Heading into the National League Championship Series, one of the marquee headlines was how the Los Angeles Dodgers would fare against a vaunted Milwaukee Brewers bullpen. After Games 1 and 2, it could be reasoned the Dodgers had the upper hand.
Manny Machado gave them a 1-0 lead with a solo home run in the second inning, which potentially influenced Brewers manager Craig Counsell to turn to his bullpen in the third. They protected a 5-1 lead for much of the game, and the Brewers took a 6-1 advantage into the eighth.
That inning saw the Dodgers rally for three runs and bring the go-ahead run to the plate in the form of pinch-hitter Yasiel Puig. He struck out swinging to strand two runners but the Dodgers nonetheless had climbed back into the game.
They scored another run in the ninth inning but couldn’t complete the comeback. While they suffered a Game 1 loss, Machado said the Dodgers remain confident they are on par with the Brewers, per Todd Zolecki of MLB.com:
“We know we’re as good as them,” Machado said about the Brewers. “We’ve just got to settle down, take it back and play baseball like we’ve played all year.”
Los Angeles rallied against the Milwaukee bullpen again in Game 2, and that time pulled off the comeback to even the NLCS. It was punctuated by Justin Turner delivering a go-ahead two-run home run in the eighth inning.
The Dodgers nearly erased another deficit in the late innings of Game 3, as they loaded the bases with one out in the ninth. However, Jeremy Jeffress struck out Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier.
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