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Baseball Daily Dose

Postseason Dose: NLCS Bound

by Christopher Crawford

Follow @Crawford_MILB and @Rotoworld_BB on Twitter.


The Milwaukee Brewers have not played in a World Series in 36 years.


They're four wins away from changing that.


Milwaukee hit three homers, the pitching staff limited the Rockies to four hits and the Brewers defeated Colorado 6-0 to sweep the Rockies and advance to the NLDS.


While none of the games were blowouts -- and Game 1 went to extra innings -- the Brewers controlled this series throughout. The only two runs that Colorado scored in the series came in the ninth inning of that first game, and they rarely threatened against the Brewers' starters or relievers. Milwaukee didn't exactly light the scoreboard up, either, but they were able to get clutch hits from their usual suspects like Christian Yelich and Mike Moustakas, and some surprising big games from players like Erik Kratz and Orlando Arcia.


One of the biggest surprises for the Brewers came on Sunday; an excellent performance from left-hander Wade Miley. Miley pitched 4 2/3 scoreless innings, and he allowed just three hits and walked just one while striking out two. The veteran left-hander was solid over the regular season with a 2.57 ERA over 16 starts, but to get a scoreless effort from him in a postseason game -- pitching in the hitting utopia that is Coors Field -- was not something you should have expected. The Brewers also got a three-hit day from Kratz a game after his two hit series, and his NLDS average of .625 nearly matched his season OPS of .634.


We say goodbye to the Rockies, and while it ends on a disappointing note, it's certainly fair to call this a successful season. Colorado won 91 games, and for the first time in, well, ever, a lot of that success has to do with the starting pitching. Kyle Freeland and German Marquez were excellent, Tyler Anderson was solid, and while Jon Gray's numbers were ugly, the analytics suggest a lot of that was due to poor luck and he's a prime candidate for a breakout season. There's still offensive stalwarts like Nolan Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story; and David Dahl was among the best hitters in baseball in September. They'll be back.


But they won't be advancing to the NLCS, because Milwaukee was the better team. No matter who advances to the NLCS between Atlanta or Los Angeles, the Brewers have an excellent chance of reaching their first ever World Series as a National League club.


Braves Stay Alive With Game 4 Win 


We know that Milwaukee is heading to the NLCS. We still aren't sure who they're going to play.


That's because Atlanta was able to hang on to beat the Dodgers on Sunday in a 6-5 game that forced a Game 4, with the Dodgers still holding a 2-1 lead in the series.


This one looked like it might be a blowout after the first two innings. Walker Buehler did not have his best control -- or close to it -- and he walked pitcher Sean Newcomb with the bases loaded to give the Braves a 1-0 lead. A few pitches later, Ronald Acuna Jr. walloped a grand slam to make it 5-0, and it looked like the rout might be on.


But, as we've seen several times this year, the Dodgers didn't quit. An RBI single by Justin Turner turned into a two-run hit because of an error by Acuna in the top of the third. Two innings later, Chris Taylor crushed a two-run shot to pull the Dodgers to within a run, and a few batters later, Max Muncy blasted a solo homer to tie the game at 5-5.


It wasn't tied for long. The next inning, Alex Wood left a change-up right down the middle of the plate, and Freddie Freeman deposited it deep into the seats to give Atlanta their 6-5 lead. The Dodgers were able to get runners on first and second with nobody out off of closer Arodys Vizcaino in the ninth, but Vizcaino struck out the next three hitters to give the Braves a victory and keep them alive in the series.


The Dodgers will start Rich Hill in Game 4, and the Braves are expected to start Julio Teheran in the must-win game, although they could go with Mike Foltynewicz on short rest. Kevin Gausman pitched in relief in the victory, so it'd be a surprise if he was considered for the start.


Quick Hits: Twins 3B Miguel Sano was detained by police in his native Dominican Republic on Sunday after being involved in a traffic incident. According to reports, Sano was asked to stop at a police checkpoint, but instead drove through and injured a police officer ... Yankees OF Aaron Hicks (hamstring) said Sunday that he's ready to return for Game 3 of the ALCS on Monday ... Astros manager A.J. Hinch said Sunday that he's "not expecting any problems" with Jose Altuve's knee ... Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports writes that David Bell "appears to be the biggest focus of the Reds’ manager search and is considered by some the possible favorite for the job." Cincinnati is also known to have interviewed or plans to interview Hensley Meulens, Charlie Montoyo, Joe Girardi, Brad Ausmus, Billy Hatcher, Pat Kelly and Freddie Benavides ... RHP Nathan Eovaldi will start for the Red Sox in ALDS Game 3 versus the Yankees on Monday. Eovaldi had seemingly been in line to start Game 4, but he'll be moved up to Game 3 after Rick Porcello pitched in relief in Game 1 ... Indians manager Terry Francona said Sunday that Yandy Diaz and Brandon Guyer will both be in the lineup versus lefty Dallas Keuchel and the Astros on Monday for ALDS Game 3. Diaz will be the designated hitter, with Edwin Encarnacion covering first base and Yonder Alonso going to the bench ... Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Sunday that Mitch Moreland (hamstring) is receiving "aggressive treatment" but his status for ALDS Game 3 remains up in the air. Cora also said that David Price is expected to be available out of the bullpen in the coming days ... Rockies 3B Nolan Arenado said after Sunday's loss to the Brewers that he's not yet thinking about the offseason or his contract situation.







Christopher Crawford
Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter @Crawford_MILB.