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National League Championship Series Recap

Christian Corey, Sports Writer

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This year’s National League Championship Series consisted of the 6x National League West Champions Los Angeles Dodgers vs. the young and youthful Milwaukee Brewers who won their first National League Central Division since 2011.  

Game 1 

Game 1 of the series was played in Milwaukee at Miller Park home of the Milwaukee Brewers.  The Brewers started their 6’0” /203lb left-hander Gio Gonzalez.  The Brewers only let Gonzalez in the game to pitch two innings even though he did not let up any runs in his two innings pitched.  The reason why was the Brewers wanted to go with a new theory.  That theory was that they would put a fresh arm into the game every two or three innings. 

The Dodgers on the other hand started their 6’4”/288lb franchise pitcher Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw came into this year’s postseason with an 8-7 record in his previous 16 postseason starts.  However, Kershaw only lasted three innings after letting up five runs on three hits.  

The Dodgers would strike first in the series by a solo homerun that just got over the left-center field wall, from their All-Star third baseman Manny Machado. 

The Dodgers lead would not hold for long because the Brewers got their first run of the game from an unsuspecting player.  That player was their reliver Brandon Woodruff.  Woodruff would come into the game in the 3rd inning to relieve the starter Gio Gonzalez.  Woodruff would lead off the bottom of the third inning with a solo homerun off L.A.’s ace Clayton Kershaw which tied the game up at one.  Milwaukee would add one more run in that same inning when their second baseman Hernan Perez singled into left field making the game 2-1 in favor of the Brewers. 

In the next inning the Brewers would get some more insurance runs by their pinch hitter Domingo Santana and their left fielder Ryan Braun.  Santana would single with runners on second and third scoring both runners making the game 4-1.  Ryan Braun would also single to left field scoring Domingo Santana who earlier stole second base. 

Three innings later, in the bottom of the 7th, the Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar homers on a towering fly ball into the right field bleachers making the game 6-1 heading into the 8th inning. 

In the top of the 8th inning Manny Machado struck again with a little “bloop” single that fell into left field. Machado’s single scored Joc Pederson and Chris Taylor making the score 6-3 in favor of the Brewers.  One batter latter the Dodgers left fielder Matt Kemp singled on a ground ball up the middle which scored the first baseman Max Muncy making it a 6-4 game.  

One inning later, in the top of the 9th, Chris Taylor blasted an RBI triple into the right center field gap that scored Joc Pederson cutting the brewers lead down to one run. 

However, the Brewers did survive game one of series by a shutdown inning by one of their closers Corey Knebel who struck out Manny Machado swinging and secured game one of the series for the Brewers. 


Game 2 

Game 2 starters of the National League Championship Series consisted two of “south paws.”  The Dodgers throw out Hyun-Jin Ryu who is a 6’3” 250-pound left hander.  On the other hand, the home team, the Milwaukee Brewers gave the nod to their 6 foot 220-pound left hander Wade Miley. 

Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 4.1 innings while giving up 6 hits on 2 earned runs.  His counterpart, Wade Miley, only lasted 1.1 innings more than Ryu.  Wade gave up no runs and just allowed 2 hits in his 5.2 innings of work. 

In game 2 the Brewers would be the ones that would strike first.  The Brewers got their first run of the game by a solo home run that was hit in the bottom of the 5th inning by their shortstop Orlando Arica, giving the Brewers an early 1-0 lead.  The Brewers would add a another run in the 5th inning.  Their second run of the contest came on an RBI groundout from their center fielder Lorenzo Cain that scored Christian Yelich from third base.  The Brewers had the long ball working again in the bottom of the 6th when their 3B/2B Travis Shaw homered on a ball that went to center field giving the “Brew Crew” a 3-0 lead up to that point. 

However, when it looked like the Brewers were going to take a 2-0 series lead heading into Los Angeles on Monday, the Dodgers fought all their way back into the game.  With two runners on 2nd and 1st the Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger singled up the middle into center field for an RBI “nock” that scored Max Muncy that made the game a 3-1 Brewer lead.  A few batters later Jeremy Jeffress walked the number 8 hitter Austin Barnes with the bases loaded bringing in Many Machado from third making it a 2-3 game.  One inning later in the top of the 8th with Jeremy Jeffress still pitching the Dodgers third baseman and All-Star form a year ago hit a 2-run-homerun into second deck in left field making giving the Dodgers their first lead of the game (4-3).   

Later, in the top of the 9th, the Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen came in the game to close it out with a runner on second base. Kenley got that final out and earning the save and getting the win for the Dodgers in game 2. 


Game 3 

Game 3 of the series moved to L.A. at Dodger Stadium home of the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Dodgers started their young stud Walker Bueler who is only 21 years of age.  The Brewers started a pitcher who is 9 years older than Bueler (30yr) Jhoulys Chacin.   

Chacin pitched 5.1 innings, allowing no runs and scattering 3 hits in his outing.   Walker Bueler on the other hand went did not have a very good start.  Bueler pitched 7.0 innings in his outing and allowed 4 runs on 5 hits. 

Game 3 was very different in the run department compared to games 1 and 2.  In game 3 of the series there was only 4 runs total and they all came by the Brewers offense.  

The Brewers struck first in the game by an RBI double that came in the 1st inning from their left fielder Ryan Braun, that made the game 1-0 Brewers lead.  In the 6th inning things got a little wild, when Walker Buehler threw a wild pitch that let Travis Shaw score from third making the game 2-0 in favor of the Brewers.  One inning later, in the 7th, the Brewers got another two runs when their shortstop Orlando Arcia hit a 2- run-homerun that went down the right field foul pole making it a 4-0 game in favor of the Brewers. 

Two innings later in the top of the 9th the Brewers relief pitcher Jeremy Jeffress came into the game and closed the door on the Dodgers by striking out the Dodgers second baseman Brian Dozier swinging and getting the win for the Brewers. 


Game 4 

Game 4 starters consisted of Gio Gonzalez for the Brewers and Rich Hill for the Dodgers.  Gonzalez was making his second start of the series for the Brewers, and Rich Hill was making his first start of the series for L.A.  Rich Hill pitched 5.0 innings for the Dodgers only giving up 1 run.  His counterpart, Gio Gonzalez, only lasted one inning due to an ankle injury he suffered in the top of the second when he fielded a ball off the mound.  Gonzalez would be taken out of the game and replaced by Freddy Peralta who pitched 3 scoreless innings in his replacement.  However, the Brewers would have to go to their bullpen yet again in the series.   

The Dodgers would strike first in the first by a stand-up double from their second baseman Brian Dozier that scored Chris Taylor form second putting the Dodgers up 1-0.  Four innings later in the 5th the Brewers’ pinch hitter Domingo Santana doubled to right field scoring Orlando Arcia all the way from first base, tying the game at one a piece.  The game would remain that way all the way until the bottom of the 13th.  That was when Coby Bellinger stepped up to the plate and hit a sharp ground ball single into right field that scored Manny Machado from second base and won the game for the Dodgers.  By the Dodgers winning game 4 it tied the series up at two game a piece heading into game five on Wednesday. 


Game 5 

Game 5 starters were Wade Miley for the Brewers and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers.  Kershaw was making his second start of this year’s postseason for the Dodgers.  Kershaw had a terrific outing on Wednesday, he pitched 7.0 innings only allowing 1 run on 3 hits.  Wade Miley on the other hand had a much shorter outing that Kershaw.  Miley only faced one batter in his 0.0 innings of work, walking the Dodgers leadoff man Cody Bellinger on 5 pitches.  Miley would be taken out of the game by the Brewers manager Craig Counsell after the one free pass.  Miley would be replaced by Brandon Woodruff, who tossed 5.1 innings and gave up 3 runs on 5 hits to the Dodgers.  However, there was a method to Counsell’s madness.  It is believed that Counsel started the left hander Wade Miley so that the Dodgers would start a right hander heavy lineup to face the right-handed pitcher Brandon Woodruff. 


The first run of the day would go to the Brewers.  The Brewer’s center fielder Lorenzo Cain doubled on a sharp liner with one bounce off the center field wall that scored Orlando Arcia from second base, which gave the Brewers a 1-0 lead in the top of the third.  The Dodgers would respond with a run of their own in the bottom of the 5th inning.  Austin Barns singled on a ground ball that hit off the pitcher’s mound and would roll into center field scoring Chris Taylor from third base which tied the game up at one.  The Dodgers would score two more runs in the bottom of the 6th.  The first Dodger run in the 6th came on a single by their first baseman Max Muncy that scored Many Machado from 2nd giving the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.  Three batters later the Dodgers pinch hitter Yasiel Puig stepped up to the plate and ripped an RBI single into center field that scored Many Machado from second base extending the Dodgers lead 3-2.  An inning later in the 7th the Dodgers got two more insurance runs.  The first insurance run came by Justin Turner’s RBI single to center field that scored the Dodger’s starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw from third base.  The Dodgers second insurance run of the inning came on a soft ground out to third base, coming off the bat of Brian Dozier, which scored Cody Bellinger form 3rd making the game 5-1 in favor of L.A.  The Brewers would get a run back on the double from Curtis Granderson that scored Jesue Aguilar from third base. 

However, Granderson’s double would not be enough for the Brewers, because in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, the Dodgers closer Kenely Jansen would end up getting the final out of the game by striking out the Brewer’s third baseman Mike Moustakas swinging and securing the win for the Dodgers and giving them a 3 to 2 lead in the series.  The Dodgers only need one more win in Milwaukee and they would be heading back to the World Series. 


Game 6 

Game 6 was played back in Milwaukee at Miller Park.  Game 6 was a do or die game for home town Brewers.  Game 6 starters were Hyun-Jin Ryu for the Dodgers and Wade Miley for the home town Brewers.  The Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 3.0 innings in his start and gave up 5 runs on seven hits to the Brewers.  His counterpart Wade Miley pitched 1.1 innings more that Ryu.  Miley gave up 2 runs on 5 hits in his start agents the Dodgers. 

The Dodgers got the scoring started by a leadoff homerun that sailed into right field stands by the Dodgers first baseman David Freese.  However, the Dodgers would not have that lead for long.  In the bottom half of the inning the Brewers jumped on the Dodgers starting pitcher Ryu, by greeting him with 4 runs making the game 4-1 in favor of Milwaukee.  Milwaukee would get another run in the bottom of the 2nd by an RBI double from their left fielder Ryan Braun that scored Christian Yelich from second base making the game 5-2.  In the top of the 5th inning it was David Freese doing damage again for L.A.  This time Freese doubled into center, which scored Brian Dozier which cut the Brewers lead down to 5-2.  

However, the Brewers would respond heavily, with one run that came in the bottom of the 7th. Which came from a wild pitch by Dodgers relive pitcher Domingo Santana making the game 6-2.  One inning later in the 8th, the Brewers would open the game wide open with an RBI single that came from their first baseman Jesus Aguilar making the 7-2. 

The game remained that way all the way to the top of the ninth, when Brewers reliver Corbin Bruns came in to shut the door on the Dodgers and forced a game 7. 


Game 7 

The starters for game 7 of the National League Championship Series were the young 24-year-old Walker Buehler for the Dodgers and Jhoulys Chacin for the Brewers.  Walker Buehler pitched 4.2 innings for L.A., giving up 1 run on 6 hits in his outing.  Jhoulys Chacin on the other hand only pitched 2.0 inning and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits to the Dodgers. 

The home team Brewers got on the board early by a solo homerun from their MVP candidate Christian Yelich making the gave 1-0 Brewers.  However, that 1-0 lead did not last long.  In the top of the 2nd the Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger hit a 2-run-shot into right center field bleachers putting the Dodgers out in front 2-1.   

However, in the bottom of the 5th the Brewers did have a chance to tack on some more runs with a runner on second base with 2 outs and Christian Yelich up again.  Yelich hit a high towering fly ball into left center but, he got robbed by the Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor on a “snow cone” catch that held the Brewers at bay. 

In the top of the 6th the Dodgers blew the game wide open when Yasiel Puig hit a line drive 3-run-homerun into center field, making the game 5-1 in favor of L.A. 

The Brewers could not recover from that big blow.  In the bottom of the 9th the Dodgers Ace Clayton Kershaw came in to finish the game off.  Kershaw got Travis Shaw to ground out to second base for the first out and then struck out Jesus Aguliar and Mike Moustakas to finish off the series and to send L.A. to their second World Series in a row.   

The Dodgers will face the Boston Red Sox in game one of the World Series in Boston at Fenway Park on Tuesday October 23rd at 8:09pm.                 

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National League Championship Series Recap