After struggling in first 2 games, Brewers bullpen shuts down Dodgers in Game 3

first_imgOn Saturday in Milwaukee, there were questions about whether the Brewers might have overplayed their hand with their vaunted bullpen. In Game 1 on Friday, they had pulled starter Gio Gonzalez after just two innings, giving the Dodgers looks at six of their relievers. They’d also used relief ace Josh Hader for three innings. They held on to that victory, winning 6-5 after leading 6-1. The next day, with Hader unavailable, the Brewers blew a 3-0 lead.Jeremy Jeffress gave up the lead when he allowed Justin Turner to hit a two-run homer.Jeffress, who had been in something of a rough patch even before the Turner homer, again got the ball on Monday, with a four-run lead in the ninth. Although he allowed the Dodgers to load the bases with one out, he struck out Yasmani Grandal and Brian Dozier to end it.“He’s been in plenty of situations like that,” reliever Corey Knebel said. “Bases loaded, one out. He’s done it before. Everyone knew he could do it. He dominated. He was lights out there.”Jeffress said he never lacked confidence, and clearly, his teammates didn’t lose confidence in him. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco LOS ANGELES — That was the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen that you’ve heard so much about.After they nearly blew the first game and did blow the second, the Brewers’ relievers sliced through the Dodgers with relative ease – besides one temporary hiccup in the ninth – on their way to closing a 4-0 victory in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series.Not only did the Brewers blank the Dodgers over the final 11 outs of the game, but they did so in such an efficient manner that all of their relievers will be available again in Game 4 on Tuesday.“That was really good for us, after what happened the last day in Milwaukee,” right-hander Joakim Soria said. “Every guy tells me every day I’m an All-Star,” Jeffress said. “They say I’m a great pitcher. Don’t let anything get in your way. Forget all the negativity and just continue to pitch the way you can pitch.”While Jeffress finished the game, perhaps the most significant piece of the relief puzzle was put into place when Hader pitched in the eighth inning.The Brewers have used him judiciously this season. He had a major league-leading 33 appearances of at least four outs. As a result, he pitched in back-to-back games only six times this season, and he’d never pitched three times in a row.With games on three straight days at Dodger Stadium, the Brewers could have been without Hader for one of the games. Winning a game without using him would have been a boon to their chances of winning the series.Related Articles Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire center_img They had a shot at that, with a four-run lead in the eighth, but Manager Craig Counsell still opted to use him with lefties Joc Pederson and Max Muncy due.“At some point, the other team is pretty good and you respect their hitters on their team,” Counsell said. “And I thought getting Pederson and Muncy out of the game for pinch-hitters with Josh was a good way to get outs.”Hader struck out pinch-hitters David Freese and Matt Kemp, and he did so on just eight pitches, which means he can go again on Tuesday. Even Knebel, who recorded five outs, needed just 19 pitches. No one threw more than Jeffress’ 21.With Gonzalez starting and likely to go only a few innings, the Brewers will have the entire bullpen ready behind him.“We feel like we’re in really good shape,” Counsell said. “We’re not just trying to win games here. We’re trying to win the series. We’ve put ourselves in games 4 and 5 with tonight’s effort.” Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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