Dodgers @ Brewers October 20, 2018: NLCS Game 7, Buehler vs Chacin for a World Series berth

The Dodgers, simply put, shat the bed last night and now face a true do-or-die game. Game 7 of the NLCS, winner has a date with Boston, loser has an extra week or two of vacation. The Dodgers failed in every conceivable way last night, as they fell behind early and failed to force the Brewers to use Josh Hader. If they fail to jump on the starter (which has been a common theme of this postseason), they could see a lot of Hader today.

Dodgers
Brewers
5:09 p.m.
Milwaukee
LF
Pederson
CF
Cain
1B
Muncy
RF
Yelich
3B
Turner
LF
Braun
SS
Machado
2B
Shaw
CF
Bellinger
1B
Aguilar
RF
Puig
3B
Moustakas
2B
Taylor C Kratz
C
Barnes
SS
Arcia
P
Buehler (R)
P
Chacin (R)

The two teams run back the pitching matchup from Game 3 of this series, as Walker Buehler starts against Jhoulys Chacin. The Brewer arms dominated the Dodgers in that game, holding the Dodgers to eight baserunners in the game. Chacin gave up three of the five Dodger hits and two of the three Dodger walks, but also struck out six in 5 1/3 innings. The Brewers hopped on Buehler in the first, as he walked Christian Yelich and gave up an RBI double to Ryan Braun. Buehler settled down and allowed two singles over the next four innings, but allowed a triple to Travis Shaw and threw a wild pitch to put the Dodgers down 2-0. Buehler remained in for the seventh and allowed a double and a dong before getting out of the inning. He’s allowed nine earned runs in his two starts this postseason after allowing more than that in only one month of the regular season (10 earned runs in June).

The Brewers roll out the same lineup from last night’s victory. The Dodgers make some changes with a righty on the mound. Joc Pederson leads off and starts in left. Austin Barnes remains behind the plate, and Chris Taylor gets the start at second over Enrique Hernandez and essentially David Freese. Max Muncy couldn’t make a tough play to start last night’s game (I’m not sure how many second basemen could have made that play), so moving him to first should at least help the defense today.

Today’s game could very well come down to the bullpens. I’d expect most of the Dodger arms to be available today, including Clayton Kershaw. In a perfect world he’d just start Game 1 of the World Series, but the Dodgers need to get there first.

Alex Wood threw 23 pitches last night and Kenta Maeda threw 28, so their availability might be in question. Julio Urias also threw 16 pitches yesterday, so I’m sure they’d prefer to not use him in relief. For the Brewers, the big story is that Hader hasn’t pitched in either of the previous two games. Yesterday, the Dodgers did force Corey Knebel to throw 25 pitches and Corbin Burnes to throw 24 pitches. Looking back to Game 5, Brandon Woodruff made 70 pitches, so I wouldn’t expect a lengthy outing out of him in relief.

——

I think we can all agree to forget what happened the last time the Dodgers played a Game 7 in the playoffs, right? For that matter, let’s just forget everything except 1988, when the Dodgers lost Game 6 of the NLCS and then shut out the Mets in Game 7. Focus on that one.

About Alex Campos

Alex Campos
I'm a writer that has blogged at a whole bunch of places about a whole bunch of sports. I was most recently writing for Chavez Ravine Fiends, but was also the former editor at Dodgers Way. I graduated from California State University, Long Beach with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Marketing. At Long Beach, I covered the Dirtbags in the 2014 season as an assistant sports editor at the Daily 49er.