The Milwaukee Brewers shut out the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-0 in game three of the MLB National League Championship Series.
After the Brewers' vaunted bullpen stumbled in the first two games of the NLCS, Milwaukee needed a big performance from starter Jhoulys Chacin and they got it on Monday.
Chacin – a 30-year-old journeyman pitching for his sixth MLB team – went 5.3 scoreless innings to help give the Brewers a 2-1 lead in the series.
Game four is at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
Chacin continues outstanding work by Brewers starters
Coming into the NLCS, the Brewers' bullpen dominated talk about the team's pitching. Yet Milwaukee's starters have arguably made the difference in this series.
In game three, the Brewers' unexpected ace Chacin stepped up with an unexpectedly good performance.
The well-travelled veteran pitched 5.3 scoreless innings, yielding only three hits (with two walks) while striking out six. The right-hander does not have a commanding fastball, instead relying on a slider and changeup. Everything worked Monday against the Dodgers' powerful line-up.
It was an especially notable performance, given Chacin entered the game with a 4.96 ERA in 11 career starts at Dodger Stadium.
So through three games, the Brewers starters — or "initial out-getters" as manager Craig Counsell calls them — have allowed only one earned run and six hits in 13 innings. The bullpen, which laboured in the first couple of games, pitched 3.6 scoreless innings, although closer Jeremy Jeffress walked a tightrope in the ninth, loading the bases before retiring LA.
Yelich has unexpectedly gone cold … but Arcia has stepped up
Christian Yelich – the presumed 2018 NL MVP – had a hit in three at-bats and scored the Brewers' first run, but he has struggled otherwise in the series, with two hits and no RBIs in 12 at-bats. Several of the Brewers' big bats have been stymied by the Dodgers, including Ryan Braun (.167), Mike Moustakas (.182) and Jesus Aguilar (.222).
Luckily, Orlando Arcia has been doing his best Yelich impression this postseason. The light-hitting shortstop (.236 batting average, three home runs during the regular season), gave the Brewers some breathing room and a 4-0 lead with a two-run homer in the seventh.
It was Arcia's second homer of the NLCS, and third of the postseason. No one figured he would be a postseason hero, not with guys like Yelich, Braun, Moustakas, etc., around. But baseball's a funny game.
Dodgers face virtual must-win situation next two games
Technically, game four is not a must-win for the Dodgers. They only trail 2-1 in the series. But lose either game four or five at home, and they head to Milwaukee needing to sweep two games. Not an easy task.
So what is the blueprint for beating the Brewers? The Dodgers need to get to the Brewers early, and try to wear down their bullpen. Their big bats need to step up. The Dodgers were second in the majors with 235 home runs this season. They have two in this series. Game four would be a good time to get things rolling.
|Petaia and Gordon to make Wallabies debuts in Padova|
|Barcelona star Arthur determined not to let Xavi praise go to his head|
|Youthful Netherlands have forged strong bond - Wijnaldum|
|Premier League confirms £5m package for departing chief Scudamore|
|Thiem blasts past Nishikori to keep semi-final hopes alive|
|He´s always got time for me – Gerrard loved learning from Liverpool boss Klopp|
|Kearney and Ringrose return for All Blacks clash|
|Molinari on course for Race to Dubai title, Smith and Otaegui lead|
|Premier League to implement VAR from 2019-20 season|
|FSF urges Premier League clubs to reject Scudamore ´golden handshake´ request|
|Rhinos pull off Merrin coup|
|Ribery apologises for reporter altercation|
|Ford to captain much-changed England, Cokanasiga starts|
|Crotty replaces injured Williams for Ireland showdown|
|Classy Roshen gives Sri Lanka unlikely lead|
|Injured Lukaku out of Belgium-Iceland Nations League clash|
|Rooney ´passionate´ about future coaching career|
|Mehidy spins Tigers to victory despite second Taylor hundred|
|Rooney deserves special England day - Antonio|
|LeBron thinks back to his roots after latest milestone|
|Messi to return for Argentina next year - General manager Burruchaga|
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Croatia´s Dalic and Modric not out for Spain revenge|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|Gabi, Juanfran hopeful over Oblak´s Atletico future|
|England rookie Wilson not comparing himself to Kane|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|South Africa lose 28-9 in Windies defeat|
|Delph impressed by ´special´ Sancho|
|Bolt may give up on football career despite ´a lot of offers´|
|We´re better than Dortmund – Wagner urges Bayern to respond|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Martinez hails Hazard leadership|
|Muller going through ´difficult´ period, says Low|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Rooney wanted to finish career at Manchester United|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|WATCH: Ronnie O´Sullivan hits blue with calamitous break-off shot|
|Matuidi: Mbappe has a great personality, like Ronaldo, Messi and Zlatan|
|Cilic beats Isner to hand Djokovic semi-final spot|
|Mendy undergoes knee surgery|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|Ramos refuses to retaliate after Lovren jibe|
|Qatar pull off shock win over Switzerland|
|Tuilagi could make England return against Australia|
|Rooney has earned England reward - Sarachan|
|Croatia thrashing means nothing now – Luis Enrique|
|Chelsea and Everton among Arnautovic suitors, claims agent|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Modric defends Ramos after Lovren comments|
|Southgate hails ´outstanding´ Delph as he talks up England strength in depth|
|No war with Manchester United over Fellaini, insists Martinez|
|Rooney to wear number 10 shirt against USA and receive armband from Delph|
|I don´t feel pressure of Liverpool expectations, claims Klopp|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Reus and Kroos to sit out Germany´s clash with Russia|
|Van Dijk happy to recommend De Ligt if Liverpool ask|
|Sauber announce launch of junior programme|
|No ´breathtaking tennis´ in Djokovic´s win against Zverev|
|Curran: England spinners will be key in Kandy|
|Djokovic charges past Zverev to move closer to ATP Finals progression|
|Messi is a football alien - Malcom|
|Sky´s the limit for Sancho, says Dortmund team-mate Pulisic|