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Milwaukee Brewers: Bullpen Shines Bright in Game 3 Win

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DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 07: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning of Game Three of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 07: Josh Hader #71 of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches in the ninth inning of Game Three of the National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on October 7, 2018 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /
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It has been known that the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen is one of the best bullpens in Major League Baseball. Some key Brewers victories have been won because of the pitchers that come in for the later innings. How did the pitching staff handle the bright lights of Hollywood for Game Three?

With the series being tied at one game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS, the Brewers decided to go with their ace Jhoulys Chacin and the Dodgers called on rookie sensation Walker Buehler.

Confident that Chacin will get the job done, manager Craig Counsell also had some relief knowing that hard thrower Josh Hader was ready to go if need be. But how long would Counsell let Chacin go?

How Did Jhoulys Chacin Do?

He pitched extremely well. He lasted longer than anyone thought he would with the past history of initial out-getters this postseason (i.e. Game One of the NLDS). His stat line for Game Three was:

  • 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

It could be said that the Brewers’ ace did his part last night. Dodger hitters could not get key hits when the moment was right which caused the L.A. faithful to become restless and frustrated.

How Did the Bullpen Follow Up Chacin?

The Milwaukee Brewers bullpen lived up to the hype like they have been all season and just executed when the time was called upon them.  Counsell called on four pitchers out of the bullpen for Game Three; Corey Knebel, Joakim Soria, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress to get the job done and close this game out with authority.  And they did just that.

Corey Knebel

Knebel really took control when he came into the ball game in the sixth inning; going 1.2 innings, allowing no hits, no runs, didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. Also, he got up to 98 mph on the radar gun. Since being brought back on the team from a demotion to Triple-A, Corey has been lights out and back to his dominant ways. That has been noticed throughout September and the postseason.

Bottom of the Eighth

It is time for the bottom of the eighth inning and Brewers fans are expecting to see Josh Hader in the game right away, but that wasn’t the case for the first batter of the inning as Joakim Soria came out of the pen to face Chris Taylor. Taylor popped up in foul territory and then it was time for some Haderade.

Josh Hader went to the mound with one out in the bottom of the eighth with one out to make the Dodgers’ chances of a rally even smaller. After getting the night off in Game Two, Hader was ready to go for this crucial Game Three. The first batter he faced was Brewers’ mortal enemy, David Freese. Hader struck him out on a 1-2, 98 mph fastball up. Matt Kemp comes up and with an 0-2 count, strikes out with the same pitch thrown to Freese–98 mph fastball up in the zone.

Who Will Pitch in the Ninth?

Many thought that Counsell would stick with Hader to close out the game, but instead went with closer Jeremy Jeffress. JJ was awesome in the regular season when it came to clutch situations. That’s not the case the past few weeks.

Jeffress’ postseason numbers read:

  • 0-1 in 6 games
  • 6.35 ERA
  • 6.2 IP
  • 1 SV
  • 8 K

Games one and two of this NLCS are proof that Jeffress hasn’t been himself lately the past few days. In Game Two, he gave up the go ahead home run to Justin Turner. Thankfully, that’s not the same result in the bottom of the ninth of Game 3.

Jeffress Get the Job Done

Jeffress faced Turner to lead off the bottom of the ninth for the Dodgers. Turner singled up the middle, putting a man on first. Then steps up Manny Machado, who would rope a double to left field, putting runners on second and third.  Brewers fans are feeling anxious at this point because that is what has been happening when Jeffress comes in; key base hits for the opposing team.

Then Yasiel Puig came up to bat and he was walked on four straight pitches. The bases were loaded for Cody Bellinger, who would fly out to Arcia on the first pitch. Jeffress would then settle in as he would go on to strike out Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier to end the ballgame and secure a two games to one lead for the Crew in this best of seven series.

Next. Bottom Of The Order Is Delivering. dark

Looking Ahead

The Milwaukee Brewers have a 2-1 game lead of the Los Angeles in the National League Championship Series.  The pivotal Game Four is tonight at 9:09 pm in Los Angeles.  Tonight’s starters are Gio Gonzalez for the Brewers and Rich Hill for the Dodgers.  Can the Crew make it a 3-1 lead being one win away from their first World Series appearance since 1982?  We shall see!

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