+ plus other damages. Seems straightforward, no? You don’t pay, you get sued, right?

Well, there are two sides to every story. I spoke with Axelbrand’s lawyer, Daniel Rose of Delray Beach, Florida, this afternoon. He says Axelbrand has been a Marlins fan since the advent of the team and was as season ticket from the team’s first season in 1993 until the dispute arose. He says that the reason Axelbrand withheld payment was because “most of the exclusive amenities were taken away,” from the ticket holder. Specifically, he said that the Marlins ceased operation of the complementary food service for this exclusive seating area in the 6th inning and that exclusive parking areas and an entrance area for people at this expensive season ticket level were made open to the general public. While that sounds like a first world problem to a lot of us, clubs like the Marlins market these super high-priced tickets to people like Axelbrand on the basis of such exclusivity and people like Axelbrand come to expect it. Not unreasonably.

The suit is in its early stages now and discovery is just getting going. Only then will the merits of the competing claims be determined. For now we just have a claim and a defense and the facts will fall where they may. For what it’s worth, Rose believes he can get financial discovery from the Marlins, opening at least part of their books. I’m a bit rusty by now, but for what it’s worth I’m not sure I see how it gets that far. At the very least, however, Jeff Loria will probably have to spend some time and money fending off discovery requests that go beyond the ticket office.

I think the larger takeaway here is that this appears to have been a dispute between a customer and a business that festered for at least three years and one presumes that there were complaints made to the team and a lot of back and forth before everyone lawyered up. One wonders how a baseball team couldn’t resolve this short of litigation if, as Axelbrand and his attorney claim, it was a dispute over amenities and the like. There are probably a million ways for a club to make this right with a fan that don’t require legal fees. I can’t ever recall a team suing a season ticket holder (update: Oh, yeah, that’s the ticket!) I suppose it happens, but if there’s one thing most teams do better than anything it’s accommodate season ticket holders with the sort of customer service niceties which are in the dang wheelhouse of professional sports teams catering to rich folks. Lunch with Giancarlo Stanton anyone?

As a matter of law it’s for the courts to decide. But I can’t help but wonder how this wasn’t decided as a matter of customer service a long time ago.

The Rangers trade Chris Gimenez to the Indians

Texas Rangers' Chris Gimenez, left, and Rougned Odor celebrate Gimenez scoring during the fourteenth inning of Game 2 in baseball's American League Division Series, Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, in Toronto. Texas won 6-4. (Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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The Cleveland Indians just announced that they’ve acquired catcher Chris Gimenez from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash considerations.

Gimenez knows his way to Progressive Field. Indeed, this will be his third stint with the Indians organization. He was their 19th round pick in the 2004 draft, made his big league debut with the club in 2009 and stayed through the 2010 season. He came back in 2014 for eight games, now he’s back again. He has yet to play in 2016 due to a ankle issue. He as doing minor league rehab before being DFA’d by the Rangers yesterday.

Come back to Cleveland, Chris. You always will have a home in Cleveland.