Heading into the 2018 season, the Los Angeles Dodgers were among the favorites to reach the World Series. They struggled throughout much of the year, but nonetheless claimed a sixth consecutive National League West title.
After winning a Game 163 to clinch the division title, the Dodgers went into the postseason for an NL Division Series matchup with the Atlanta Braves. They eliminated the Braves in four games to advance to the NL Championship Series where the Milwaukee Brewers awaited them.
As NL Central champions, the Brewers avoided facing the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game. They then swept them out of the NLDS after the Rockies defeated the Chicago Cubs.
Projections for the NLCS varied but the fact that it has reached a Game 7 did not come as a shock to Austin Barnes, according to Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:
“I don’t think anyone is too surprised this is going seven,” Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said.
Looking to reach the World Series for a second consecutive season, the Dodgers jumped out to a 1-0 lead behind David Freese’s leadoff home run in the first inning. However, the Brewers ambushed Hyun-Jin Ryu and went on for a 7-2 victory.
In addition to staving off possible elimination for at least one night, the Brewers also managed to avoid using Josh Hader.
As the NLCS has gone on, Barnes has found himself playing more of a prominent role. He started in Game 2 against Wade Miley, then again in Games 4, 5 and 6 because of Yasmani Grandal’s ongoing struggles behind the plate with the bat.
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