It took a while, but the Dodgers got a much-needed win at home to even the series last night, 2–1 in thirteen innings.
Los Angeles scored once in the first and once in the thirteenth. Rich Hill gave up his 1–0 lead in the fifth and final inning he pitched but his bullpen picked him up with eight scoreless, including two from Kenley Jansen and another from 22-year-old Julio Urias, who earned the win.
This will be LA’s final home game in the series, which means it will have to win back-to-back games on the road if it loses this one. There’s also talk it could be the final start in a Dodger uniform for Clayton Kershaw.
Kershaw didn’t pitch well right from the outset of Game 1. He kept Milwaukee off the board in the first but the at-bats were ominous from a Dodger perspective. Milwaukee broke through soon after.
For a long time, Kershaw was the best in the game purely because of stuff. He’s remained at the top of the league because of his ability to attack hitters with a plan and I have confidence that will show in the adjustments he makes tonight. Milwaukee’s offense won’t scare him, not at Dodger Stadium.
Nor should it. For as bad as LA’s bats have been, the Brewers’ offense hasn’t been a whole lot better, save for a couple fast starts. The Dodgers haven’t gotten production out of anybody besides Manny Machado and it may just be time that changes in a pivotal Game 5, at home, with some momentum on their side.
Milwaukee’s advantages in the series have been defensively and in the bullpen, pretty much what we were expecting leading up to the matchup. Orlando Arcia is a lot better than Machado at shortstop and the Brewers have an elite center fielder, unlike the Dodgers. It certainly didn’t help Los Angeles that Yasmani Grandal played horribly when he was in there and I’m skeptical we’ll see him again in this series after Austin Barnes’ start last night.
The Dodgers still haven’t been able to catch up to the heat of Corey Knebel and Josh Hader but if they’re ever going to, tonight could be the night. Both guys have thrown at least an inning in each of the last two nights and will probably be asked to do at least as much in this one. Will they have the juice?
It’s not as if Milwaukee had that game last night, but it was there for the taking. The Brewers have been in all four games so far and could have easily won all four. They have left the door open for the Dodgers and now it’s a best of three. The longer this series goes on, the more I like the Dodgers, even if Games 6 and 7 are in Milwaukee.
There isn’t any reason to believe Wade Miley won’t pitch well tonight but I expect Counsell to pull him early, as he always has, and the Dodgers to strike late against the bullpen.
Play: Dodgers -1 (-115)