Weak-hitting Brewers now meet old man on the mound

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MILWAUKEE --- After Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel reminisced Friday about Gil Hodges' World Series exploits in the 1950s, Jamie Moyer couldn't help himself.

"I think I faced Gil Hodges in that series," Moyer joked.

Still going strong at age 45, Moyer has the admiration of his teammates but hardly strikes fear into opposing batters. He didn't throw particularly hard when he was young -- and still carries around an old scouting report to prove it -- but somehow still gets by today with a fastball that tops out in the low 80s.

But if the Milwaukee Brewers think they're getting a break after being overwhelmed by Phillies pitchers in Games 1 and 2, they might have another thing coming.

Down 0-2 and facing elimination, the Brewers must face a pitcher who gave up just four runs in two outings against them this season and has a career 2.43 ERA in five postseason starts.

"Jamie, he's tremendous," said Phillies outfielder Geoff Jenkins, a former Brewer. "He's 100, and he just keeps doing it."

And if the Brewers can't keep Moyer (16-7) from overwhelming them today, their first trip to the playoffs since 1982 will end quickly.

"I honestly feel like there was more pressure to get into the playoffs, and once we got here, I thought that all the pressure was off us, and we could just go and start playing like we played in the middle of the season," Brewers shortstop J.J. Hardy said. "Obviously, that's not the case the first two games."

Right-hander Dave Bush (9-10) starts for the Brewers, who won the wild card thanks to a handful of clutch hits in the final week of the season and a last-week collapse by the New York Mets. Since then, the Brewers haven't been able to ditch the hitting woes that bothered them for most of their September slide.

In its first two games at Philadelphia, Milwaukee managed a total of only three runs and seven hits.

Brewers ace CC Sabathia's rough outing in Thursday's loss was a surprise, even though it was his fourth consecutive outing on three days' rest. But when it finally came time for Sabathia's teammates to pick him up -- a situation that really hadn't come up since Sabathia arrived in Milwaukee in a July 7 trade with Cleveland -- they couldn't do it.


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