MILWAUKEE — Wade Miley returns to the mound for a second straight start Friday as the Brewers try to save their season against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park.
Miley was Milwaukee’s “starter” in Game 5 Wednesday in Los Angeles but faced one batter as manager Craig Counsell turned to right-hander Brandon Woodruff in a move aimed at getting better matchups with Los Angeles’ righty-heavy lineup.
“We’re trying to get to the World Series,” Miley said. “These are big games so every little thing counts. If they think its something that can help us achieve that, I’m in. I’m all about winning.”
The Brewers will need to win twice to advance after dropping two in a row in Los Angeles. With a trip to their second straight World Series on the line, the Dodgers turn to left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, who tossed seven shutout innings in Game 1 of the NLDS but couldn’t get out of the fifth in Game 2 against Milwaukee.
Dodgers starters have had their struggles in the series, combining for a 4.10 ERA through the first five games — including Clayton Kershaw’s seven-inning gem in Game 5. The bullpen, though, has been lights out against the Brewers, posting a 1.25 ERA in 21 2/3 innings.
“Clearly, our bullpen has been the key for us,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Roberts said at the start of the series that his bullpen took notice of the attention paid to Milwaukee’s relief crops and that his relievers were taking the lack of attention to their own performance personally.
And while the Brewers’ relievers have a 3.74 ERA in the series, Milwaukee’s problem has not been pitching. Through the first five games, Brewers pitchers have a 3.02 ERA — 0.21 behind the Dodgers.
Offensively, though, the Brewers have been a mess. They’ve managed only 16 runs while batting .219 with a .653 OPS against the Dodgers, who haven’t done much better. They’ve also scored 16 total runs in the series while batting .220 with a .599 OPS.
What’s flipped the scale in favor of Los Angeles is what the Dodgers have done when given an opportunity. They are 10-for-43 with runners in scoring position for the series. Those aren’t the most impressive numbers by any stretch but they’re still better than the Brewers, who are 5-for-35 in the series with one hit in their last 11 tries.
Especially concerning is the lack of production at the top of Milwaukee’s lineup.
Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich have been the tablesetters all season long but have fallen silent against the Dodgers. Yelich is 3-for-20 while Cain is 6-for-24 in the series and 7-for-36 with 10 strikeouts during the postseason.
Counell shurgged off any notion of concern over their performance.
“I’m glad Lorenzo is leading off, and I’m glad ‘Yeli’ is hitting second,” Counsell said. “They’ll do the same on Friday. We’re in a good spot with those two guys at the top. You’re just kind of waiting for something big to happen with them and I’m confident it will.”
Source: Fox Sports