MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers consider themselves a particularly resilient bunch, just like every team that has made the postseason without leading wire to wire. Manager Ron Roenicke figures they will have to draw on that resiliency in Game 6 -- and, they hope, Game 7 -- of the National League Championship Series.
The Brewers must win both to advance to the World Series.
"I think we've had to be [resilient] to get to this point," Roenicke said. "If we hadn't been, we would have never got into the playoffs. Early on, because we played poorly for a while, it took some time to figure out we were good, we knew how to play and how to win."
Adversity struck before the season's first pitch, when the Brewers' prized offseason acquisition, right-hander Zack Greinke, cracked a left rib playing pick-up basketball and became one of three potential Opening Day starters to begin the year on the disabled list (catcher Jonathan Lucroy and right fielder Corey Hart were the others, Lucroy with a fractured pinkie finger and Hart a rib-cage strain).
Then there was a seven-game losing streak in late April and early May that coincided with Greinke's shaky debut and Yovani Gallardo's early-season swoon. There were the "road woes," an inexplicable inability to win away from Miller Park that persisted through the All-Star break to the tune of a 16-31 road record. There was another slide in September that saw a seemingly safe 10 1/2-game lead in the NL Central shrink nearly in half.
Then there was the NL Division Series, in which the Brewers won the first two games at home, lost both on the road in Arizona and needed to win Game 5 at Miller Park to advance. They will be in the same position on Sunday.
"Similar, yes," Roenicke said. "I thought we played a nice [NLDS] Game 5 here, and certainly this is the same situation. Hopefully, it's going to be two of them in a row."
Brewers looking to get on the scoreboard first
MILWAUKEE -- If the Brewers can score first on Sunday, it would go a long way toward winning Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
Through five games this series, the Cardinals have gotten on the board first in each of them, including scoring in the first inning of the first three games and the second inning of the last two. Both of the Brewers' wins came from behind.
"I think that's always important for our team," manager Ron Roenicke said of scoring early. "I think when we're really good, we put a lot of pressure on them early. We haven't been able to do that, but it is important."
During the regular season, the Brewers went 65-28 when scoring first, and 31-38 when their opponent is the first to put a run across. In the postseason, Milwaukee has won two of three games when scoring first, while going 3-4 when the opponent scores first.
With the way the Cardinals' bullpen has performed through five games -- working four or more innings in each game and limiting the Brewers to four earned runs in 21 2/3 innings -- early runs have been key for both sides.
"It's always better if we come out and bust out early," Roenicke said. "I think the crowd gets involved then, I think our players feed off that. So hopefully, we will do that."
Gallardo not available for Crew in Game 6
MILWAUKEE -- Yovani Gallardo will not pitch for the Brewers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said that, in addition to not asking Gallardo to pitch on short rest on Sunday, he also will not make Gallardo available out of the bullpen.
"No, 'Yo' is not an option," Roenicke said. "We have to win tomorrow and the next day. I don't know why I would bring back Yo to win tomorrow when it would hurt us then for the next day and not being able to win."
Roenicke did say, though, that the Brewers had mapped out who would pitch behind Shaun Marcum if the right-hander struggles for the third consecutive postseason start. Roenicke did decline, however, to specify what that plan might be.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jordan Schelling is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.