It probably goes without saying that Arizona is not a place where you want to hang breaking and off-speed stuff. Chase Field historically treats hitters well, but Baseball-Reference has the D’Backs launching pad at a park factor of 107 for this season. That’s so hitter-friendly, it’s almost absurd.
The park itself isn’t to blame, but the combination of the dry desert air and one of the game’s best batter’s eyes in centerfield makes it a hard place to pitch well. It’s even harder to pitch well when you constantly miss your spot, like Randy Wolf did in Game 4 of the NLDS. Not only did Wolf miss a lot, but he frequently missed up in the zone:
Yet the Brewers will still be starting a fully-rested Yovani Gallardo. They’ll face Ian Kennedy again, but the Brewers seemed to figure something out by the time they chased him from Game 1. As ugly as the pitching was in Arizona, the offense still scored a fair amount of runs. They’ll be back at home with a home crowd that made them seem unbeatable in Games 1 and 2. At the very least, I have more confidence in the Brewers beating Arizona in Game 5 than I do in the Phillies holding off the Cardinals in their own Game 5 at home.