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Brewers can take commanding lead over Dodgers in NLCS

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Milwaukee Brewers reliever Jeremy Jeffress pitches out of a bases-loaded jam to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in NL Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 15, 2018 in Los Angeles. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

By Doug Padilla, The Sports Xchange
LOS ANGELES

The Milwaukee Brewers' bullpen roared back to life in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series and can now further its influence in Game 4 on Tuesday night.

The Brewers can move one game from their first World Series appearance since 1982 with a victory in a Game 4, and will try to do it on a bullpen day. Left-hander Gio Gonzalez will start the game, but the relievers are expected to get to work early, just as they did when Gonzalez pitched just two innings in Game 1.

"We laid out some scenarios, kind of going into (Monday's) game, what the possibilities were for (Tuesday)," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "And if we got a good start (from Jhoulys Chacin) and we're in good shape, Gio was always going to be the guy."

Chacin gave the Brewers 5 1/3 scoreless innings Monday, following 5 2/3 scoreless from Wade Miley in Game 2 on Saturday. Dominating Brewers left-hander Josh Hader pitched two-thirds of an inning, but he figures to be available Tuesday after not pitching in Game 2 because of his three scoreless innings in Game 1.

In what was essentially a bullpen game in the series opener, the Brewers used seven pitchers to upend the Dodgers, with Brandon Woodruff going two innings in front of Hader's three.

The Dodgers had their chances Monday, but were just 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. They can claim momentum from a ninth-inning rally in Game 3 when they loaded the bases with one out, but that rally was squashed when Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier struck out to end the game against right-hander Jeremy Jeffress.

Less bullpen-reliant than the Brewers, the Dodgers will count on innings from Game 4 starter Rich Hill, who started his club toward a victory in the deciding Game 4 of the National League Division Series against the Atlanta Braves.

The Dodgers would also like to count on their fans, who were 52,793 strong in Game 3 on Monday, but Dodgers infielder/outfielder Enrique Hernandez says he is not sure what to expect.

"It sucks that there's nothing going on in the stands since the first inning when (Ryan) Braun hit that (RBI) double," Hernandez said. "It's quiet for the rest of the evening, and it sucks that they got loud just to show up Yasmani."

The Dodgers had just three hits over the first eight innings, while Grandal committed his third passed ball and not only struck out with a pair of runners in scoring position and one out in the second inning, but with the bases loaded and one out in the ninth.

Manager Dave Roberts said that Austin Barnes will start at catcher in Game 4. Dodgers fans figure to be excited for that much anyway.

The Brewers will be coming off their third shutout in six games of this postseason alone. The record for shutouts in a single playoffs is five by the Cleveland Indians in 2016.

The Dodgers are 4-11 all-time when trailing 2-1 in a seven-game series. They were shut out in the playoffs for the first time since Game 6 of the 2016 NLCS against the Chicago Cubs. The last time they were blanked at home was Game 1 of the 1983 NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies.

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Sports - U.S. Daily News: Brewers can take commanding lead over Dodgers in NLCS
Brewers can take commanding lead over Dodgers in NLCS
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