The Milwaukee Brewers will have their first postseason series in 2020 against the Dodgers, who knocked them out in 2018.
There are some teams that you just want to beat more than any other. There’s extra motivation, there’s added energy and tension. For the Brewers, facing the Los Angeles Dodgers provides that extra motivation, energy, and tension.
Brewers fans remember the 2018 season, when the Crew made it to the NLCS to face the Dodgers. It went all seven games, and although the Brewers probably could’ve/should’ve won that series before it got to seven games, the Dodgers ended up pulling away in Game 7 for the series victory and advanced to the World Series.
The Dodgers kept the Brewers away from their first World Series appearance since 1982 and only their second World Series in franchise history. As such, facing the Dodgers in the postseason again only brings back those painful memories for the members of that clubhouse.
While a chunk of the roster has been turned over from that 2018 playoff team, the core of that group still remains and the memories sting in 2020 just like they did in 2018.
For Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun, Orlando Arcia, Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Freddy Peralta, Brent Suter, Corey Knebel, and Manny Pina, this matchup means a little extra.
Josh Hader And A “Chip On The Shoulder”
In his postgame press conference after clinching the postseason berth, Hader gave a little insight into the Brewers’ mentality heading into this series.
Hader feels like the Brewers have some unfinished business with the Dodgers and with how their 2018 season ended, and that the Crew is looking to “finish things out the right way” this time.
Only 10 members of this current roster were on that 2018 NLCS team, and two of them, Corbin Burnes and Manny Pina, are injured and will miss the series.
Still, with the clubhouse culture the Brewers have built and the camaraderie they have built, as Hader pointed out, the whole team has bought in and they all feel the chip on their shoulder heading into this series against the Dodgers.
Perhaps the energy that this opponent will bring to the Brewers will cause the offense to spark and players will perform above where they’ve been playing for most of the regular season. There’s no more time to gradually improve. Win two out of three or go home, that’s it.
On paper, the Dodgers are a much bigger mismatch for the Brewers this time around. The good thing is, baseball isn’t played on paper. Anything can happen, especially in the postseason.
It’s good that Hader and the Brewers have a chip on their shoulder. They absolutely should. Somehow they made the postseason with a sub-.500 record and a 3-5 record over the final week. They have nothing to lose and everything to gain. The Brewers are playing with house money and they’re playing against the big bad bully who took them down last time.
No one expects the Brewers to win, but never underestimate the power of a chip on the shoulder of the underdog.
Hader and the rest of the Crew will go into this series with an attitude and that should make for an exciting set of games.