Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich look to Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey heat up

LOS ANGELES — Lorenzo Cain‘s heart sank with the baseball. It died like a dream into the glove of a diving Cody Bellinger. The line drive Cain punched the other way off Kenley Jansen lands for a hit 97 percent of the time, per Statcast™, but not Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey  on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, not in the 10th inning of the Brewers’ 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

“I thought for sure that was falling,” Cain said.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES — Lorenzo Cain‘s heart sank with the baseball. It died like a dream into the glove of a diving Cody Bellinger. The line drive Cain punched the other way off Kenley Jansen lands for a hit 97 percent of the time, per Statcast™, but not on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, not in the 10th inning of the Brewers’ 2-1, 13-inning loss to the Dodgers in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

“I thought for sure that was falling,” Cain said.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Heading back to the dugout, Cain rolled his eyes. In the clubhouse afterward, he shook his head, two weeks of frustration frothing to the surface. Cain was far from the only culprit Tuesday, when nine Dodgers pitchers limited Milwaukee to eight hits (seven singles). But the struggles of Cain and Christian Yelich went a long way toward why the Brewers’ lineup stalled for 13 innings, and continue to emerge now that this best-of-seven series is tied at two games apiece.

“For our offense in general, there is a bunch of guys we need offense from,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve g Justin Smoak Jersey ot some good contributions from guys at the bottom. But I think a bunch of guys are not really on it right now offensively.”

That starts at the top of the lineup with Cain and Yelich, who powered the Brewers to the postseason behind MVP-caliber first seasons in Milwaukee. Both have shown flashes of that production this October, Yelich homering in the NL Division Series opener an Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey d Cain spraying three hits in Game 1 of the NLCS.

Still, the line drive Bellinger robbed Cain of led to Cain finishing hitless in six at-bats. He is now 5-for-32 (.156) in the playoffs, when he’s reached base at a .229 clip. Cain’s .395 regular-season OBP ranked fourth among NL hitters.

“Oh, man. I’ve been struggling big-time, I can tell you that. I’ve been pretty bad the last few games,” Cain said. “I’m usually on base. I’ve been scuffling. It’s definitely frustrating, because I know I’m better than that. To not go out there and get it done, I take it to heart. I have to find a way to get in that cage, work on something and get going tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.”

Video: NLCS Gm4: Bellinger dives, makes low-probability grab

Yelich is 3-for-16 in the NLCS, with zero extra-base hits but four walks for a respectable .350 OBP.

“These guys are very offensive players,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Very good players. All the credit goes to the advance scouts, the catchers, the pitchers, executing. Those guys are very good hitters, and they came in very hot. To keep those guys off base or keep them somewhat at bay and keep them struggling, keeps us in ballgames.

The Dodgers were able to do that by holding Cain in check in Game 4, when he twice strode to the place with runners in scoring position. Cain’s first chance came against Rich Hill in the fifth, when he grounded to short with Domingo Santana at second. He also bounced out to second to end the seventh against Ryan Madson, stranding Manny Pina at second. The Brewers finished 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base.

“We had opportunities and we didn’t take advantage of them,” Yelich said. “Eventually they’re going to catch up to you.”

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Lorenzo Cain,
Christian Yelich

Christian Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey Yelich unstoppable vs. Kershaw?

Christian Yelich has Clayton Kershaw‘s number,” you might hear in regards to today’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

You’ll hear that because their head-to-head numbers are gaudy, tilted in Yelich’s favor: He owns a .500/.550/.889 line in 20 plate appearances, including the postseason. It’s the highest OPS any hitter has off of Kershaw, among the many who have faced him at least 20 times.

Christian Yelich has Clayton Kershaw‘s number,” you might hear in regards to today’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

You’ll hear that because their head-to-head numbers are gaudy, tilted in Yelich’s favor: He owns a .500/.550/.889 line in 20 plate appearances, including the postseason. It’s the highest OPS any hitter has off of Kershaw, among the many who have faced him at least 20 times.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

It’s a loud line. It’s also all but completely meaningless, as nearly all hitter-versus-pitcher numbers are. The simplest reason for that is that the samples ar Kevin Pillar Jersey e too small to have any predictive value, small enough in most cases that a lucky bloop here, a fantastic defensive play there, or four at-bats on a very windy day could change the story entirely.

If the hitter happened to be playing through the flu or if the pitcher was trying to hide an injured elbow, that could change everything. There’s just not enough data here.

Even in the rare cases where you do have a sizable amount of head-to-head appearances, much of that information is so old as to be useless. Take Felix Hernandez against Ian Kinsler, for example. They’ve faced each other 105 times, but some of that dates back a dozen years ago to 2006. Clearly, neither player is anywhere near the same now as they were back then.

Let’s take this knowledge and apply it to Game 5, by looking at one matchup from both sides. In addition to Yelich and Kershaw, we can take a look at Cody Bellinger against Wade Miley. The outcomes may not be what you expect.

Kershaw vs. Yelich
.600 average / 1.067 slugging since 2015
.298 expected average / .536 expected slugging

Yelich had been in the Majors for about a month when he first faced Kershaw in 2013, and it actually didn’t go very well for him: He walked once, then struck out swinging three straight times. 

They’ve had 16 plate appearances over six games since then, all since 2015, and these are far more interesting to us, because we can apply Statcast™ data to them. With that ’13 game out of the way, Yelic Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey h’s line increases to .600/.625/1.067 since. That’s nine hits — three for extra bases — out of 12 batted balls. 

Some of those balls have very legitimately been crushed, like this July 21 home run that came off the bat at 105.5 mph. There’s no talking around that.

Video: LAD@MIL: Yelich hammers a solo dinger to center field

You can say the same for this Aug. 2 blast, which Yelich hit at 109.5 mph for an estimated 381-foot home run.

Video: MIL@LAD: Yelich belts a solo homer off Kershaw in 5th

But you’ll notice that Yelich’s expected average and slugging, derived from the usual outcomes of exit velocity and launch angle, is a more human .298/.536. That’s still very good, it’s just not otherworldly. 

How? Because some of those hits were, for lack of a better word, fortunate. Here’s Yelich beating out a 2016 single that didn’t even make it halfway to the mound.

Video: LAD@MIA: Yelich reaches on infield single off Kershaw 

Here’s an infield single right back to Kershaw in 2015, hit at all of 82.4 mph.

Video: LAD@MIA: Yelich hits infield knock off Kershaw’s mitt

And earlier in the same game, here’s another grounder right up the middle, this time it is one that Jimmy Rollins was unable to convert into an out.

Video: LAD@MIA : Yelich hits infield single up the middle

It’s not that those hits don’t matter, don’t count, can’t be turned into runs on the board. Of course they can. It’s just that there are a lot of ways to get to a .500 average. Some of them involve actual crushed baseballs. Some of them involve some weakly hit balls. Very little of it is actually predictive.  

After all, if we’d done this entering last Friday’s Game 1, Yelich’s line against Kershaw would have been .529/.556/.941. It would have been viewed as a massive advantage. He struck out and walked, putting no balls in play.

Bellinger vs. Miley
.200 average / .200 slugging 
.367 expected average / .736 expected slugging

It’s the opposite story on the other side, where Miley has limited Bellinger — note that .200 average matched by a .200 slugging percentage — while the underlying metrics suggest that Bellinger has had more success than it would appear. Of course, the entire point here is that you shouldn’t really put much stock in either set of numbers, because we’re talking about six plate appearances (six!) that all took place in the span of 11 days in July. This is why these numbers are generally more trouble than they’re worth.

But if you must, let’s at least show how Bellinger got to “1-for-6 with a walk and a strikeout,” because if the Dodgers repeat their lineup from Game 2, then Chris Taylor is perhaps likely to get the start in center over Bellinger, and this is the kind of data that the Dodgers will evaluate in making their decision. 

Again, we’re talking about all of four batted balls, one of which became a ground-ball single. Interestingly, however, that ball (hit at 91.6 mph) was the softest-hit ball Bellinger has had against Miley. Each of the three other times he made contact, the ball was hit hard. It just never turned into success.

The most interesting one of these came on July 31, when Bellinger hit a ball at 102.3 mph for what looked certain to be a home run … until Lorenzo Cain stepped in. 

Video: MIL@LAD: Cain takes a home run away from Bellinger

Cain took a hit away from Bellinger again that day, though in somewhat less spectacular fashion. Bellinger’s 99.4 mph lineout had a 51 percent hit probability.

Video: MIL@LAD: Bellinger lines out sharply to center field

And on July 20, Bellinger had another hard-hit ball, this time a 101 mph shot up the middle that would have been an easy single, if not for the fact that shortstop Tyler Saladino had been shifted up the middle. That Saladino was unable to collect it smoothly meant that it went into the books as an error, not a hit, but it doesn’t change how hard it was squared up.

Video: LAD@MIL: Bellinger reaches on error in the 6th

If this sounds a little familiar for Bellinger, it’s because leading into Game 3, we talked about how he’d hit .417/.500/1.083 against Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin. Of course, one of those hits was this “triple,” thanks to some ineffective San Diego defense back in 2017.

Video: LAD@SD: Bellinger hits a triple to shallow center

Despite that flashy line, Bellinger grounded out, twice.

Pitcher vs. hitter stat lines just aren’t very predictive or informative. They can’t be. There’s just not enough information. So in Game 5, Yelich might crush Kershaw, and he may not make solid contact at all. Either outcome is an expected one — no matter what the narrative might say.

Mike Petriello is an analyst for MLB.com and the host of the Statcast podcast.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Los Angeles Dodgers,
Cody Bellinger,
Clayton Kershaw,
Wade Miley,
Christian Yelich

Brewers, Dodgers movin Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey g past Game 4 incident

LOS ANGELES — Following a night when the benches cleared and tensions ran high after Manny Machado and Jesus Aguilar got tangled up on a play at first base in the 10th inning, both the Brewers and Dodgers appea Kevin Pillar Jersey red eager to put the incident behind them prior to Wednesday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES — Following a night when the benches cl Justin Smoak Jersey eared and tensions ran high after Manny Machado and Jesus Aguilar got tangl Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey ed up on a play at first base in the 10th inning, both the Brewers and Dodgers appeared eager to put the incident behind them prior to Wednesday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

View Full Game Coverage

Brewers manager Craig Counsell said that he did not expect to receive pregame warnings from the umpiring crew regarding any potential retaliation toward Machado, and he said he wouldn’t broach the subject with Game 5 starter Wade Miley. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts similarly characterized the issue as resolved, citing the conversation Machado and Aguilar had in the 13th inning, which prompted Aguilar to say, “For me, it’s over.”

“I don’t expect anything from the umpires is what I’d say, yeah. I’m not concerned about that,” Counsell said. “It’s Game 5 of the NLCS, man. You say to yourself, ‘Two games from the World Series.’ That’s all you’ve got to say. The other stuff just washes away, man. That’s meaningless to me.”

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal, Machado was fined an undisclosed amount for the way he collided with Aguilar.

Many in the Brewers’ clubhouse took exception following Game 4, with Christian Yelich the most outspoken member of a group that saw unnecessary intent in Machado’s actions. Yelich called the contact Machado’s left foot made with Aguilar as he crossed first base following a 10th-inning groundout “a dirty play by a dirty player.”

Machado expressed little regret for the dustup, saying, “If that’s dirty, that’s dirty. I don’t know, call it what you want.”

“All I know is Manny and Jesus have talked. They’ve worked it out, so I know that we’re focusing on today,” Roberts said. “I don’t think we’re too concerned about any other team’s comments about our players. I know speaking for Manny, he’s preparing to help us win today. And I feel the same thing about the rest of our players and coaches. So it’s really not at the forefront of our mind.”

Video: NLCS Gm 5: Roberts on Machado’s play at first base

“We all want something to talk about, and you guys do, too. And that’s great,” Counsell said. “But man, you know, there’s easy terms to put this day in and these next four days in that would center on accomplishing your dreams, that make that other stuff really pretty meaningless, and able to worry about it at a different time.”

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Los Angeles Dodgers,
Manny Machado

Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey Zach Davies replace Gio Gonzalez in NLCS

LOS ANGELES — Zach Davies, welcom Kevin Pillar Jersey e to the postseason.

Major League Baseball approved the Brewers’ request to replace injured left-hander Gio Gonzalez with Davies prior to Wednesday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series after Gonzalez suffered a left high ankle sprain in Game 4 on Tuesday night. By rule, Gonzalez is ineligible for the World Series should Milwaukee advance.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES — Zach Davies, welcome to the postseason.

Major League Baseball approved the Brewers’ request to replace injured left-hander Gio Gonzalez with Davies prior to Wednesday’s Game 5 of the National League Championship Series after Gonzalez suffered a left high ankle sprain in Game 4 on Tuesday night. By rule, Gonzalez is ineligible for the World Series should Milwaukee advance.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Gonzalez’s departure with no outs in the second inning forced the Brewers to cover the final 11-plus frames of a 13-inning, 2-1 loss to the Dodgers with the bullpen, putting Milwaukee in a somewhat perilous position entering Game 5 after a short turnaround, and with starter Wade Miley on short rest. It helps that one of the Brewers’ multi-inning “out-getters,” Brandon Woodruff, is fresh, but Davies could help provide additional length as Milwaukee attempts to take a 3-2 series lead before heading back to Miller Park for the conclusion.

“Today, and for the rest of the series, he’s a length option,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Having been a starting pitcher, having started on the last week of the season, he’s capable of throwing a lot of pitches. There’s certainly a chance he’s in the game today.”

Davies, 25, entered the season as arguably the Brewers’ No. 2 starter, held back to start the home opener against the Cardinals. But his year was ruined by injuries, first a right rotator cuff strain and then a back issue, which combined to limit him to a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts, including five in September.

The Brewers left both Davies and Opening Day starter Chase Anderson off the roster for the NL Division Series and the NLCS, though Davies vowed to stay sharp in the event of an injury. He was one of the Crew’s pitchers who threw to hitters in one of the team’s workouts between rounds. Milwaukee ultimately tabbed Davies to replace Gonzalez over Anderson, who hasn’t appeared in a game since Sept. 18. Left-handed reliever Dan Jennings was another option, though the club is already carrying a situational lefty in Xavier Cedeno.

“Zach was under consideration kind of at the beginning of the series. We’ve kept him, we feel like, prepared and going pretty good here,” Counsell said. “We talked about Chase. He was definitely an option. In the end, I think it’s been 30 days since he’s been in a game, and that was part of the factor.”

Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s medical director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the evaluating physician. MLB postseason rules provide that a club may request permission from the Commissioner’s Office to replace a player who is unable to play because of an injury, and the league may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Gonzalez injures his ankle, leaves game

“The first thought, I hope he’s all right,” Davies said. “Everybody in the clubhouse has that feel, at any moment, their name can be called upon. Everybody has done their work, stayed sharp, stayed ready, in case something like this does happen. It’s unfortunate that the reason you replace someone on the roster is because of an injury, but at the same time, everybody wants to be ready.”

Second guessing
The day after Cody Bellinger sent the Brewers to a walk-off loss in Game 4, Counsell was asked if he regretted the decision to pitch to Bellinger in that spot with first base open. Counsell could have instead opted to walk Bellinger and the next batter, Yasmani Grandal, to set up a bases-loaded situation for the Dodgers pitcher’s spot. Since the Dodgers were out of bench players, they would have had to send Julio Urias or another pitcher to the plate in that situation. Urias is a career .138 hitter in 34 plate appearances, and he only took one at-bat at the big league level in 2018.

Counsell instead decided to pitch to Bellinger, hoping Junior Guerra could get Bellinger to expand the zone. Guerra got ahead 1-2 to Bellinger, who worked the count even before laying off a back-foot slider. On a 3-2 count, Bellinger tagged another slider — this one in the zone — for the game-winning hit.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Counsell on losing NLCS Game 4 In extras

“Well, it was a 13-inning baseball game. You’re talking about hundreds of decisions. So yeah, there’s always stuff — I think there was some stuff I thought maybe earlier to kind of force their hand with more pitching changes that I thought maybe could have given us more advantageous stuff later,” Counsell said. “Look, I debated how we chose to go after Bellinger instead of walking two guys and the bases loaded. I still would do the same thing, but it’s certainly something you debate in your head.”

“Craig has his reasons,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “And he’s done a great job with their ballclub. So I just really don’t know what his thought process was.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Zach Davies,
Gio Gonzalez

Wade Miley will start Game Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey 6 after short start

LOS ANGELES — Brewers manager Craig Counsell put the plan in motion on Monday, when, tucked in a small room on the ground floor of Dodger Stadium, he publicly tabbed Wade Miley as his Game 5 starter. Privately, Miley was warned “things may be different.” But it wasn’t until more than a full day later that Miley learned he was a pawn, cast by Counsell to star in the back-and-forth battle that has defined this National League Championship Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 6: Tonight, 8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 CT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES — Brewers manager Craig Counsell put the plan in motion on Monday, when, tucked in a small room on the ground floor of Dodger Stadium, he publicly tabbed Wade Miley as his Game 5 starter. Privately, Miley was warned “things may be different.” But it wasn’t until more than a full day later that Miley learned he was a pawn, cast by Counsell to star in the back-and-forth battle that has defined this National League Championship Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 6: Tonight, 8:39 p.m. ET/7:39 CT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

By the time Miley toed the rubber Wednesday afternoon, on three days’ rest, he remained one of the few who knew the truth: No matter how Miley handled Dodgers leadoff man Cody Bellinger, the left-hander’s day would then be done. Brandon Woodruff would follow, jogging out from Milwaukee’s bullpen in the right-field corner to commence the Brewers’ fourth bullpen game of the postseason and third of the NLCS.

“That’s,” Counsell said, “what we were going to do all along.”

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

How history remembers the scheme and if it’s mimicked in Octobers to come will probably hinge on how the series ends for the Brewers, starting on Friday, when their season will be on the line following Wednesday’s 5-2 loss in Game 5 to the Dodge Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey rs, which put them down, 3-2, in the best-of-seven series.

But first, the certainties: Milwaukee will still return to Miller Park in what Counsell called “a position of strength,” even facing elimination after letting Game 5 slip away.

Miley, arguably their top starter, is now set to start Game 6. Jhoulys Chacin, the other pitcher in that conversation, will prep for a possible Game 7. Both will be on full rest. Both will be backed by the full support of Milwaukee’s vaunted bullpen, with Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress and Corey Knebel all having sat out Game 5. It is as enviable a position as possible for the Brewers, given the circumstances.

“We’re sitting in a very good spot and we have a great opportunity,” Counsell said. “And I know you’re going to play, ‘What if we could have captured another of these games?’ But we’re still going home and have a chance with this thing, with a bunch of guys in really good shape.”

How long Miley’s leash will be Friday remains to be seen. With Chacin available and several other Brewers relievers able to throw multiple innings, the smart money is on Miley functioning as something in between a traditional starter and the opener he was used as Wednesday, when he walked Bellinger on five pitches before giving way to Woodruff.

The goal, Counsell admitted, was “to get matchups.” In that way, it was a chess move thematic of this series, which has pitted Dodgers manager Dave Roberts and Counsell against each other in a near-constant battle for platoon advantages.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Counsell on Miley strategy, Woodruff

“It’s not my job to question it,” Miley said. “We’re trying to get to the World Series. This is the strategic side of it. I was in. Everybody bought in.”

Woodruff struck out eight over 5 1/3 largely effective innings after Miley’s exit, but Woodruff took the loss after allowing a go-ahead single to Max Muncy in Los Angeles’ two-run sixth. Woodruff and Miley were both informed of the plan early Wednesday morning after Milwaukee used seven pitchers in its 13-inning Game 4 loss.

“Seeing the situation from last night,” Woodruff said,”I could read between the lines.”

Video: NLCS Gm5: Woodruff K’s 8 over 5 1/3 innings in relief

The few who were in on it were sworn to secrecy. But as first pitch approached, word began to trickle out. Counsell tapped Mike Moustakas on the shoulder, with news an early mound visit would be coming. Ryan Braun was told. In the clubhouse, Miley spun his chair toward Christian Yelich, catching the outfielder off guard.

“I’m probably going to go out there and throw about four of those things,” Miley said.

“What are you talking about?” Yelich said.

“I’m only throwing to the first batter,” Miley said, before heading to the bullpen.

Woodruff watched in hiding as Miley warmed up, remaining in the bullpen tunnel until the two teams exchanged lineup cards.

“Then I came out,” Woodruff said. “I was told not to inform anybody. I was told to keep it to myself.”

It is unclear how aware the Dodgers were. Starting Miley kept the left-handed-hitting Joc Pederson and the right-handed-hitting Yasiel Puig (who had reverse splits this year) out of Roberts’ starting lineup, but he moved the left-handed-hitting Bellinger to leadoff and started Max Muncy at second base. Roberts stacked his lineup with all righties against Miley in Game 2.

“You’ve got to prepare for the unexpected,” Roberts said.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Roberts on unconventional usage of Miley

It’s probably unwise to expect anything less going forward, with the Brewers’ backs against the wall.

“We’ve got two starters lined up and we’ve got a bullpen that’s going to get a day off,” Counsell said, “and some key guys who are going to get multiple days off and be ready to go in a two-game stretch where we can use them.”

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Wade Miley,
Brandon Woodruff

Brewers Dodgers Game 5 lineups and bullpen Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey s

LOS ANGELES — There’s no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight PT following a 13-inning marathon in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and will be back on the field this afternoon for Game 5 to decide which team moves within one victory of the World Series.

It could be Clayton Kershaw‘s last start as a Dodger, though he’ll have a more immediate task at hand trying to shed a disappointing performance in Game 1 at Miller Park. Brewers starter Wade Miley will seek to do just the opposite after a brilliant performance in Game 2.

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES — There’s no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight PT following a 13-inning marathon in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and will be back on the field this afternoon for Game 5 to decide which team moves within one victory of the World Series.

It could be Clayton Kershaw‘s last start as a Dodger, though he’ll have a more immediate task at hand trying to shed a disappointing performance in Game 1 at Miller Park. Brewers starter Wade Miley will seek to do just the opposite after a brilliant performance in Game 2.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Both starters may be asked to eat quite a few innings, since both bullpens worked very hard in the Dodgers’ 2-1 win in Game 4. Who’s available, and how extensively, will be one of the key questions today. Here’s a look at where the teams stand with the series tied at two games apiece:

What might the starting lineups look like?
Brewers: They will stick with mostly the same lineup they used against Kershaw in Game 1, with Erik Kratz in place of Manny Pina because Kratz handles Miley’s starts:

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
5. Hernan Perez, 2B
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Wade Miley, P

Cain, Yelich look to get timing right in NLCS

Dodgers: Only Chris Taylor and Justin Turner had hits off Miley in Game 2, so manager Dave Roberts gets both in the lineup for Game 5. Brian Dozier delivered in Game 4, but Max Muncy gets the start at second base. Cody Bellinger will bat in the leadoff spot for just the second time in his career; the first was during his second big league game, on April 26, 2017, in which he went 0-for-5.

1. Cody Bellinger, CF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. David Freese, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Max Muncy, 2B
6. Chris Taylor, LF
7. Enrique Hernanadez, RF
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, P

Who are the starting Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey  pitchers?
Brewers: Convention says the Brewers will need le Kevin Pillar Jersey ngth from Miley after digging so deep into the bullpen on Tuesday night, but that’s complicated by the fact the veteran left-hander will be pitching on short rest since the first start of his first full season in 2012 with the D-backs. That start followed a relief outing. Miley has been terrific for the Brewers all season, starting 18 times and allowing three or fewer earned runs each time out, including a pair of scoreless starts in the postseason. He delivered 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 2 and chipped in two hits.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Miley on approach vs. Dodgers in Game 5

Dodgers: Not much on the mind of Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA), other than he’s starting the pivotal game in the series, he has that postseason narrative dogging him and, oh, it might be his last as a Dodger with a potential opt-out looming. His Game 1 start was a mess, from Yasmani Grandal‘s meltdown behind the plate to the home run Kershaw allowed to reliever Brandon Woodruff. Still, he’s the best pitcher of his generation, and he’s on full rest. It will shock almost no one if he’s outstanding.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Kershaw on yearly playoff contention

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: Josh Hader has never pit Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey ched three straight days, but that would be the ask if the Brewers use him in Game 5 after eight pitches in Game 3 and 20 in Game 4. Corey Knebel could also be limited after 19 pitches in Game 3 and 18 in Game 4. Still, Counsell will have arms to draw from, since Jeremy Jeffress was not used Tuesday night, nor was Woodruff, the right-handed throwing, left-handed hitting threat who homered off Kershaw in Game 1 at Miller Park. The Brewers replaced Gio Gonzalez, who went down in the second inning with a left high ankle sprain, with righty Zach Davies.

Davies replaces injured Gio on Brewers roster

Dodgers: After the Game 4 marathon, in which every reliever on the roster was used, Game 5 will be as tricky for the Dodgers as the Brewers. Kenta Maeda and Caleb Ferguson should be the freshest and capable of going two innings each.

Video: NLCS Gm 4: Roberts talks 13-inning, 2-1 win

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: Hader, if the Brewers stick to the regular season formula that got them here.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Hader strikes out Kemp, escapes jam

Dodgers: Kenley Jansen pitched two innings (34 pitches) in Game 4 for the first time since last year’s World Series, but he’ll probably take the ball if it means a save. It’s worth noting that he did throw a shutout inning the day after those two innings in the 2017 Fall Classsic. Game 4 winner Julio Urias hasn’t pitched on consecutive days since shoulder surgery. Alex Wood and Dylan Floro have pitched two straight days each so they will be limited, if available at all.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Urias freezes Moustakas in the 13th

Any injuries of note?
Brewers: Since Gonzalez was replaced on the NLCS roster, he is ineligible for the World Series should the Brewers advance. He did not speak to reporters after Game 4.

Dodgers: No.

Video: NLCS Gm 5: Roberts on expectations for Kershaw

Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: The Brewers have too many hitters in the “not” category. After three hits in Game 1, including a pair of singles off Kershaw, Cain is 1-for-15 in Games 2-4. Christian Yelich is 3-for-16 in the series including a bunt hit and an infield hit, though he’s taken four walks to push his on-base percentage to .350. Mike Moustakas is 2-for-17 after joining Cain in the 0-for-6 club in Game 4. The only Brewers hitter who distinguished himself on Tuesday was Ryan Braun, who tallied three hits plus a scorching groundout that spun Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner around in the third inning.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Cain discusses recent batting struggles

Dodgers: Bellinger is hitting only .214 in the series, but his confidence has to be on the improve after a walk-off hit in Game 4. Manny Machado had only one hit that broke his bat, but he seems to play a part whenever the Dodgers win. Oddly, Turner is batting only .167. Yasmani Grandal figures to sit again and watch Austin Barnes start at catcher. Ryan Madson is a season-saver middle reliever.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Roberts, Bellinger, Machado on Game 4 win

Anything else fans might want to know?
The Dodgers are 4-8 and the Brewers are 0-1 when tied 2-2 in best-of-seven NLCS. After Games 3 and 4 started late enough that the Dodger Stadium shadows didn’t figure in the festivities, keep an eye on hitters’ swings in the early innings of Game 5, with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. PT.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Los Angeles Dodgers,
Milwaukee Brewers

Bob Uecker throws ceremo Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey nial first pitch

MILWAUKEE — For the uninitiated: No, they were not booing before the Brewers even took the field for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night, a 6-5 win over the Dodgers. They were saluting Mr. Baseball.

It was “UUUUUU” for Bob Uecker, the Milwaukee kid turned .200-hitting big leaguer turned baseball broadcaster and Hollywood star, on the mound at Miller Park for a ceremonial first pitch to signal the start of the third LCS in Brewers history.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE — For the uninitiated: No, they were not booing before the Brewers even took the field for Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night, a 6-5 win over the Dodgers. They were saluting Mr. Baseball.

It was “UUUUUU” for Bob Uecker, the Milwaukee kid turned .200-hitting big leaguer turned baseball broadcaster and Hollywood star, on the mound at Miller Park for a ceremonial first pitch to signal the start of the third LCS in Brewers history.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Brewers manager Craig Counsell caught it. Just like the folks in the stands, he’s a Uecker fan.

“We do a radio show every day before the game, and we spend … it’s a four-and-a-half-minute radio show that takes us 20 minutes to do,” Counsell said with a laugh. “That’s one of my favorite parts of the day, that I get to laugh with him, and we get to swap stories and have fun and tell jokes. His are better than mine.”

Uecker’s jokes are better than everyone’s, and he barely needs to try. As an MLB official led him to the podium for a laughter-filled news conference on Friday afternoon, Uecker asked, “Which way do you want me to face?”

Uecker has front-row seat for Brewers’ run

When the same official announced that Uecker would be throwing the first pitch, he looked startled.

“I am?”

MLB employs stenographers for such events, and that line made the transcript. But it was just the warmup. By the end of Uecker’s 15 minutes on stage, the stenographers could be seen flexing their fingers.

“I like to make people laugh,” Uecker said. “And I’ve gone through that with my kids: ‘Why do you do that? Why do you talk the way you do?’ To me, it’s funny. I don’t know, it doesn’t bother me.

Tweet from @Brewers: A first pitch by Mr. Baseball and we���re ready to #PlayBall in Game 1 of the NLCS at Miller Park! #LetsGo #OurCrewOurOctober pic.twit Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey ter.com/84502xpjEK

“As a matter of fact, the other day when we were in Colorado and Seunghwan O Kevin Pillar Jersey h came into the game with his interpreter, and after they finished talking on the mound, I said that if I was a hitter here, I would probably face the interpreter; Seunghwan Oh would go to the dugout.

“I don’t know why I think of stuff like that, either. All those little things just come to mind. I don’t know why.”

Counsell gets to experience it every day  Justin Smoak Jersey before the game.

“I think the bottom line is that Bob, like, he belongs in a baseball clubhouse, man,” Counsell said. “He fits. He gets it. His sense of humor doesn’t have an age span. It plays to all audiences. And so the guys love having him around. And I think if you ask every one of them, they’re looking for: ‘When is Uke here?’ They’re looking to go say hi to Uke every day.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.


Milwaukee Brewers

Wade Miley poised to start NLCS Ga Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey me 2

MILWAUKEE — Wade Miley went from arguably the Brewers’ most ill-timed injury all season to starting Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, and it all started with a chat in the training room.

It was March 21, the day before Milwaukee had to declare whether Miley, a non-roster invitee vying for a spot in the starting rotation, would have a spot on the Opening Day roster. It was looking good for him. Save for one blow-up start against Cincinnati, Miley had pitched extremely well.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE — Wade Miley went from arguably the Brewers’ most ill-timed injury all season to starting Game 2 of the National League Championship Series, and it all started with a chat in the training room.

It was March 21, the day before Milwaukee had to declare whether Miley, a non-roster invitee vying for a spot in the starting rotation, would have a spot on the Opening Day roster. It was looking good for him. Save for one blow-up start against Cincinnati, Miley had pitched extremely well.

View Full Game Coverage

But in his final outing before decision day, Miley suffered a slight tear of his left groin while pitching against the A’s. As he limped off th Kevin Pillar Jersey e field, his future with the organization was suddenly up in the air.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

But only briefly.

“David had beat me to the training room that day,” said Miley, referring to Brewers GM David Stearns. “We had a small conversation immediately after it happened, so I really wasn’t worried about having to go anywhere else. I like what he said.

“It’s just an exciting time now. You look back seven months later, and you have a chance to play in the NLCS and a chance to go to the World Series.”

Having seen enough in the spring to believe he warranted patience, the Brewers struck an agreement with Miley’ Kevin Pillar Blue Jays Jersey s agent to keep him in the organization to rehab the injury. Miley made it to the Majors on May 2 and beat the Reds, then pitched six days later against the Indians and suffered a right oblique strain after one out.

Again, Milwaukee stuck with him, and Miley joined the rotation for good on July 12. He’s made 17 starts for the Brewers, including 4 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 3 of the NL Division Series against the Rockies, and didn’t surrender more than three earned runs in any of them.

Miley credited an offseason project in which he remade his mechanics to avoid the control problems that produced a Major League-worst 93 walks with the Orioles in 2017. Adding a cutter helped. Miley implemented it last year and threw it about 11 percent of the time. This year, he nearly quadrupled that, making it his dominant pitch.

Video: NLCS Gm1: Counsell on Miley’s rehab to start year

“I would give Wade a lot of credit there too, because Wade was on a Minor League contract. He was rehabbing under a Minor League contract,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “In our eyes, he had made the team, and he had made an impression on us that he was going to be in the rotation. He had pitched that well, and we thought he had made some changes that he was going to have success. So we wanted him to stick around.

“I think the fact that he chose to stick around says a lot about him, I think as much as anything, because, again, he could have gone anywhere else. And maybe the way he pitched, somebody gives him a Major League deal at that point. I don’t know. … But I give him a lot of credit for sticking it out in that situation and trusting us that he was going to be part of this.”

Left out
After getting healthy in time to make five September starts for the Brewers, right-hander Zach Davies had hoped  Justin Smoak Blue Jays Jersey to be part of the team’s postseason plan. He was disappointed to be left off the roster for the second straight series.

Chase Anderson, Milwaukee’s Opening Day starter, was in the same position.

The two had talked about it “a little bit,” Davies said. “It’s a new scenario for both of us. It’s a new scenario for all of us, really. … You definitely want to be on the active roster for the playoffs, but there’s a whole career ahead. Being bent out of shape about it is not going to help my career. The team is where it’s all. We’re all in the playoffs together.”

Davies was intent on staying sharp in case an injury opens a spot. He was one of the pitchers who threw to hitters during a team workout on Wednesday.

Video: NLCS Gm1: Counsell on not adding Davies, Anderson

What might have been
Counsell was asked Friday about the impact of outfielder Curtis Granderson, acquired in an Aug. 31 trade with the Blue Jays. Counsell said it wasn’t the first time the Brewers tried to acquire the veteran.

“We tried last year,” Counsell said. “I was hopeful last year. We tried to get him. We were unable, but we were able to add him this year, and he made a big impact in the month of September. When you add guys like that, I think they’re able to lift everybody else up, and he’s done just that, as some other guys have as well.”

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.


Milwaukee Brewers,
Wade Miley