Chris Young powers Diamondbacks past Brewers and into Game 5

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Three of the four Divisional Series are going the distance, as the Diamondbacks topped the Brewers 10-6 on Wednesday night to create a decisive Game 5 on Friday.

Both starters lasted exactly three innings in this offensive showcase.  Randy Wolf was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the top of the fourth having given up seven runs, and Joe Saunders was hit for in the bottom of the fourth having allowed three.

Micah Owings, who pitched scoreless fourth and fifth innings, was credited with the victory.

Ryan Roberts and Chris Young led the way for Arizona’s offense.  Roberts hit a grand slam in the bottom of the first, and Young immediately followed with the first of his two homers on the night.  Aaron Hill also homered for Arizona, and Paul Goldschmidt, Tuesday’s hero, went 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored.

Milwaukee’s lone homer came off the bat of the much-maligned Carlos Gomez.  Gomez, who didn’t even have an at-bat in the first three games of the series, also singled in his start over Nyjer Morgan.

Yuniesky Betancourt went 3-for-4 for the Brewers.  Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder both had lone doubles in four at-bats.

After combining to score 38 runs the last three games, the Diamondbacks and Brewers will get their aces back on the mound Friday in Milwaukee. Ian Kennedy and Yovani Gallardo are set for a rematch of the Game 1 that the Brewers claimed 4-1.

Notes

– If the Diamondbacks can come all of the way back, they’d be the first team since the 2003 Red Sox (vs. Oakland) to win a best-of-five after going down 0-2.

– The Diamondbacks are just the second team ever to hit grand slams in consecutive postseason games (Goldschmidt had one Wednesday). The 1977 Dodgers were the first.

– Young now has three homers in the series and five in 11 career postseason games. He has an extremely impressive .333/.458/.769 line in 39 at-bats overall in October.

– His two-homer game was the first in Arizona’s postseason history.

– Diamondbacks phenom Jarrod Parker struggled in his postseason debut. A somewhat surprising addition to the roster after just one regular-season appearance, he gave up one run and retired only one of the four hitters he faced in the sixth inning tonight.

– Arizona left fielder Gerardo Parra went hitless again, leaving him 0-for-15 with six strikeouts in the series. The Diamondbacks could make a change there in Game 5, perhaps going to Collin Cowgill in his place. Cowgill delivered a two-run single as a pinch-hitter tonight.

Mets to move Matt Harvey to the bullpen

Matt Harvey
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Mets right-hander Matt Harvey is heading to the bullpen, according to comments made by club manager Mickey Callaway on Saturday. As predicted, Harvey doesn’t appear to be taking the news particularly well, going so far as to tell Callaway that the decision has him “at a 10 with being pissed off” and that he’s motivated to prove himself as a starter.

It’s been rough going for Harvey this spring. After missing significant time to a shoulder injury last season, the 29-year-old righty returned to the mound with a lot left to prove. He pitched to an 0-2 record in four starts, issuing 14 runs, four home runs and 17 strikeouts in 21 innings. It’s been a while since the Mets have seen anything better out of their starter — he hasn’t turned in a sub-4.00 ERA since 2015 and hasn’t pitched well enough to earn an All-Star berth since 2013 — and now it appears they’re at the end of their rope.

At this point, the Mets insist that the shift is a temporary one. While Callaway has helped successfully convert several starters to the bullpen, including Trevor Bauer and Carlos Carrasco, that’s not the plan for this veteran right-hander. Instead, both the team and Harvey seem to view the change as a way to clear up any mental blocks Harvey may be encountering on the mound. “We know he’s healthy,” assistant GM John Ricco told reporters. “He’s feeling good. Then you get to, is this a little bit of a mental thing, a confidence thing? One of the things we talk about is getting him into the ‘pen, where he can have success in short spurts, get that confidence back and really let it go and get back to being a guy who can dominate the way he’s shown in the past.”

Harvey will be eligible to pitch out of the bullpen on Tuesday, when the Mets are scheduled to kick off their next road series against the Cardinals. As for his replacement, left-hander Jason Vargas will resume his role in the rotation when he comes off the disabled list next Saturday.