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NLCS Game 7: Muncy at 1B; Crew unchanged

Buehler, Chacin to square off in rematch of Game 3
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy and @kengurnick

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers and Brewers are taking this National League Championship Series the distance with a decisive Game 7 on Saturday at Miller Park, the winner going to the World Series, the loser going home. Eight months of work boiled down to one night.

The game will be a rematch of Game 3's starting pitchers, rookie Walker Buehler for Los Angeles and veteran Jhoulys Chacin for Milwaukee. The Dodgers are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s, the Brewers 0-1, while the home team is 6-3 in NLCS Game 7s.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers and Brewers are taking this National League Championship Series the distance with a decisive Game 7 on Saturday at Miller Park, the winner going to the World Series, the loser going home. Eight months of work boiled down to one night.

The game will be a rematch of Game 3's starting pitchers, rookie Walker Buehler for Los Angeles and veteran Jhoulys Chacin for Milwaukee. The Dodgers are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s, the Brewers 0-1, while the home team is 6-3 in NLCS Game 7s.

View Full Game Coverage

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET on FS1

Here are possible starting lineups and answers to the most frequently asked questions about Game 7:

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Starting lineups

Dodgers
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Max Muncy, 1B
3. Justin Turner, 3B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Cody Bellinger, CF
6. Yasiel Puig, RF
7. Chris Taylor, 2B
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Walker Buehler, P

Brewers
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Travis Shaw, 2B
5. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Jhoulys Chacin, SP

Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Buehler pitched better than his Game 3 line (four runs, seven innings) looked, and he gets another chance in a rematch with Chacin. Four of Buehler's innings were scoreless, but he also allowed four extra-base hits -- a homer to Arcia, a triple to Shaw and doubles to Braun and Kratz. All factored in the scoring. His stuff is electric and his confidence is off the charts, but it's a Game 7 on the road and will be an acid test for the rookie who was rattled in Atlanta in the NL Division Series.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Walker Buehler discusses starting Game 7

Brewers: From innings eater to playoff ace, that's the journey Chacin has taken this year. And now he gets the ball for Milwaukee with the season on the line. How long will the leash be for Chacin? Probably minimal, given what's at stake and how aggressively the Brewers have deployed their relievers this October, when less was at stake. This is a winner-take-all, so it's possible Chacin might only pitch until the first sign of trouble.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Chacin discusses starting pivotal Game 7

But that's not a reflection on how effective Chacin has been this postseason. Quite the opposite. The Brewers' most durable starter in the regular season, he is unscored upon across 10 1/3 innings this October, the workload split between two starts. Chacin shut out the Dodgers for 5 1/3 in his last outing, Milwaukee's 4-0 Game 3 win in Los Angeles.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Buehler, Chacin set to face off in Game 7

NLCS gear: Dodgers | Brewers

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: Falling behind early in Game 6, Dave Roberts managed his bullpen thinking about Game 7. He didn't use closer Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez or Ryan Madson, and he gets another pretty good high-leverage arm with Game 5 winner Clayton Kershaw available for relief duty.

Brewers: It won't technically be a bullpen game, but semantics aside, it very well could end up that way. The Brewers will be even more hyper-aggressive deploying their relievers in Game 7's do-or-die setting, and they are perfectly set up to do so after winning Game 6 handily. Their 7-2 margin ensured they didn't have to use Josh Hader, meaning the fireman will be on three full days of rest and no restrictions. That plays completely into Craig Counsell's game plan

Video: NLCS Gm6: Counsell on having Hader for Game 7.

Should Milwaukee grab an early lead, Counsell would likely call on Hader and ride him as far as he can. And behind Hader, the Brewers are set up well. Jeremy Jeffress is coming off a scoreless outing. Joakim Soria will be rested after not pitching in Game 6. And Corey Knebel has been dominant this postseason, Friday's 1 2/3-innings effort providing the latest example. Knebel is likely the only member of the usual late-inning crew who might need to be used at all delicately.

"Best-case scenario for us," Counsell said. "You'll see [Hader on Saturday], for sure."

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: Roberts said it's all hands on deck.

Brewers: Corbin Burnes could be limited after throwing two innings Friday, and it may be a push to ask Knebel for five outs again. But if they have to, the Brewers will. It's win or go home.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Burnes retires Kemp to force a Game 7

Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: The one possibility is Pederson, who was hit by a 96-mph Knebel pitch on the right wrist in the sixth inning. He remained in and finished the game, struck out in the ninth inning and apparently did not have X-rays taken, but that doesn't mean it won't swell up and be sore Saturday.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Pederson stays in after getting hit on hand

Brewers: No.

Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: After going 0-for-5 as mostly a decoy, Freese homered and doubled against Wade Miley. Machado has done the most damage for the Dodgers this postseason, but he responded to a hostile Milwaukee crowd with an 0-for-4 and two strikeouts. L.A.'s position player with the highest average in the series is Taylor at .350. Muncy has 10 strikeouts in 18 at-bats.

Brewers: Cain is back to fueling the Brewers from the top of their order, going 4-for-his-last-9. Yelich doubled Friday, but it marked just his first extra-base hit of this series. Milwaukee hopes big Game 6 performances by Aguilar (3-for-5, 3 RBIs) and Moustakas (RBI double) were signs of more to come.

More than anything, Friday marked a departure from what had been a series-long struggle for the Brewers: hitting with runners in scoring position. They went 5-for-16 (.313) in those spots in Game 6, after entering play 5-for-their-last-35 in those situations.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Aguilar records 3 hits, 3 RBIs in Game 6

Anything else fans might want to know?
This is the first Game 7 in Milwaukee since the 1958 World Series, when the Milwaukee Braves lost to the Yankees, 6-2. … The only previous Game 7 in Brewers history was a 6-3 loss to the Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. ... The last NLCS Game 7 came in 2012, when the Giants beat the Cardinals at AT&T Park, 9-0. ... The last time the Dodgers won consecutive NL pennants was 1977-78; coincidentally those are also their two most recent World Series losses prior to last year.

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Jhoulys Chacin

NLCS going to Game 7 after Ryu, bats struggle

MLB.com @kengurnick

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers needed rookie Walker Buehler to win Game 163 and clinch the National League West, and now they need him to pitch them into the World Series after taking a 7-2 loss to the Brewers on Friday, forcing a decisive Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday at Miller Park.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Today, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers needed rookie Walker Buehler to win Game 163 and clinch the National League West, and now they need him to pitch them into the World Series after taking a 7-2 loss to the Brewers on Friday, forcing a decisive Game 7 of the NL Championship Series on Saturday at Miller Park.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Today, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

"Game 7 to get to a World Series," said Buehler. "I don't know if it gets more high stakes than that."

Buehler has shown this year he's pretty special, and he'll need to be once more. The only Dodgers rookie to start a Game 7 was Joe Black, who lost to the Yankees, 4-2, in 1952. Fernando Valenzuela started the winner-take-all Game 5 of the 1981 NLCS against Montreal (the Rick Monday homer game). The last MLB rookie to start a Game 7 was Daisuke Matsuzaka, who started Game 7 of the 2007 American League Championship Series for the Red Sox vs. the Indians.

"I think Walker is prepared for this moment," manager Dave Roberts said of Buehler, who allowed four runs in seven innings in Game 3.

The Dodgers are still one win away from back-to-back World Series appearances, but like most things Dodgers this year, it's going to come the hard way. They face Jhoulys Chacin, who beat Buehler in Game 3 with 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Los Angeles is 3-4 all time in Game 7's, and the home team is 6-3 all time in NLCS Game 7's.

They were hoping Hyun-Jin Ryu would again live up to his big-game reputation, but he allowed four two-out hits in a four-run first inning, the worst first inning for a Dodgers starter in the postseason since Hiroki Kuroda allowed four runs to the Phillies in Game 3 of the 2009 NLCS.

"I tried to get ahead in the count by using my offspeed pitches, but I left them hanging and I got punished for it," said Ryu. "I had the lead and felt good, but I couldn't do my job, and I feel terrible about it."

Video: NLCS Gm6: Ryu K's Shaw swinging in the 1st inning

Ryu, who had a 1.15 ERA at home during the regular season, had an 8.59 ERA in two road starts in this series. He was charged with five runs in three innings after having allowed no more than three earned runs in any of his starts this year. Ryu had allowed only three runs total in 17 first innings in 2018 until this one.

"They had a pretty good approach against him today, and they made him pay for soft stuff up in the zone," said catcher Austin Barnes.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Dodgers on looking forward to Game 7

As Ryu was unraveling, Roberts was already thinking the unthinkable -- Game 7.

"That's sort of the situation we were in. ... There's the thought of trying to go to your 'pen in the first or second inning, but there's a significant cost potentially for a potential Game 7," Roberts said. "So I just felt that we needed to get some more innings out of Hyun-Jin to keep our highest-leverage guys available for a potential Game 7."

Video: NLCS Gm6: Roberts discusses Ryu's struggles

Those "highest-leverage guys" in the bullpen -- closer Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez and Ryan Madson -- will be joined on Saturday by Game 5 starter Clayton Kershaw, who said he'll be ready for "whatever" after Rich Hill pitched in relief in Game 6.

Meanwhile, the Brewers won without using their best weapon, reliever Josh Hader. They were energized by a loud crowd and borrowed L.A.'s Game 5 strategy of spraying the ball. After chasing Ryu, they tacked on two runs against Kenta Maeda, one scoring in the seventh on a curveball that skipped past catcher Yasmani Grandal for a wild pitch, the other in the eighth charged to Maeda on Jesus Aguilar's two-out RBI single off Hill. Six of Milwaukee's seven runs scored with two outs.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Roberts on pitching matchup in Game 7

The 2009 Phillies are the last team to successfully defend an NL title. The Dodgers, who are trying to snap a streak of four consecutive defending NL champs that have been unsuccessful returning to the World Series, haven't been to the Fall Classic in back-to-back seasons since 1977-78.

The home team has gone 30-25 in all winner-take-all games in best-of-seven postseason series, including 11-5 in the LCS. In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, 32 teams have forced a Game 7 at home by taking a must-win Game 6. In 20 of those 32 instances (63 percent), that home club also won Game 7 and the series.

The Dodgers clinched the NLCS over the Cubs in five games a year ago to the day, and it quickly looked like there'd be a repeat. David Freese, surprisingly atop the batting order, led off the game with a home run off Wade Miley, echoing his three-run shot against the Brewers for the Cardinals in the first inning of Game 6 of the 2011 NLCS.

Freese adds another Game 6 HR to his resume

Video: NLCS Gm6: Freese leads off Game 6 with a home run

Miley stuck around longer than his one-batter start in Game 5, going 4 1/3 innings. Before leaving, he faced Freese a third time and Freese connected on an RBI double, rewarding Roberts for the latest in a series of unpredictable moves.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Freese hammers an RBI double to left-center

The side plot to this game was Manny Machado, treated like a villain by a loud Brewers crowd that was predictably hostile to him after he kicked first baseman Aguilar in Game 4. Machado went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, stranding three runners on base. More >

Video: NLCS Gm6: Crowd erupts after Miley fans Machado

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Freese's one-out RBI double in the top of the fifth made the score 5-2, and was followed by a Max Muncy walk that ended Miley's night. That meant the potential tying run was at the plate. Milwaukee brought in Corey Knebel to face the heart of Los Angeles' order, and he retired Justin Turner on a high fly to center, then struck out Machado.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Knebel fans Machado to escape a jam

SOUND SMART
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Freese's three career regular-season starts leading off are the fewest for a player who hit a leadoff homer in the postseason. He last led off a game July 30, 2016, for the Pirates and was 1-for-11 as a leadoff hitter. Freese's homer on Friday snapped a streak of 111 at-bats for the Dodgers without a home run.

HE SAID IT
"Since August we've been playing for our lives. So here we are again. This whole year we've played do-or-die situation. Nothing came easy for us this year." -- Jansen

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
Aguilar doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, and the Dodgers challenged the safe call at second base on the tag by Turner, but the call stood. Aguilar later scored on a wild pitch.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Aguilar beats throw to second, call stands

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Rookie pitchers who started Game 7

MLB.com

When Walker Buehler takes the mound for the Dodgers tonight in Milwaukee with the National League Championship Series on the line, he will become just the second rookie to start a winner-take-all Game 7 of an LCS matchup since the LCS was expanded from five to seven games in 1985.

In fact, dating back to the advent of the modern World Series in 1903, Buehler is only the 10th rookie to start a decisive Game 7 (or, in one case, a Game 8) in any playoff series, with the feat occurring, on average, approximately once a decade since the 1940s. Here's a look back at all of the other rookies who were trusted with their team's championship hopes hanging in the balance.

When Walker Buehler takes the mound for the Dodgers tonight in Milwaukee with the National League Championship Series on the line, he will become just the second rookie to start a winner-take-all Game 7 of an LCS matchup since the LCS was expanded from five to seven games in 1985.

In fact, dating back to the advent of the modern World Series in 1903, Buehler is only the 10th rookie to start a decisive Game 7 (or, in one case, a Game 8) in any playoff series, with the feat occurring, on average, approximately once a decade since the 1940s. Here's a look back at all of the other rookies who were trusted with their team's championship hopes hanging in the balance.

Daisuke Matsuzaka, Red Sox
2007 ALCS Game 7 vs. CLE
5.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 K, 0 BB, W

The pressure was on for Matsuzaka from the moment he inked his six-year, $52 million contract as a 26-year-old rookie prior to the 2007 season -- and it came to a head when then-Red Sox manager Terry Francona handed the Japanese phenom the ball for Game 7 of the American League Championship Series after the right-hander had turned in a pair of shaky performances in his first two playoff starts.

Yet after allowing four runs in 4 2/3 innings in Game 3, Matsuzaka set an early tone in Game 7 by retiring the first eight Indians hitters while Manny Ramirez and the Red Sox's lineup spotted him an early lead. It wasn't the cleanest outing -- he ran into runners in scoring position in each of his last three innings -- but he ultimately held the lead, and Boston finished Cleveland and swept Colorado for its seventh World Series title.

John Lackey, Anaheim Angels
2002 World Series Game 7 vs. SF
5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 1 BB, W

Lackey wasn't even the rookie that made the biggest impression for the Angels in the 2002 postseason -- that distinction belonged to a 20-year-old Francisco Rodriguez, who was called up in mid-September due to injuries before gathering five wins in the postseason as the youngest pitcher in the AL.

But it was Lackey, a midseason callup who didn't join the rotation until the end of June, that delivered the Halos their only World Series championship in franchise history. Lackey allowed a sacrifice fly to Reggie Sanders in the second inning before his lineup gave him a 4-1 lead by the third inning. He held that lead through five frames before the dominant Angels bullpen took over and secured the first win for a rookie pitcher in a Game 7 in nearly a century.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Lackey recalls winning it all in 2002

Jaret Wright, Indians
1997 World Series Game 7 vs. FLA
6.1 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 5 BB

Though he could have started ace and 20-game winner Charles Nagy with a championship on the line, Indians manager Mike Hargrove decided instead to hand the ball to Wright, his swaggering rookie 21-year-old, despite being on only three days' rest after his Game 4 victory, in which he'd allowed three runs in six innings. It turned out to be a good call.

Wright was wild but virtually unhittable through the first six innings, allowing a first-inning double to Edgar Renteria before holding the Marlins without another hit until the seventh, when Bobby Bonilla took him deep to trim Cleveland's lead to one run. Wright was pulled after his fifth walk of the game, and four innings later, Renteria drove in Craig Counsell for the series-winning walk-off run with Nagy on the mound.

Video: WS1997 Gm7: Wright limits Marlins to one over 6 1/3

Joe Magrane, Cardinals
1987 World Series Game 7 vs. MIN
4.1 IP, 2 ER, 4 K, 1 BB

The 22-year-old Magrane found a home in the Cardinals' rotation at the end of April 1987 and stuck, finishing third in the NL Rookie of the Year Award voting after leading St. Louis starters with a 3.54 ERA. (The 6-foot-6 lefty even stole home that year against the Dodgers, though it was erased after the game was rained out.) The rookie got the start for Game 7 after getting tagged for five runs in three innings in Game 1 and fared better the second time around, as he exited after a Greg Gagne single with a 2-1 lead in the fifth inning, but was charged with a second run when Kirby Puckett immediately doubled Gagne in. Todd Worrell allowed two late runs to the Twins, and Frank Viola went eight innings to give Minnesota its first World Series championship.

Video: #WeKnowPostseason: Magrane starts World Series Game 7

Mel Stottlemyre, Yankees
1964 World Series Game 7 vs. STL
4.0 IP, 3 ER, 2 K, 2 BB, L

Stottlemyre, a midseason callup by the Yankees in 1964, matched up against the Cardinals' Bob Gibson three times in the seven-game World Series. He got the better of the Hall of Famer in Game 2, holding the Cards to three runs in a complete-game effort. Stottlemyre took the loss in Game 5 despite only allowing one earned run in seven innings, and the rookie returned to the mound in a do-or-die Game 7. After three scoreless frames, the Cardinals got to him for three runs in the fourth that ended his night. St. Louis won that game, 7-5, and Gibson was named series MVP.

Video: Yankees honor Stottlemyre in Monument Park

Joe Black, Brooklyn Dodgers
1952 World Series Game 7 vs. NYY
5.1 IP, 3 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, L

Joe Black, a former Negro Leagues pitcher who was called up to the big leagues in 1952, won the NL Rookie of the Year Award with 15 wins, 15 saves and a 2.15 ERA for the Dodgers in the regular season. Black then started three times in seven days in the World Series against the Yankees; he hurled a complete-game victory in the series opener, then took the loss despite allowing just one run in seven innings in Game 4. Black gave up three runs in 5 1/3 frames in Game 7 as the Dodgers ceded the championship to New York.

Spec Shea, Yankees
1947 World Series Game 7 vs. BRO
1.1 IP, 2 ER, 0 K, 1 BB

The 1947 World Series featured a pair of promising young rookies in Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodger who integrated the big leagues, and Spec Shea, an All-Star in his first season with the Yankees. Robinson won MLB's Rookie of the Year Award, but it was Shea who won the title. The right-hander held the Dodgers to four runs in 15 1/3 innings (2.35 ERA) and was the winning pitcher in Games 1 and 5. He started the Game 7 clincher on two days' rest, but was pulled after 1 1/3 innings after Brooklyn tagged him for a pair of runs. Joe Page pitched five one-hit innings in relief, and the Yanks won their 11th title.

Hugh Bedient, Red Sox
1912 World Series Game 8 vs. NYG
7.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 K, 3 BB

Bedient enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign in 1912, winning 20 games and posting a 2.92 ERA through 41 games (28 starts). That carried over to the postseason, when Bedient allowed just one earned run to the New York Giants in 18 innings of work, including a complete game victory in Game 5. The Red Sox handed the ball to their star rookie hurler in the decisive Game 8, and Bedient delivered as Boston claimed its second championship. He held the Giants to one run and six hits in seven innings, and the Red Sox won in walk-off fashion in the 10th.

Babe Adams, Pirates
1909 World Series Game 7 vs. DET
9.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB, W

Babe Adams broke out with a dominant turn in the Pirates' pitching staff in 1909, going 12-3 with a 1.11 ERA, prompting the Bucs to hand him the ball for three starts in the World Series against Detroit. Adams responded by pitching three complete-game victories, including a shutout in the decisive Game 7. Adams became the first rookie to start Game 7 of the World Series and held the Tigers to six hits and one walk with a strikeout.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Four X-factors to decide who wins NL pennant

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- A complicated, fascinating National League Championship Series reaches the only logical conclusion on Saturday, when the Dodgers and Brewers play the first NLCS Game 7 since 2012.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- A complicated, fascinating National League Championship Series reaches the only logical conclusion on Saturday, when the Dodgers and Brewers play the first NLCS Game 7 since 2012.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

It's certainly true that one baseball game can turn on just about anything, and it's often something or someone unforeseen that wins or loses a single game. But even so, a few unknowns stand above the rest when it comes to the most likely determining factors in tonight's game.

With that in mind, MLB.com's crew at the series presents four questions that we believe will determine the outcome of Game 7.

Joe Trezza: How will the Brewers use Josh Hader?
It is the question that's loomed over every one of the Brewers' games this October, and it'll loom larger than ever tonight, with Hader on three days' rest and Milwaukee in a must-win situation. In what's been a constant chess match of an NLCS, Hader has been manager Craig Counsell's ultimate trump card, able to be deployed at any point in a game and for multiple innings.

The X-factor of this series now becomes the X-factor of Game 7, so much so that there was buzz suggesting Hader should start, ensuring the Brewers don't fall behind without using him. He won't, officially. Jhoulys Chacin is scheduled to start. But given the trickery that Milwaukee pulled with Wade Miley in Game 5, nothing is off the table. What's guaranteed is that Hader will be ready for both best- and worst-case scenarios, whether Chacin finds trouble early or is spotted an early lead.

Hader well-rested for must-win finale

"You'll see him [tonight]," Counsell warned, acknowledging the one thing we all do know.

NLCS gear: Dodgers | Brewers

Video: NLCS Gm6: Counsell on having Hader for Game 7

Todd Zolecki: Will Manny Machado show why he should be a $300 million man with a big Game 7?
Machado has drawn plenty of unwanted attention in the NLCS. He did not run hard down the first-base line on a play in Game 2. Machado said in a FS1 interview that he will never be "Johnny Hustle" and that running hard and sliding into bases is not his "cup of tea." He then made contact with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4, sparking a heated exchange and clearing both bullpens and benches. Afterward Christian Yelich called Machado a "dirty player." Machado then went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in Game 6 as Milwaukee fans showered him with boos.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Machado on Game 6 loss, handling the boos

Machado can repair some of the damage with a big performance in Game 7. This is why the Dodgers got him, isn't it? For moments like this? This is why Machado will be one of the most coveted players in free agency this offseason, right?

Video: Dodgers, Brewers are ready for Game 7 of the NLCS

Ken Gurnick: Is rookie Walker Buehler ready for The Moment?
The stuff is electric, the confidence is off the charts and he stepped up big-time in Game 163 to clinch a division title. But Game 7 is an entirely different animal, and Buehler is a rookie. He hasn't pitched like one, with the most glaring exception being the five-run second inning of Game 3 in the NL Division Series at a noisy SunTrust Park in Atlanta.

Miller Park was loud in Game 6, and the Brewers gave fans an assist for energizing their dugout. The noise also seemed to have gotten to Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu, so Buehler's composure will be tested. Pitching at home in Game 3 against Chacin, Buehler struck out eight but allowed four runs in seven innings, including a homer to Orlando Arcia, a triple to Travis Shaw and doubles to Ryan Braun and Erik Kratz. There's a reason why it's been 11 years since the last rookie (Daisuke Matsuzaka) started a Game 7.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Walker Buehler discusses starting Game 7

Adam McCalvy: Can the Brewers' offense do that again?
"We've got to do a little better job offensively," Counsell said after another quiet hitting performance in Game 5, an understated way to sum up the story of the series from Milwaukee's point of view. The Brewers came home 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position in the NLCS, with Yelich in a 3-for-20 funk, Mike Moustakas 2-for-21 and Aguilar a quiet 4-for-18.

Then came the first inning of Game 6, when Milwaukee tallied five hits -- including three in a row with men in scoring position -- to take a 4-1 lead in a game that never got closer than three runs the rest of the way. By the time the day was done, the Brewers had 11 hits to match their series high from a win in Game 1, with all of those hitters playing significant roles.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Brewers plate 4 runs in the 1st inning

Can Milwaukee carry it over against Buehler?

"Really, since Game 1, I thought it was the first time we really did a heck of a job getting out pitch to hit a lot of the night," Counsell said.

"It's encouraging for us to move into tomorrow," Braun said on Friday night.

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Josh Hader, Manny Machado

Freese adds to Game 6 lore with leadoff HR

Dodgers first baseman also hits RBI double in 7-2 loss
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a hunch about David Freese in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts had a hunch about David Freese in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series on Friday night.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

Roberts started Freese at leadoff for just the fourth time in his 10-year career and the first time since 2016 -- ostensibly with matchups on his mind, but maybe history, too. Freese promptly opened the game by crushing a home run to right-center field against Brewers left-hander Wade Miley at Miller Park.

Freese doubled in the fifth inning to plate Los Angeles' only other run in the 7-2 loss to Milwaukee, resulting in a decisive Game 7 tonight.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Freese hammers an RBI double to left-cente

Freese has hit nine home runs in his postseason career, three of them in Game 6s. He went 3-for-4 with one home run and three RBIs in Game 6 of the 2011 NLCS, when the Cardinals beat the Brewers to clinch a trip to the World Series. Freese went 2-for-5 with one triple, one home run and three RBIs in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, when the Cards beat the Rangers in 11 innings, 10-9.

Freese tripled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to score two runs and tie the game against Texas. He then hit a walk-off homer against Mark Lowe in the 11th to win it.

Freese left the game in the fifth when pitcher Alex Wood entered the game, taking his spot in the lineup.

Todd Zolecki has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, David Freese

Machado looks past boos: 'I just want a W'

Shortstop finishes 0-for-4 in Dodgers' 7-2 loss in Game 6
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

MILWAUKEE -- Manny Machado was not interested in acknowledging Brewers fans or their boos in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- Manny Machado was not interested in acknowledging Brewers fans or their boos in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 7: Tonight, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FS1

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But Machado heard them. And he heard the "Manny sucks!" chants. It is fair to wonder if they affected Machado in a 7-2 loss on Friday night to Milwaukee, which forced tonight's decisive Game 7.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Machado, who became Milwaukee's postseason villain following a controversial collision with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium, went 0-for-4 on a night that the Dodgers' 2-3-4-5 hitters went a combined 1-for-15 with one walk and five strikeouts.

As the crowd erupted when Machado struck out in his first at-bat, he appeared to make a "louder" motion with his hands before entering the dugout.

"It was a tough loss for us today," said Machado, when asked about the hostile crowd. "We have to come back tomorrow and play better baseball."

But did the boos bother Machado? He entered the game hitting .316 (6-for-19) with one double, one home run, three RBIs and a .935 OPS in the first five games of the series. Machado struck out swinging with a runner on first and one out in the first inning, popped out to shortstop in the third, struck out swinging with runners on first and second and two outs to end the fifth and grounded out with one out in the eighth.

"We lost the game, you know?" Machado responded. "We didn't hit. We didn't execute. We've got to do a better job tomorrow. Tomorrow it's leave it on the line, leave everything on the field."

If there is any chance Machado was rattled, he would not admit it. He was asked several times about being booed and his reaction, but he never directly answered the question. But the boos were loud and they grew louder with each and every at-bat, reaching a crescendo in the eighth inning.

"That was loud," Aguilar said. "The fans, they did what they think they needed to do. They did it tonight. I think it [put] on a little pressure and that was good for us."

Machado dragged his left leg into Aguilar on a groundout in Game 4. It looked intentional, although Machado denied it. Afterward, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich called Machado "dirty" and dropped a couple expletives, firing up Milwaukee fans who had their first opportunity to tell Machado how they felt.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado, Aguilar argue, later makeup

"I can't speak for Manny, but sometimes I think that makes the game more fun," Los Angeles left fielder Chris Taylor said. "When the crowd is into it, you can kind of build off that."

"Boos don't bother me, boos don't bother him," Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen said. "Fans don't bother me. I don't think they bother any of these guys. It just makes us more locked in. If it's me they're booing, it makes me locked in even more."

Video: NLCS Gm6: Crowd erupts after Miley fans Machado

If Machado was locked in Friday, he did not have his best game. The Brewers' pitching probably deserves some credit for that.

So, Manny, one more time: How much would you personally love to silence Milwaukee fans and break their hearts with a big Game 7?

"I just want a 'W,' I just want a 'W.' That's all we want," Machado said. "Get them tomorrow. We've got one more game. We know we've got one of our best pitchers on the mound. I think we like our odds."

Video: NLCS Gm6: Dodgers on looking forward to Game 7

Todd Zolecki has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado

Almost predictable: A Game 6 HR for Freese

The Dodgers got out to an early 1-0 lead in NLCS Game 6 against the Brewers on Friday after David Freese hit a leadoff home run off Wade Miley that just kept on carrying right on over the right-center-field wall:

Here's what Dodgers did in AFL on Friday

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Friday:

Gameday: Glendale 1, Salt River 0 | Peoria 3, Scottsdale 1 | Surprise 3, Mesa 1

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Friday:

Gameday: Glendale 1, Salt River 0 | Peoria 3, Scottsdale 1 | Surprise 3, Mesa 1

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., baseball's No. 1 prospect, went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk, batting .517 so far in AFL play. Meanwhile, Blue Jays No. 9 prospect Cavan Biggio went 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI. Shortstop Santiago Espinal, Toronto's No. 23 prospect, went 1-for-4 with a single, his first AFL hit for the season. Left-hander Shawn Morimando started and tossed 2 2/3 innings, giving up a run on two hits, walking two and striking out three. And right-hander Zach Jackson added two scoreless innings in relief, striking out two.

Orioles (Glendale)
Ryan McKenna, Baltimore's No. 12 prospect, was 2-for-3 and is now hitting .313. Second baseman Steve Wilkerson struck out twice, as did catcher Martin Cervenka.

Rays (Peoria)
Lucius Fox (Rays No. 9 prospect) boosted his average to .419 with a couple of hits, finishing 2-for-4 with a run scored. Joe McCarthy (No. 17) drove in a pair of runs, bringing his Fall League total to four. Ryan Boldt (No. 25) went 1-for-4. Phoenix Sanders gave up just one hit in two innings, but it was enough to bring home a run.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Red Sox (Mesa)
Bobby Dalbec, Boston's No. 6 prospect, played first base and went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, and DH Josh Ockimey -- the Red Sox No. 10 prospect -- didn't fare better, also going 0-for-4 with a strikeout in the contest.

Yankees (Glendale)
First baseman Steven Sensely provided most of the excitement in the game that gave the Glendale Desert Dogs their first win of this Fall League season. He doubled on a sharp ground ball to center fielder Brian Miller, going 1-for-3 with one RBI and hitting .214. Estevan Florial, the No. 45 overall prospect and New York's No. 2 prospect, struck out twice and walked.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Yu Chang, Cleveland's No. 6 prospect, accounted for the game's only run with a single in the bottom of the fifth inning. Chang went 2-for-3 and is hitting .261.

Royals (Surprise)
Kansas City's No. 2 prospect, center fielder Khalil Lee, went 0-for-4 but did drive in an insurance run in the ninth inning with an RBI groundout. And right fielder Nick Heath went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run scored out of the leadoff spot.

Tigers (Mesa)
Daz Cameron, Detroit's No. 8 prospect, played right field and had a quiet game at the plate, going 0-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts. Third baseman Daniel Pinero was 0-for-4.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3. Left fielder Jaylin Davis went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. Griffin Jax allowed a run and three hits.

White Sox (Glendale)
White Sox No. 28 prospect Laz Rivera helped the Desert Dogs get their first win of the season, going 1-for-3. Rivera is hitting .222. Left-hander Tanner Banks pitched four innings and allowed only three hits.

AL West


A's (Mesa)
Left fielder Luis Barrera went 1-for-3 with a walk, and a trio of right-handers combined for three innings out of the bullpen. Sam Sheehan pitched in the fourth and gave up a run on two walks. Angel Duno walked one and gave up a run in the eighth, and Calvin Coker gave up an unearned run in the ninth, allowing a hit while walking one and striking out one.

Angels (Mesa)
A pair of right-handers in the Angels system pitched out of the bullpen, with Daniel Procopio tossing a scoreless fifth and sixth innings (one hit, one strikeout), and Brett Hanewich adding a scoreless seventh (one hit).

Astros (Scottsdale)
Drew Ferguson went 1-for-3.

Mariners (Peoria)
Anthony Misiewicz (Mariners No. 27 prospect) bounced back from a rough Fall League debut with a scoreless start for the Javelinas. The lefty cruised through four innings, yielding just one hit. Evan White (No. 2) went 0-for-4. Joe DeCarlo was 2-for-4 with an RBI to bring his average up to .308. Chris Mariscal went 1-for-3.

Rangers (Surprise)
Texas' No. 2 prospect and the No. 56 prospect overall, Juan Pablo Martinez served as the designated hitter and went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. First baseman Yanio Perez was 0-for-4, but did score a run.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Thomas Burrows, Braves No. 19 prospect, fired two scoreless frames in relief, lowering his Fall League ERA to 3.38. Adam McCreery picked up the save as he retired the side in order in the ninth. Izzy Wilson went 0-for-3 and drew a walk.

Marlins (Salt River)
Monte Harrison, MLB's No. 76 overall prospect and Marlins No. 1 prospect, went 1-for-3, striking out twice. Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller went 0-for-4 and is hitting .182. Bryson Brigman, the Marlins' No. 26 prospect, went 0-for-3.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso saw his Fall League average drop to .333 as he went 0-for-4, his second straight hitless game. Andres Gimenez (No. 1) also had a rough go of it and continues to struggle in Arizona. After going 0-for-4, he's hitting just .154. Desmond Lindsay (No. 11) was also 0-for-3 at the plate. Gerson Bautista pitched 1 2/3 innings and gave up one run on two hits. However, Joe Zanghi didn't have the same success on the mound as he gave up two runs on three hits. Matt Blackham finished the game and gave up a hit in a scoreless ninth.

Nationals (Salt River)
Washington No. 15 prospect Tres Barrera was 0-for-3.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Tyler Viza put together his second strong start of the AFL. After throwing three scoreless in his first outing, Viza upped the ante with four innings of one-hit ball this time around. Seth McGarry followed Viza on the mound and was equally effective. The right-hander did give up three hits, but he also struck out three in 1 1/3 innings. Arquimedes Gamboa (No. 11) extended his hitting streak to five games with a 1-for-2 game. Taylor Listi came into the game as a defensive replacement but didn't get an at-bat.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers top prospect Keston Hiura put together his third multihit game of the Fall League and is hitting .333 after the 2-for-4 performance. Trent Grisham (No. 19) went 0-for-2 but reached base via a walk.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Right-hander Connor Greene, the Cardinals' No. 27 prospect, pitched 2 1/3 scoreless frames of relief, yielding one hit while walking two and fanning three. Left fielder Lane Thomas turned in a 1-for-2 performance with a single, walk and RBI. Catcher Jeremy Martinez also singled and walked while going 1-for-3.

Cubs (Mesa)
Chicago's No. 6 prospect, second baseman Nico Hoerner, had a rough game at the plate, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Center field D.J. Wilson, the Cubs' No. 16 prospect, led off and went 1-for-3 with a single and a walk. No. 29 prospect Trent Giambrone started at shortstop and homered as part of a 2-for-3 performance. Catcher Johnny Pereda was 0-for-2 with a walk, and right-hander Erick Leal started and turned in three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and fanning two.

Pirates (Surprise)

Left-hander Blake Weiman picked up a six-out save for Surprise, entering in the eighth inning and yielding one hit while striking out two over two scoreless frames.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds No. 3 prospect Taylor Trammell tripled and scored, but that was it as he finished 1-for-4. Alfredo Rodriguez (No. 23) went 0-for-4 and Mark Kolozsvary went 1-for-3.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
Pavin Smith, the No. 6 overall first base prospect and Diamondbacks No. 4 prospect, went 1-for-4. Arizona's No. 9 prospect Drew Ellis went 1-for-3 and is hitting .250.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Keibert Ruiz, the Dodgers' No. 2 prospect and No. 39 overall, went 0-for-3. Left fielder Cody Thomas was 0-for-3.

Giants (Scottsdale)
C.J. Hinojosa, the Giants No. 28 prospect, went 0-for-3 and is hitting .111 through four games.

Rockies (Salt River)
First baseman Josh Fuentes, the 2018 Triple-A All-Star Game MVP, made several nice defensive plays and went 1-for-4.

LA's in-season adds fulfilling October mission

Postseason veteran Madson stabilizing bullpen; Machado, Freese sparking offense
MLB.com @kengurnick

MILWAUKEE -- At the Aug. 31 deadline to acquire postseason-eligible players, the talent-rich Dodgers added a 38-year-old relief pitcher with a 5.28 ERA that nobody else wanted because he cleared waivers. What in the world were they thinking?

They were thinking that Ryan Madson could help get them right back to the World Series, which will happen if they beat the Brewers on Friday or Saturday in the final two games of the National League Championship Series.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- At the Aug. 31 deadline to acquire postseason-eligible players, the talent-rich Dodgers added a 38-year-old relief pitcher with a 5.28 ERA that nobody else wanted because he cleared waivers. What in the world were they thinking?

They were thinking that Ryan Madson could help get them right back to the World Series, which will happen if they beat the Brewers on Friday or Saturday in the final two games of the National League Championship Series.

View Full Game Coverage

The club's five second-half acquisitions were meant not only to help win a tougher-than-expected sixth consecutive NL West title, but to win out in the October obstacle course.

"It was definitely a factor," general manager Farhan Zaidi said. "We made deals in the midst of a tight race, and the priority is to just get into the postseason. But once you're there, there's a special pressure involved and you want players on your 25-man roster that can handle it. That's part of the equation."

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

The 5-for-1 blockbuster that landed superstar shortstop Manny Machado from the Orioles at the All-Star break was the obvious focal point for an offense that missed injured shortstop Corey Seager. But roster tweaking also added right-handed hitters David Freese and Brian Dozier, as well as right-handed relievers Madson and John Axford. All were rentals eligible for free agency after this season, all previously played in the spotlight of the postseason.

Machado, in his third postseason, has homered in both postseason series and driven in a team-high nine total runs. Freese's postseason heroics are legendary, and they continued to mount against the Braves in the NL Division Series, although he's been more of a threat than a force against Milwaukee (0-for-5 in five games).

Dodgers-Brewers G6: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

Dozier hit a career-low .215 this year, but he homered in his only postseason game during his time with Minnesota, and he has already driven in two runs against the Brewers. Axford had a 1.42 ERA in 12 postseason games, but his right leg was broken by a line drive in his third outing, and he hasn't been a factor.

But Madson, who has the equivalent of an entire season in just postseason play (52 appearances -- fourth all time -- and 66 strikeouts), has rounded out a bullpen that spent the entire season trying to find answers for the departures of Brandon Morrow and Tony Watson and the shoulder injuries that ruined the seasons of free-agent signing Tom Koehler and Tony Cingrani.

Gear up for the NLCS

Video: NLCS Gm2: Madson fans Aguilar, strands 2 in 5th

Barely used in September (8 1/3 innings), Madson has become manager Dave Roberts' first responder for emergencies in his seventh postseason series. Madson has pitched in four of the five NLCS games after appearing twice in the NLDS, and in all six he entered mid-inning, four times with runners on base.

"A guy that's been in as many postseasons as he has understands what it takes to get ready and not let the moment get too big," said Roberts. "He had the worst numbers of his career, but our guys saw the value of low-hanging fruit, and it's paid off huge for us."

Offensively, Freese has made a greater impact than Dozier, but both have provided Roberts with right-handed options that allow the Dodgers to essentially make in-game "line changes" depending on the throwing arm of the next opposing pitcher.

Video: LAD@ATL Gm4: Freese plates 2 on pinch-hit single

And that can prompt unconventional pre-emptive moves from opponents, the most unconventional being the fake starting pitcher Craig Counsell deployed in a losing cause in Game 5, which gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Madson trade is a case study in the contrarian approach of Dodgers management, with a twist. They ignored a lengthy medical history that included two Tommy John operations and two stints on the disabled list this year for chest and back problems. They clocked him in the mid-90s once off the DL and dealt a Minor Leaguer to get him.

But even when the trade was announced, Roberts talked about the value Madson's two World Series rings (2008 Phillies, '15 Royals) bring for the experience, compared to a relatively young Dodgers bullpen. And Zaidi agreed there's a human element that really comes into play when the games are the most important.

"Having been deep into the postseason, I've gained an appreciation for guys that are unaffected by the spotlight and who rise to the occasion and we try to identify them," Zaidi said. "It's A, experience; and B, success in the big moment, and we've seen that it creates positive momentum."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Brian Dozier, David Freese, Manny Machado, Ryan Madson

Rams' Gurley wears Machado jersey to presser

Rams running back Todd Gurley has roots in Baltimore. Spending so much time in the area, he became rather enamored with watching Orioles star Manny Machado do his thing at in the infield and at the plate. 

In 2015, he was drafted by the Rams, then in St. Louis, and began his pro football career. Flash forward three years, Gurley is playing in Los Angeles after the Rams relocated, and Machado now calls the city home after he was dealt to the Dodgers over the summer.

Utley familiar with postseason villain role

Veteran infielder believes Machado can thrive despite potential distractions
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley is one of the very few people in baseball who knows what Manny Machado might feel on Friday when he steps onto the field at Miller Park for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

Utley has been the villain, too.

LOS ANGELES -- Chase Utley is one of the very few people in baseball who knows what Manny Machado might feel on Friday when he steps onto the field at Miller Park for Game 6 of the National League Championship Series.

Utley has been the villain, too.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Utley famously took out Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada on a hard slide into second base in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS at Dodger Stadium. The play broke Tejada's leg. The controversy surrounding it prompted Major League Baseball to create a rule to better protect infielders. It became known as the Chase Utley Rule. But in the immediate aftermath of an emotionally charged series, New York fans wanted retribution. Utley expected that. He expected to be booed when the series moved to Citi Field in Queens for Games 3 and 4.

Utley did not, however, expect death threats against his family.

"I mean, from a personal perspective, it was not the best of times," Utley said on Wednesday at Dodger Stadium. "I'm all for the home team booing the opposing player and giving him a hard time. But not when it extends past the baseball field, when it gets a little out of hand."

Machado is likely to be booed following an altercation with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar in Game 4, but the vitriol from Crew fans is unlikely to match the levels in New York. Machado dragged his left leg over Aguilar's right leg on a play at first base. It appeared intentional. Aguilar and Machado exchanged words. Benches and bullpens cleared, but nobody threw punches and nobody got hurt.

Aguilar and Machado later appeared to patch things up.

Still, Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich afterward called it a "dirty play by a dirty player." He then dropped a couple expletives, making his feelings about Machado perfectly clear. Some of Yelich's teammates seem to feel the same way.

Machado essentially has shrugged his shoulders about the entire incident. He never apologized. In fact, he does not think he did anything wrong. If he is going to join Utley, Nyjer Morgan (remember "Alberta" Pujols in the 2011 NLCS?) and Roger Clemens (who chucked a broken bat toward Mike Piazza in the '00 World Series) and others as postseason villains, he seems perfectly fine with it.

Video: Must C Collision: Utley's hard slide injures Tejada

"I mean, I'm expecting to go out there and win," Machado said, asked if he expects to be booed in Milwaukee. "That's what I'm expecting."

Do boos bother Machado?

"I'm expecting to go win," Machado repeated. "I want to go win. I've got one more game to win to get where we want to go."

The boos never bothered Utley.

Video: LAD@NYM Gm3: Utley booed, Tejada cheered in intros

"They were loud," Utley said. "But to be honest with you, I was kind of used to that playing in New York so often, the rivalry that [the Phillies] had with the Mets. So from that aspect, it was similar. You try to tune out as much as you can and focus on whatever you're doing on the field. As a big leaguer, I think what separates the men from the boys are the guys that can tune that out."

Utley expects Machado to be just fine in front of Wisconsin's finest. Who knows? Maybe they motivate him.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado on altercation with Aguilar

"I think anytime you can quiet the crowd, it makes you feel good," Utley said. "I would imagine it will be status quo. He'll go about his business the same way. Obviously, he's had a lot of attention even prior to this, just because of the type of player he is. He's a talented player. I don't think it'll be a distraction."

So what did Utley think about Machado's run-in with Aguilar?

"I didn't talk to him about it, but I mean, I don't care, honestly," Utley said. "Nothing bothers me, really."

Machado seems to feel the same way, too.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Machado, Chase Utley

Jansen nominated for NL Reliever of the Year

Diaz, Treinen, Kimbrel in AL; Hader, Jansen, Davis in NL