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Brewers force NLCS Game 7, defeat Dodgers 7-2

The Dodgers and Brewers will face off in a win-or-go-home Game 7 on Saturday night in Milwaukee.

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League Championship Series - Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers - Game Six Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Dodgers entered Game 6 one victory away from a return to the World Series, but it wasn’t to be: Hyun-jin Ryu was hittable early, the Brewers racked up the doubles, and their bullpen held the Dodgers scoreless from the moment Wade Miley left the game until Game 6 was over.

We’ll have a decisive Game 7 on Saturday night, and the Brewers will have themselves a fully rested Josh Hader and Joakim Soria to follow their best starter, Jhoulys Chacin. A frustrating loss for the Dodgers, but they do still have Game 7 to atone and return to the Fall Classic, as if Game 6 never happened.

We live blogged the whole game, so if you want to catch up or relive it blow-by-blow, you can do so below.

Dodgers vs. Brewers Game 6 NLCS Live Results

Hello, it’s Marc Normandin here to live blog us all through the postseason. Want to read this live blog from the beginning? Scroll down to the “1st inning” marker and work your way back up!

9th inning: The Dodgers have three outs left to avoid a Game 7, but they now need to score at least five runs to make that happen. They’ll have to face Burnes once again: he threw just 12 pitches last inning, and will likely have some wiggle room here to avoid using Hader or Soria, leaving them both fully rested for Game 7 on Saturday.

It’ll be Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, and whichever player on the Dodgers’ bench pinch-hits for Rich Hill this inning. Pederson strikes out on four pitches, and man, Burnes can bring it. Two outs left for the Dodgers in Game 6.

Puig swings at the first pitch, but it rolls foul. Burnes strikes him out in the end: This Brewers pen is weaponized, goddamn. Los Angeles is down to their final out, and they’re sending pinch-hitter Matt Kemp up to the plate to try to keep things going.

Alas, Kemp pops out in foul territory, and that’s that. See you here tomorrow night for Game 7, folks: the Brewers win 7-2.

8th inning: Justin Turner made an out while I was in my kitchen, but I knew he made an out because I heard booing start, which meant Machado was coming up to the plate. Machado also makes an out, and he’s 0-for-4 on the night. More like, uh, B00-for-4? Let me work on that.

The Dodgers have four outs left to come back and avoid a Game 7, by the way.

Three outs, now, as Bellinger flies out to center. Josh Hader was shown in the bullpen, but with a four-run lead, the Brewers might not even need to use their top relief ace. And that could have major Game 7 implications, given Hader can go long. And on a night when Jhoulys Chacin, Milwaukee’s best starter, will pitch.

Here are the Brewers in the bottom of the frame, once again against Maeda. Cain leads off with a single — each run makes it much more likely Hader doesn’t pitch.

Cain’s single ends Maeda’s night: here’s Rich Hill in relief, to face Christian Yelich. I know Yelich rules, and he definitely deserves to be NL MVP, but he’s also got a 494 OPS in the postseason so far. It’s impressive the Brewers have gotten this far without his help in October, but they sure could still use it.

Yelich walks! That’s two on for Braun, and no outs. Braun strikes out, which brings up pinch-hitter Hernan Perez for Travis Shaw. Perez grounds into a force out, but the Dodgers fail to turn the double play, and the next batter, Aguilar, drives in a run to make it 7-2. Hader better not be coming out of that pen next frame, because there is legitimately no reason for it.

Moustakas grounds out to end the inning, but man. The Brewers get to send Burnes to the mound again, and might get out of this game without using either of Hader or Joakim Soria. 7-2, Milwaukee.

7th inning: The Brewers change their pitcher, too, adding in Jeremy Jeffress. He hasn’t had a great postseason! That’s just a bad two weeks, basically, so it’s unclear if it means a thing. Things start off well here with a popup to Kratz. The Dodgers are pretty close to where I can start saying things like, “The Dodgers are running out of outs.”

Yasmani Grandal is pinch-hitting for Caleb Ferguson, so we’ll have yet another Dodgers pitcher in the bottom half of the inning. Grandal hasn’t hit and he hasn’t fielded well, whcih is who he’s in pinch-hitting duty: congrats on being more reliable than a reliever with a bat, basically. That’s just the position you want to be in before hitting free agency, for sure.

Grandal hits a routine fly ball to Braun, and you have to imagine that’s that for his evening. Here’s Max Muncy, who has been more like Min Muncy in the postseason: he’s got a 476 OPS in October.

That’s an original joke, by the way, if you see anyone else using it please ask them to cease and desist.

Muncy struck out swinging. 5-2, Brewers heading into the seventh inning stretch.

It’s Kenta Maeda on the mound for the Dodgers now. He’s their seventh pitcher of the game. One for each inning, sort of! Grandal remained in the game as the catcher, after all.

Aguilar is not proving an easy opponent for Maeda to begin his outing: on the 11th pitch of the at-bat, Aguilar drops a fly ball into the corner in right, and it’s a double. Well, maybe: the Dodgers are challenging so they can hope for that dumb dumb dumb thing where Aguilar might have come off the base for 1/100th of a second during his slide and they want the call reversed.

I don’t mind video review conceptually but this shit is awful. The call on the field stands.

The Dodgers intentionally walk Moustakas here to get to Kratz, who is now pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson. Putting an extra runner on when you’re only down by three and Moose isn’t exactly an elite bat is a weird call, but hey, it’s not my NLCS.

Granderson strikes out, bringing up Arcia. Arcia just screamed on national television on the third pitch, and here’s why:

Arcia grounds out, and the Brewers are using Domingo Santana to pinch-hit now with two runners in scoring position.

ahahaha you have got to be shitting me, Grandal fails to block a slider in the dirt, and the Brewers score a run. It’s now 6-2. That one is more on Maeda than Grandal — it’s a wild pitch and not a passed ball for a reason — but still, yeesh. Santana ends up striking out, but he “drove” a run in before then. 6-2 Brewers after seven.

6th inning: I know the sixth inning is starting but I’m still thinking about how weird it is that Knebel hit with the bases loaded in a three-run game. I know the Brewers need to worry about Game 7, but they need to win Game 6 first.

Bellinger grounds out to Aguilar at first to begin the inning, and then Joc Pederson pinch-hits for Chris Taylor. Ow ow ow ow ow, Pederson got hit on the hand by a 96 mph fastball. He’s staying in the game, but just to reiterate: ow.

Puig flies out to center field, so here’s Austin Barnes again — he’s 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a groundout, but on the other hand, he’s not Yasmani Grandal, as you probably noticed due to the lack of passed balls and brain farts behind the plate.

Knebel shows why his manager stuck with him, striking out Barnes to end the top of the sixth. The Brewers go back to the top of the order in the bottom of the frame: Cain, Yelich, and Braun.

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It’s Dylan Floro on the mound for the Dodgers now. He strikes Cain out after seven pitches, then gets Yelich to ground out, but after allowing a single to Braun, he’s pulled for another reliever, Caleb Ferguson. Here’s Travis Shaw with one on and two outs.

The move works, as Shaw strikes out swinging. We head to the seventh with Milwaukee up 5-2 in a must-win game.

5th inning: Austin Barnes grounds out, and the Dodgers respond by pinch-hitting for Julio Urias, who pitched very well last inning. Also known as his only inning. Brian Dozier walks and then score on a Freese double, so hey, this worked in one regard. 5-2, Brewers.

Dozier should have slid, but Max Muncy, who was on deck, didn’t give him a signal about what he needed to do. I give him shit all the time, so just know it was John Smoltz who correctly pointed this out!

Muncy at least follows with a walk, and that gets Wade Miley lifted from the game. Craig Counsell isn’t going to take any chances: here comes Corey Knebel. If the Brewers win and force a Game 7, they’re going to have to use 4-1/3 innings of bullpen to do it. Here’s Justin Turner with two on and one out.

Turner flies out, and that brings up Manny Machado and the Boo Crew. Get it? Because the Brewers are the Brew Crew? And the fans are booing Machado every time?

Machado strikes out, and that ends the Dodgers’ threat. They get a run in before then, though, so they’ve cut the lead to 5-2.

Alex Wood is on the mound now for the Dodgers, and he begins his outing by walking Travis Shaw on good pitches. Good start. That brings up Aguilar. He goes down on strikes, but it just brings up Moustakas — Moose goes down on strikes, too. Kratz comes up and gets hit by a pitch, putting Shaw in scoring position. Wood will load the bases by intentionally walking Arcia. There are two outs, so the Brewers bring Domingo Santana to the on-deck circle just to see if Roberts would pull Wood. The Dodgers keep Wood in, so here’s the reliever Knebel to the plate with the bases loaded.

Knebel strikes out — big shock there — and Dodgers fans can breathe a sight of relief. It’s still just 5-2, after all.

4th inning: Cody Bellinger leads off the fourth by striking out — that’s four for Miley, which seems like a lot. Mostly because even the good version of Miley isn’t much for missing bats. The Dodgers are having a great Game 6, thank you for asking.

More fairly, Miley used to be good and now he’s good again. It turns out that the Orioles does wash off eventually! Miley gets two more fly outs, and he’s still got a four-run lead. He’s thrown 71 pitches through four innings, so he could be out of the game in a couple of innings. Then the Dodgers will just have to score a bunch of runs off the Brewers’ bullpen.

[touches hand to earpiece]

Ah, I see. Well, good luck, Los Angeles.

Hey, commercial time in the postseason, and you know what that means:

Ryu is out of the game now after pitching well in the third, so I guess Roberts just wanted him to finish facing the lineup all the way through one more time, and was going to make a move once the top of the order came back around. Whatever works for you, my dudes.

Julio Urias is in to face Cain, and gets him to ground out to first. He then strikes out Yelich. I’m not sure if that should count as impressive given how Yelich has looked this week. Hey, maybe Urias should have been in earlier, since it’s still 5-1 after his first frame.

3rd inning: It’ll be Muncy, Turner, and Machado against Miley here in the third. Muncy lines out, and Turner follows with a strikeout — that means the boos are back for Machado. Also, striking out against Wade Miley, you’re better than that, Turner.

The boos don’t last all that long this time, but only because Machado pops out to short on the first pitch. It’s still 5-1, Brewers.

Eric Kratz leads off the bottom of the third, and grounds out on the second pitch. Ryu is still in the game, by the way, so the Dodgers apparently want to let him wear this one and/or have faith in him avoiding giving up more: either way, the plan seems to be to keep from diving into the bullpen. Which, if the Dodgers don’t start scoring runs, they’re going to need in Game 7.

Arcia flies out to deep left field — he didn’t get all of it, but got enough to scare for just a moment. Wade Miley follows up by striking out, so hey, maybe Robert’s faith in him will pay off. It’s 5-1 Brewers after three in Milwaukee.

2nd inning: Chris Taylor tries to make up for his earlier miscue, and kicks off the second with a single. Yasiel Puig flies out for the first out of the frame, and then Austin Barnes strikes out. That brings up Ryu, which you think would mean the end of the inning is at hand, but nope: Ryu singles to right, pushing Taylor to third, and that turns the lineup back over to David Freese. Freese already homered to lead off Game 6.

It’s not to be third time, however: Freese pops out foul to Aguilar, and the Dodgers fail to score in the second.

Here’s Lorenzo Cain to lead off the bottom of the second, and here I am with a reminder that the Brewers did not bat around in the first inning: they simply had everyone bat once, but failed to secure a 10th batter, which would have brought the lineup full circle. You know, around.

Cain flies out to Puig in right field. Oh hey there Christian Yelich, how nice of you to join the NLCS. It began a week ago, but I’m sure the Brewers appreciate your double here, anyway. Ryan Braun makes it count, driving in Yelich with a double of his own — it’s now 5-1, Milwaukee. I don’t know what Dave Roberts is waiting for here: Ryu never pitches like this, so there’s no real upside into letting the Brewers continue to rack up the doubles.

Shaw hits a grounder up the middle, Machado fields it, Braun heads to third, but there are now two down. Ryu gets out of it without further damage, but still, it’ll be weird if he’s back out here for the third. 5-1, Brewers after two.

1st inning: Well, Wade Miley began his last start — you know, in Game 5 — with a walk, and this time, in Game 6, it begins with a homer by David Freese. Miley isn’t being pulled after one batter, though, so the Brewers better hope Miley isn’t off tonight and instead Freese just happened to get a hold of one. It’s 1-0, Dodgers.

Did you know Freese homered in the first inning of the last Game 6 at Miller Park, back in 2011? Strange but true!

Max Muncy does not go deep — in fact, he doesn’t leave the infield, grounding out to third — so maybe Miley is fine. Justin Turner singles to center, bringing up Manny Machado, who gets a sustained boo from the Miller Park crowd through the entire at-bat — the crowd only paused to cheer for strikes, and they got to do so three times. Two down, here’s Cody Bellinger.

Great play at second base there by... Mike Moustakas, really? Sure, why not. Diving play, with a strong throw to first, and the Brewers hold the Dodgers to a 1-0 lead heading into the bottom of the first.

Max Muncy is playing second for the Dodgers, and Lorenzo Cain singles after hitting a grounder at second. Christian Yelich, the presumptive NL MVP who has yet to do anything of substance at the plate in this series, grounds out, but does manage to push Cain to second.

Ryan Braun walks on four straight balls from Hyun-jin Ryu, giving Travis Shaw a couple of baserunners with just the one out. Ryu gets him down 0-2. He gets Shaw to strike out on a foul tip, bringing up Jesús Aguilar. Aguilar lifts a ball into right field, and it gets into the corner — the Brewers tie it up and then take the lead, 2-1. Aguilar is standing on second, and before I can finish typing that sentence, Mike Moustakas doubles to drive him in. 3-1, Brewers.

And here’s Eric Kratz with an RBI of his own — he grounds a ball through the enormous hole between second base and first, and it’s 4-1, Brewers. Kratz is at first, and here’s Orlando Arcia. Arcia hits a ball into left field, and Chris Taylor hesitates about running in to catch it more than once, which means he did not catch it, and now it’s first and second for the pitcher, Wade Miley. Miley skies one into center that almost got past Cody Bellinger — Bellinger recovered in time in his route to snag it, though, ending the first. It’s 4-1, Brewers.

Pre-Game/How to Watch

The Milwaukee Brewers are back home at Miller Park, needing two wins in two games to earn their first pennant in 36 years, beginning with Game 6 of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in Milwaukee.

Wade Miley gets the start for the Brewers, the first pitcher to start consecutive games in a postseason series since George Earnshaw for the Philadelphia A’s in the 1930 World Series. This is more of a technicality of course, as Miley only started as a ruse in Game 5, facing one batter before he was replaced by Brandon Woodruff.

Milwaukee’s hope was that the platoon-happy Dodgers might alter their lineup to prepare for the left-handed Miley, but LA didn’t bite, starting left-handed batters Cody Bellinger and Max Muncy on Wednesday.

“You never know,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Wednesday. “It was very unconventional, but we were prepared for anything.”

NLCS Game 6 TV & streaming info

  • Teams: Dodgers (92-71) vs. Brewers (96-67)
  • Series: Los Angeles leads, 3-2
  • Location: Miller Park, Milwaukee
  • Time: 8:39 p.m. ET
  • TV: FS1
  • Online: Fox Sports Go, fuboTV

The Brewers have been aggressive with their bullpen during this series, and rightfully so, with arguably the best bullpen in the National League during the regular season. Their starters in the NLCS have pitched a total of 14 innings, the fewest by any team through five games of a League Championship Series, per the Elias Sports Bureau. Even if we count Woodruff’s 5⅓ innings in Game 5 as a start Milwaukee would still only be at 19⅓ innings, more than only the 1976 Royals in the ALCS.

After Miley in Game 6 the Brewers have Jhoulys Chacin ready for Game 7, if necessary. Neither has allowed a run this postseason.

“We’re going back home, to me, in a position of strength,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “We’ve got two starters lined up and we’ve got a bullpen that’s going to get a day off and some of our key guys are going to get multiple days off and be ready to go in a two-game stretch where we can use them.”

The Dodgers bullpen has been fantastic in the NLCS, posting a 1.25 ERA with 23 strikeouts and eight walks in 21⅔ innings. Pedro Baez, who was booed at home last season and didn’t pitch at all in the playoffs, has four scoreless appearances through the first five games of the series, with seven strikeouts in 4⅓ frames.

Should the Dodgers win Friday, or Saturday, they will reach the World Series in consecutive seasons. for the first time in 40 years.