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Crew ready to reignite rivalry with Dodgers 

Clubs open three-game set Friday, first clash since 2018 NLCS
@AdamMcCalvy
April 11, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers-Dodgers regular-season series in 2018 went to a decisive seventh game. Ditto a compelling National League Championship Series. Now these two contenders are set to meet again in seven games over the next 10 days, beginning Friday night at Dodger Stadium. The rosters look relatively similar, with

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers-Dodgers regular-season series in 2018 went to a decisive seventh game. Ditto a compelling National League Championship Series.

Now these two contenders are set to meet again in seven games over the next 10 days, beginning Friday night at Dodger Stadium. The rosters look relatively similar, with two notable exceptions for L.A.: Manny Machado moved south to San Diego and Yasmani Grandal moved east to Milwaukee. Grandal is riding a hot streak into his return.

Does he anticipate an intense reunion with the Dodger Stadium faithful?

“Not for me -- I just think both teams faced each other in the NLCS last year, it went to seven games. With things like that, it always makes it bigger,” said Grandal, whose club is coming off being swept by the Angels in three games. “But with these guys [the Brewers], everything is pretty light here. I don’t think we’re going to take it to heart, whatever happens.

“Obviously, the fans, well, they’re not going to be loud. At least I don’t think. I haven’t seen them loud until like the seventh inning or something like that. But yeah, it’s going to be, hopefully, an intense series. I’m sure they’re going to be ready to play. Hopefully they get to show us a couple of things that we might see later on in the year, and we get to clean some things up.”

Before they meet again, here’s a look back at the teams' 2018 drama:

Friday, July 20

Dodgers 6, Brewers 4 at Miller Park

The headline: Dodgers win Manny's debut

With young shortstop Orlando Arcia in the midst of a slump that spanned most of the season, the Brewers made a strong offer for then-Orioles All-Star Machado, only to see Baltimore trade him to the team that opened the second half of the season at Miller Park. Machado finished his Dodgers debut with two hits and two walks in a game decided by Enrique Hernandez's three-run homer in the ninth inning.

Saturday, July 21

Brewers 4, Dodgers 2 at Miller Park

The headline: Brewers stage comeback vs. Kershaw

The series-opening loss extended Milwaukee's losing streak to seven, its longest skid all season, and was part of a larger funk leading into and coming out of the All-Star break, during which the Brewers lost nine of 11 games and dealt with the fallout from ace reliever Josh Hader’s teenage tweets. But they snapped out of their funk against Kershaw in the lefty's first loss since April.

"I feel like you just need one [win], just to get some positive vibe back on the team," Christian Yelich said. "You break through, you can take a deep breath and be like, 'All right, we got back on the right side of things and now we can just try and build off that.'"

Sunday, July 22

Dodgers 11, Brewers 2 at Miller Park

The headline: Kemp powers L.A. rout

Matt Kemp's return to L.A. included one multi-homer game. It was this one, in which he led off consecutive innings against Milwaukee left-hander Brent Suter with homers to help the Dodgers score 11 unanswered runs after Milwaukee took a first-inning lead. It got so bad for the Brewers that they pitched multiple position players (Hernan Perez and Erik Kratz) for the first time since 1979.

Monday, July 30

Brewers 5, Dodgers 2 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Brewers stay hot out West

If Milwaukee general manager David Stearns was seeking motivation to make last-minute additions to a roster he'd just fortified with trades for White Sox closer Joakim Soria and Royals slugger Mike Moustakas, the Brewers provided it by winning for the fourth time in the first five games of a West Coast road trip, the final contest before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. An inning after the stadium lights went out, Eric Thames smashed a three-run home run off Kenta Maeda.

Tuesday, July 31

Brewers 1, Dodgers 0 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Cain carries Crew

Lorenzo Cain climbed the wall, and the Brewers climbed back to first place just in time for the calendar to flip to August. Cain drove in the game's only run with a double in the third inning, before saving a run in the seventh with the best of a series of superlative defensive plays. He leaped at the center-field wall to pull back Cody Bellinger's high fly, preserving what became a two-hit shutout for Wade Miley and relievers Soria and Jeremy Jeffress.

"I said, 'Damn,'" Bellinger said. "That's all you can say."

Wednesday, August 1

Dodgers 6, Brewers 4 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Grandal's walk-off homer seals seesaw affair

Brian Dozier had a big night in his Dodgers debut, going 3-for-4 with a home run, and Grandal had a bigger night, following a productive July with a pair of home runs on the first day of August, including a two-run home run in the 10th inning off Brewers reliever Matt Albers. The win snapped the Dodgers' three-game losing streak and lifted them into a tie with Arizona atop the NL West.

“Playoff atmosphere," said Moustakas, who made the defensive play of the game in the eighth inning to deny the Dodgers a win in regulation. "The crowd was into it, [the Dodgers] were into it, we were into it. It was fun. This is what baseball is about, coming down the stretch and playing these types of games."

Thursday, August 2

Dodgers 21, Brewers 5 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Dodgers score three touchdowns

For all the drama of the first three games of the series, the finale was an absolute rout. In a matchup of Jhoulys Chacin and Kershaw, the Brewers set a franchise record by allowing 21 runs and Los Angeles set a Dodger Stadium record for runs scored, while matching the franchise record for a home game by clubbing seven home runs. Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig each homered twice, and Bellinger delivered the game's big blow when he followed a disputed walk with a grand slam off Chacin that gave L.A. a 6-1 lead in the third inning.

Two months later, the teams were ready for a rematch.

NLCS Game 1
Friday, October 12

Brewers 6, Dodgers 5 at Miller Park

The headline: Woodruff takes Kershaw deep, Brewers win 12th straight

For a national audience just tuning in, it was a nine-inning primer on 2018 Brewers baseball. Gio Gonzalez pitched two innings before manager Craig Counsell tabbed his bullpen, and six relievers finished it out, including Hader for a three-inning stint. The first man out of the ‘pen was Brandon Woodruff, who struck out four in two scoreless innings and smashed a home run off Kershaw that tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning on the way to a win that ran Milwaukee’s winning streak to 12.

"What we're doing is different than ever before,” said Corey Knebel after closing it out. “Most teams, Game 1, you've got that 'starter' going long. We're in the bullpen. Hey, the game is changing."

NLCS Game 2
Saturday, October 13

Dodgers 4, Brewers 3 at Miller Park

The headline: Turner snaps Brewers’ streak

The Brewers had not lost a baseball game in 21 days, since a shutout in Pittsburgh on Sept. 22 that preceded the second-longest winning streak in franchise history. The run spanned three champagne celebrations -- a postseason clinch in St. Louis, an NL Central clinch in Chicago and an NL Division Series sweep of the Rockies in Denver. This time, there was only silence in the Brewers' clubhouse after Justin Turner’s eighth-inning, go-ahead home run off Jeffress denied Milwaukee a 2-0 series lead.

NLCS Game 3
Monday, October 15

Brewers 4, Dodgers 0 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Chacin gets redemption

Chacin, who’d been on the wrong end of a football score when these teams last met at Dodger Stadium, delivered a shutout into the sixth inning and Jeffress escaped a ninth-inning scare to finish the Dodgers’ first shutout loss at home in the postseason since Game 1 of the 1983 NLCS against the Phillies. Arcia hit his third postseason home run to lead a balanced offensive attack.

NLCS Game 4
Tuesday, October 16

Dodgers 2, Brewers 1 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Bellinger beats Brewers in 13th

In a game that stretched past the five-hour mark, six Brewers relievers combined to hold L.A. scoreless from the second inning through the 12th, but Milwaukee hitters were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position before Bellinger won it for the Dodgers with a single in the bottom of the 13th inning.

NLCS Game 5
Wednesday, October 17

Dodgers 5, Brewers 2 at Dodger Stadium

The headline: Kershaw vs. The Miley Gambit

Counsell's surprise use of Miley for only one batter stretched the old rules of baseball etiquette and worked beautifully into the sixth inning, but there were no tactical tricks to spark the Brewers' offense against a vintage Kershaw in a loss that put the Dodgers on the verge of making the World Series. It marked the first time in more than a month that the Brewers lost back-to-back games.

"It's win or go home now,” said Yelich after an 0-for-4 dropped him to 3-for-20 in the NLCS.

NLCS Game 6
Friday, October 19

Brewers 7, Dodgers 2 at Miller Park

The headline: Brewers break out, force Game 7

Led by Jesus Aguilar’s three hits, the Brewers shed the offensive funk induced by the Dodgers' quality pitching in the first five games of the series and scored four runs in a nine-batter opening inning of Game 6, putting them well on their way to a win that bought a chance to play another day.

NLCS Game 7
Saturday, October 20

Dodgers 5, Brewers 1 at Miller Park

The headline: Dodgers clinch date with Red Sox

Yelich homered in the first inning and Miller Park was rocking, but it was all Dodgers after that. With rookie starter Walker Buehler poised under pressure, NLCS MVP Bellinger and Puig launching crowd-silencing homers at Miller Park and Chris Taylor pulling off a miracle catch in left field, the Dodgers eliminated the Brewers and set a matchup of historic franchises in the World Series.

"We found a way to get it done again," said Turner.

For the Brewers, it was wait ‘til next year.

“There's a lot of reason to be hopeful about this group,” said Brewers owner Mark Attanasio.

Well, next year is here.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.