Brewers @ Dodgers October 17, 2018: NLCS Game 5

Photo: Stacie Wheeler

After five plus hours of stressful baseball last night, you’re ready for more at 2:05 PM PT right? Me trying to schedule my life around all these random NLCS start times:

This NLCS hasn’t been short of drama. Fortunately, the Dodgers were able to overcome the narratives and hustle their way to a 2-1 walk-off victory in the bottom of the 13th last night to tie up the series at two wins apiece.

2:05 PM
Los Angeles
Kratz RF Hernández
Miley (L)
Kershaw (L)

Now it’ll be up to Clayton Kershaw in what could be his final start as a Dodger. If anyone knows about postseason narratives, it’s him. The Dodgers need the good Kershaw this time. He was good to start off his October, pitching a gem in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Braves. He only allowed two hits in eight scoreless innings. Things went sour for him in NLCS Game 1 when he served up five runs (four earned) on six hits including a home run to reliever Brandon Woodruff in three innings in Milwaukee, the shortest postseason start of his career. It didn’t help matters that his battery mate Yasmani Grandal melted down behind the plate. Austin Barnes will be catching him today, his second straight start.

Christian Yelich took Kersh deep twice this year, and he’s 9-for-18 (.500) with a 1.439 OPS against the Dodgers’ ace in his career. Yelich is only 3-for-16 in the series, but he does have four walks. Ryan Braun has also given Kershaw a hard time and is 11-for-40 (.275) with a homer against him. Braun had a three-hit night in Game 4.

The Brewers look to Wade Miley to repeat his dominant start in Game 2 when he pitched 5 2/3 scoreless frames and knocked in two hits himself. He hasn’t allowed a run in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. Craig Counsell needs him to go as long as possible, but he’s working on three days rest.

One of the biggest question marks for Game 5 will be bullpen availability after both pens battled at length in the 13-inning marathon on Tuesday night. Josh Hader has never pitched three straight days. He made 20 pitches in Game 4 and eight pitches in Game 3. They also used Corey Knebel in Game 3 and 4, but Milwaukee didn’t go to Woodruff or Jeremy Jeffress last night. Perhaps the Dodgers can get “lucky” again against Jeffress.

The Brewers added Zach Davies to the roster in place of Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez turned his ankle in the second inning last night.

LA plowed through their entire bullpen in Game 4, but Kenta Maeda and Caleb Ferguson could give them some length if needed. Kenley Jansen pitched two innings (34 pitches) in Game 4, but there’s no doubt that Dave Roberts will go to him if it’s a save situation. Julio Urias, Game 4 winner, hasn’t pitched on consecutive days since his shoulder surgery, so he’s likely unavailable. Alex Wood and Dylan Floro have pitched two straight days.

While Kershaw’s performance will certainly be scrutinized, the Dodgers’ offense is what really needs to wake up. Altogether the bats are 6-for-30 with RISP in the series, and they’ve left 29 men on base. They’ve only hit two home runs, Machado’s Game 1 blast and Justin Turner‘s eighth-inning dong in Game 2. Enrique Hernandez is 0-for-8 in the LCS so far, Turner is hitting .167, Yasiel Puig, Max Muncy and Grandal are all hitting .200 or lower, and Cody Bellinger is at .214.

Despite Machado’s controversial comments about not hustling and his questionable conduct during Game 4 when he ran through Jesus Aguilar‘s leg at first base, he has been a standout this series with six hits in 17 at-bats (.353), including the key home run in Game 1 and heads up base running in Game 4 that led to the walk-off win.

Yelich had some harsh words about Machado after the game.

Manny was fined for the incident.


Roberts certainly put a twist on his lineup today with Muncy and leadoff hitter Bellinger starting vs. the lefty. He’s “shaking things up” with Muncy at second base, and an outfield configuration of Taylor in left, Belli in center, and Hernandez in right field. Chris Taylor also has contributed five hits in 14 at-bats (.357) and made a game-saving catch in left field last night to rob Orlando Arcia of a hit. Puig’s hitting .316 vs. Miley, but hey what do I know?

About Stacie Wheeler

Stacie Wheeler, born and raised in So Cal, has been writing about the Dodgers since 2010. She wrote daily as the co-editor of Lasorda's Lair for five long years, and she has also written for Dodgers Nation, Dodger Blue 1958 and The Hardball Times. She currently contributes to True Blue LA. Stacie graduated from the University Of Southern California with a bachelor's degree in Cinema-Television. You can also watch her videos on her YouTube channel, DishingUpTheDodgers.