MILWAUKEE -- It came as no surprise, but Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke confirmed Saturday that Zack Greinke will start Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Sunday against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Greinke was available out of the bullpen for Friday's Game 5 of the NL Division Series but the Brewers were able to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks before the game got to the 11th inning, when Roenicke planned to use Greinke.
"I think if we would have used him last night, we would have had some tough calls on how we run this rotation through the series," Roenicke said. "But the way it is now, it works out well. With Zack, we know he's going to be able to come back and pitch a couple of games."
Roenicke also said Yovani Gallardo, who started Friday, would pitch two games in the series, starting with Game 3 and then Game 7 if the series gets that far. Greinke would get his second start in Game 5, meaning only Games 2 and 4 are left for Randy Wolf and Shaun Marcum. Roenicke and pitching coach Rick Kranitz were still making decisions on those spots Saturday.
Marcum would seem the likely choice to start Game 2, but Wolf would be available to pitch as well. Both pitchers struggled in their starts during the NLDS in Phoenix, surrendering runs early and taking losses as Arizona tied the series 2-2.
"Any time you go through a little stretch where you're not pitching well, its always a concern," Roenicke said. "I still really like these guys. I think it's comforting to know that they have pitched well against St. Louis. I think they know that, which should give them confidence."
Neither Marcum nor Wolf had overwhelming splits against St. Louis this season, so there isnt any compelling incentive to go with one over the other. Wolf started against the Cardinals five times this season -- which should create a good deal of familiarity -- and went 3-2 with a 5.34 ERA. In four starts against St. Louis, Marcum was 1-1 with a 4.15 ERA.
Despite Wolf and Marcum's struggles in the NLDS, Roenicke said he doesn't have any plans to change the pitchers in the rotation, so Chris Narveson should remain in the bullpen.
"Whatever the case was in the two starts that they had, whether it was just being too amped up too much for the playoffs, which has happened to a lot of guys, hopefully the second start they'll calm down a little bit," Roenicke said. "They know they get another shot at this, which they really want because they weren't happy with the way they pitched the other games."
For the Cardinals, Jaime Garcia will take the mound in Game 1 on Sunday. In two starts against the Brewers this season, Garcia went 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA. On May 6, he threw a complete game two-hitter against them at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
"I'm really excited, really pumped up," Garcia said Saturday. "I feel good physically, feel good mentally."
Chris Carpenter pitched Friday for the Cardinals as they beat the Philadelphia Phillies to advance to the NLCS, so he won't be available until Game 3, setting up a matchup with Gallardo.
As for Greinke, he's feeling pretty normal as always and conceded that his start in Game 2 of the NLDS was only "a little more intense."
"I guess I know what to expect when the game starts now," Greinke said. "But it was just kind of like a normal start. And maybe a little more intense and a little more focused.
"But it was really wasn't that much different. So I'm expecting the next one to be the same way."
No change in sight: Roenicke said Saturday that he doesn't think the team's playoff roster will see any changes before it is turned into the league Sunday morning, though there is discussion of flipping infielder's Taylor Green and Josh Wilson.
"We'll probably keep it the same, but we're talking about it," Roenicke said.
Green, a late-August callup and left-handed hitter, made the roster over Wilson because the Diamondbacks had just one lefty in the bullpen. St. Louis has two with Mark Rzepczynski and Arthur Rhodes, but Roenicke seemed confident he'd stick with Green.
Green got one at-bat in the NLDS, during Game 4, going 0-for-1.
Game 1 festivities: The Brewers announced plans for Game 1 festivities Saturday, highlighted by beloved former Brewer Gorman Thomas throwing out the ceremonial first pitch. Thomas follows Robin Yount (NLDS Game 1), Bob Uecker (NLDS Game 2) and MLB Commissioner Bud Selig (NLDS Game 5).
Joseph Attanasio, father of Brewers chairman and Principal owner Mark Attanasio, will sing the National Anthem as he did before Game 1 of the NLDS this year and in 2008.
Milwaukee is 2-0 when he sings the Anthem.
The team also announced that the retractable roof is expected to be open for the game after it was closed for all three games of the NLDS at Miller Park. The roof status, however, is subject to change.
The game, which will air on TBS, is set for a 3:05 p.m. CT first pitch. Miller Park parking lots will open at noon and gates to the park will open at 1 p.m.