It’s hard enough for fans to take a 12-3 loss in the regular season. It’s even harder to swallow a 12-3 loss in the NLCS.
And yet the game only counts once in the series. The NLCS is a best-of-five now, and the series is headed to a venue in which the Brewers have won plenty of games over the past few years. There will be three games in Busch Stadium — basically another road trip through a familiar stop. The Brewers and Cardinals played three series at Busch this year. The Cardinals won the first, two games to one. The Brewers won the second, two games to one. The Cardinals won the third, two games to one.
As long as the Brewers can win one game in St. Louis, they’ll return to Milwaukee, and as long as they have a way back to Miller Park, they’ll have a chance.
There will be things that need to be addressed after two games in this series — whether or not you trust Shaun Marcum to make another start against the Cardinals (or even in the next series, if you allow yourself to think that far), or whether or not Nyjer Morgan could use an extra day off (especially with Chris Carpenter on the mound in Game 3) — but in the end, they’re no better or no worse off than they were before Game 1.
If this was a team that got spooked easily and didn’t play with a high level of confidence, perhaps there would be reason to worry. Since they’ve remained loose through thick and thin this year, though, maybe we should all take a deep breath and a few steps away from the ledge. Most of us had a feeling this would be a long series heading in, and through two games, it looks like we’re still headed that way.