Milwaukee Brewers (29-31) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17)
Game 2 of the NL Wild Card series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Milwaukee Brewers is Thursday night. The Dodgers won Game 1, 4-2. As predicted, starter Walker Buhler was given a short leash, going just four innings before L.A. turned the game over to their bullpen. Julio Urias tossed three scoreless innings, striking out five for the victory. Kenley Jansen came on in the ninth to earn the save.
The victory gives the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the series. They can advance to the next round with a win on Thursday night.
Bullpen Proved Its WorthDespite the loss, the Brewers bullpen delivered in Game 1. Brent Suter was given the task of opening the game and struggled, giving up three runs in 1.2 innings. However, the rest of the group came through, allowing one earned run in 6.1 innings. Four relievers allowed three hits and a walk during that span.
Now, Milwaukee turns to right-hander Brandon Woodruff to keep their playoff hopes alive. Woodruff was 3-5 with a 3.05 ERA in 13 starts during the regular season. The righty has great stuff, posting a 0.99 WHIP while striking out 91 in 73.2 innings. Woodruff has had success in the post-season, posting a 1-1 record and a 2.20 ERA in five career playoff appearances. He has a 0.73 WHIP.
If the Brewers are going to stay alive, they have to hit better with runners in scoring position. Milwaukee was 1-5 on Wednesday in such situations. The team was solid at driving home runners in scoring position during the regular season, ranked ninth with a .256 batting average and a .445 slugging percentage.
Getting to the Meat of the Dodgers RotationThe Dodgers rode their bullpen to victory in Game 1, now they can turn to their impressive aces to finish the deal. That starts with lefty Clayton Kershaw on Thursday, who was 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts. The lefty had one of his best season’s statistically, posting a 0.84 WHIP, the lowest of any season in his impressive 10-year career.
Los Angeles scored three runs in the first two innings of Game 1, continuing a formula that has proven to be a winner for them. They score early, putting pressure on teams to try to rally to get back into games. That is very difficult against this pitching staff, giving the team the psychological edge.
This has been powered by their impressive lineup, which posted a .490 slugging percentage in the first six innings of games during the regular season, hitting 81 homers. L.A. hit 15 homers with a .496 slugging percentage in the first inning this year. The Dodgers had the lead coming out of the first inning 21 times during the regular season.
Los Angeles Dodgers:
- 11-2 in Game 2 of their last 13 series.
- 0-5 in their last five games on a Thursday.
- 0-4 in their last four games against NL West teams.
- 0-4 in their last four playoff games on the road.