Kirk Gibson's obviously covering himself in glory after his ill-fated decision to let Ian Kennedy pitch to Prince Fielder in Game 1. Tonight, Collin Cowgill took enough time off from driving that wacky, Mondrian-inspired school bus to deliver a pinch-hit single ... in the third inning! Which pushed the Diamondbacks' lead for 5-3 to 7-3, and their win expectancy from around 75 percent to roughly 90 ...
That's via FanGraphs, of course.
Now, just one year ago, Gibson might not have been comfortable asking his bullpen to protect a 7-3 (let alone a 5-3) lead in the fourth inning. Just one year ago, the Diamondbacks' bullpen finished the season with a 5.74 ERA, worst in the National League and a full run worse than the next-worst Cubs.
This season? Their bullpen hasn't been great, but at 3.71 the ERA is two full runs lower. And while the biggest reasons for the Diamondbacks' worst-to-first season are better starting pitchers and better hitters, the revamped bullpen has played a big role as well. And that bullpen is probably going to hold this lead.
After four full innings it's Diamondbacks 7, Brewers 3.