Brewers @ Dodgers October 16, 2018: NLCS Game 4

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

Well, it’d be hard for tonight’s game to be much worse than last night’s game, right? … Right?

Brewers
Dodgers
5:09 PM
Los Angeles
CF
Cain
LF
Taylor
RF
Yelich
3B
Turner
LF
Braun
1B
Freese
1B
Aguilar
SS
Machado
3B
Moustakas
2B
Dozier
2B
Schoop
CF
Hernández
C
Piña RF Puig
SS
Arcia
C
Barnes
P
Gonzalez (L)
P
Hill (L)

The Dodgers have a really poor history in Game 4 of NLCS, having lost their last five. 2008 and 2009 were the two Matt Stairs games. 2013 saw the Dodgers fall behind the Cardinals 3-1. In 2016, the Dodgers squandered their series lead against the Cubs. Lots of bad memories come flooding back. If it makes you feel better, the Dodgers did manage to win Game 4 of the World Series last year after being down 2-1 in the series. The 1988 Dodgers were also down 2-1 coming into Game 4 of the NLCS and won.

The big news for the Dodgers before today’s game is the shaken up lineup. As announced last night, Yasmani Grandal is sitting in favor of Austin Barnes. More surprisingly, Cody Bellinger is also sitting initially against the left-handed Gio Gonzalez (who does not figure to be in the game for very long), with Brian Dozier essentially sliding into Bellinger’s spot for now. Dozier is on one of the coldest streaks of the team, and struck out with the bases loaded to end last night’s game, but Bellinger’s slump is starting to extend to the point of being comparable. Also somewhat surprising is Yasiel Puig starting over Matt Kemp against a left-handed pitcher, but it does save Kemp for one of the bullpen lefties later in the game.

This figures to be something of a bullpen game for the Brewers, as was the case in Gonzalez’s Game 1 start. The big question, then, is the availability of Josh Hader. The Brewers do not like pitching him in back-to-back games, and he pitched yesterday. However, he only threw seven pitches in that outing. If the Dodgers think Hader won’t pitch today, or that he won’t be in the game for very long, it makes resetting the lineup after Gonzalez’s departure a lot easier. The only other lefty in the Brewers’ bullpen is Xavier Cedeno, who is good but not the type of game-shifting good that Hader brings to the table. The Dodgers will more than likely need to solve Brandon Woodruff as well, as he figures to have a prominent role later in this game.

Taking the mound for the Dodgers tonight will be Rich Hill, who is looking to rebound from a very short outing in Game 4 of the NLDS. Hill only lasted 4-1/3 innings and gave up two runs while walking five batters. The Brewers lineup is much more ruthless than the Braves’ group, so he’ll need to find the form he last showed in San Francisco at the end of the season. This is as close to a must-win game as it can be at this point, so there’s a lot of pressure to find it.

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Enrique Hernandez apologized for some comments he made after last night’s game, which seemed to be somewhat taken out of context. It’s worth reading below:

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Do the damn thing.

About Daniel Brim

Daniel Brim
Daniel Brim grew up in the Los Angeles area but doesn't live there anymore. He still watches the Dodgers and writes about them sometimes.