Game 1: Dodgers: 5 Brewers: 6
In Milwaukee, the land of baseball and beer, a crowd of fans gathered to see if the Brewers could get to their second ever World Series. The Brewers finished the regular season as number one in the National League with a total of 96 wins, with the Los Angeles Dodgers finishing third behind them with 92 wins. Coming into the NLCS, the Dodgers had won seven out of eight through the playoffs and the Brewers had seen their best hot streak since 1971 with eleven straight wins.
After a scoreless first inning, the second inning kicked off when Dodgers player Manny Machado hit a line drive through left field for a home run. The Brewers retaliated, with two runs in the third inning off a home run by pitcher Brandon Woodruff and center fielder Lorenzo Cain taking advantage of a Dodgers’ error by catcher Yasmani Grandal. The Brewers drove in three more runs in the fourth inning, making the score 5-1. Neither team was able to score again until the seventh inning when first baseman Jesus Aguilar cranked a fly ball out of right field for the Brewers. The Dodgers did make a bit of a comeback during the eighth and ninth inning with Machado, outfielders Chris Taylor, Matt Kemp, and Joc Pederson each scoring to bring the game to a close.
Game 2: Dodgers: 4 Brewers: 3
On Oct. 13, the Dodgers retaliated from their loss with a 4-3 victory, tying the series at one game a piece.
The Dodgers start didn’t look promising, as Cain caught a high-flying ball that nearly flew over the barrier. It also seemed to be a good omen when the Brewers scored two points at the bottom of the fifth inning after Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger missed a similar catch along with two other points scored by the Brewers.
But in the seventh and eighth innings, the Dodgers’ offense came to life. Kicking off the revitalized effort was a ground ball for a single by Bellinger that drove first baseman Max Muncy in for the score. After the Brewers made a substitution, bringing pitcher Jeremy Jeffress in to relieve Corbin Burnes, the bases were loaded off of a single by Pederson. Jeffress was able to strike out right fielder Yasiel Puig, but walked catcher Austin Barnes, walking Machado in for the Dodgers’ second run of the inning. After a quick bottom to the eighth inning, Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner stepped into the batter’s box, took an inside curve ball from Jeffress and sent it flying out past left field, sending shortstop Chris Taylor and himself home, putting the Dodgers ahead 4-3. After a scoreless ninth inning, Los Angeles found themselves tied with Milwaukee heading into game three.
Game 3: Dodgers 0, Brewers 4
Milwaukee, coming off a late loss in game two, played shut-down defense off of a strong pitching performance by starter Jhoulys Chacín, who finished with six strikeouts through just under six frames of work. The Brewers’ bullpen did the rest, finishing the game with a five run shutout of Los Angeles.
The Brewers’ batters struck early, with outfielder Christian Yelich scoring off a double to left field by left fielder Ryan Braun in the first inning. The Dodgers, unable to muster an offense of their own, relied on pitcher Walker Beuhler and a lockdown defense from there on, until the sixth inning. Then at the bottom of the sixth, third baseman Travis Shaw stole home off of a wild pitch from Beuhler with Aguilar up at bat for the Brewers. Wrapping up the scoring for the game, shortstop Orlando Arcia took a fastball from Beuhler deep over the right outfield, bringing himself and catcher Erik Kratz in for two more runs.
Game 4: Dodgers 2, Brewers 1
The Dodgers upped their game after their defeat by the Brewers on Oct. 15 by beating the Brewers for a second time in the series with a score of 2-1.
The Dodgers showed initial promise when second baseman Brian Dozier sent a sharp line drive out to left field for a single, sending in Taylor for the score, putting the Dodgers ahead during the first inning. During the innings that followed, Dodgers pitcher Rich Hill was a force to be reckoned with, throwing hard and with precision. In that way, he struck out many of the Brewer batters. This made it truly impressive when, in the fifth inning, right fielder Domingo Santana hit the ball to right center for a double that sent Arcia in for the tying score of the game. The opportunity to build on this further was lost when Hill struck out Christian Yelich to end the inning.
Neither team was able to alter the score through the next four innings, sending the game into extra innings. As the Dodgers came up to bat, during the thirteenth inning, Machado hit a single out to left field, before stealing a base after a wild pitch from Guerra to Bellinger at the plate. After a short talk at the mound with the coaching staff, Guerra wound up and delivered a pitch down the center of the plate that Bellinger sent into right field, sending Machado in for the score and winning the game for the Dodgers.
Game 5: Dodgers 5, Brewers 2
With the series tied at two games a piece, the Brewers and Dodgers went head-to-head once again on Wednesday, Oct. 17. By the end of the day, the Dodgers took their first lead of the series.
After two scoreless innings to begin the game, Cain sent a hard line drive through center field for a double, sending Arcia in for the score. Barnes, in the bottom of the fifth, tied up the score by hitting a single to center field, sending Taylor in for the score. Max Muncy and Puig each had a single of their own in sixth inning, each driving in a scoring run for Turner and Machado, respectively. The Dodgers weren’t done yet, with Turner driving a single out to center field and sending Kershaw in for the score. Following that, Dozier grounded out, but not before Bellinger could run in for the score. In the top of the ninth, Brewers’ right fielder Curtis Granderson hit a strong line drive to right field for a double, with Aguilar scoring on the hit, being the last hit for the Brewers for the night.
Game 6: Dodgers 2, Brewers 7
Starting the game for the Dodgers on offense, third baseman David Freese cranked a home run off Woodruff through right centerfield, putting the Dodgers up 1-0. After strong pitching performances from Los Angeles starters and bullpen through five games, the Brewers bats came out swinging in the bottom of the first inning, getting nine hits and four runs in the first inning. A double to right center field by Aguilar sent Cain and Braun in for their own respective scores. Aguilar was sent home himself off of a double by third baseman Mike Moustakas. Moustakas, after stealing third base, ran in for a score of his own thanks to a ground single to right field from Kratz. Sitting at a score of 4-1 after a wild first inning, the Dodgers offense was disoriented and unable to muster a strong batting performance in the top of the second. However, the Brewers’ offense wasn’t done yet, as Braun hit a double to center field, with Yelich scoring. The Dodgers’ sputtered out one more run in the top of the fifth, as Freese hit a double out to center field, sending Dozier in for the score. After a scoreless sixth inning, a wild pitch by reliever Kenta Maeda to Santana in the batter’s box, allowing Aguilar to steal home to put the Brewers up 6-2. Aguilar wasn’t finished with stealing the show on offense for the night, hitting a sharp ground ball to right field in the bottom of the eighth, sending Cain in for the final score of the night.
Game 7: Dodgers 5, Brewers 1
With the series tied at three games each, the Dodgers and Brewers faced off in a winner-take-all game seven, with Chacín starting back on the mound for the first time since his lights out game three performance. The Brewers, fresh off their offensive showcase the night before, came out swinging once more with Yelich sending a fly ball into the stands of center field for a home run. The Dodgers answered right back, as Bellinger drilled a home run of his own to right field, sending himself and Machado in for the two run score. Neither team was able to muster any form of offense against Madson or Chacín until the sixth inning, when Puig took a Chacín fastball and cranked it out past the center field fence. Puig, Muncy and Bellinger all scored, marking the last runs of the night and sending the Dodgers to the World Series to face off against the Boston Red Sox.