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Bellinger delivers walk-off in 13th to tie NLCS

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Who knew Cody Bellinger would turn into Justin Turner late Tuesday night?

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 PT on FS1

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LOS ANGELES -- Who knew Cody Bellinger would turn into Justin Turner late Tuesday night?

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Three innings after his spectacular outfield catch saved Game 4 for the Dodgers, Bellinger won it with the clutch hit of a lifetime. His two-out RBI single in the bottom of the 13th inning scored a hustling Manny Machado from second base as the Dodgers outlasted the Brewers, 2-1, in a thrilling and bullpen-exhausting walk-off to even the National League Championship Series at two games each.

"I think it's seeing our guys persevere through that game," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, explaining why he joined the Bellinger party mob scene in left field. "But I just -- understanding and seeing what Cody has been going through and really just wearing it and the weight of the world on him."

Bellinger had turned into a strikeout machine in the World Series last year and was lugging around an .048 average in this postseason. Few Dodgers needed a big hit more.

A series momentum changer?

"Definitely," said Bellinger. "We've got [Clayton] Kershaw on the mound tomorrow, we like our chances."

The Dodgers are 4-8 in a best-of-seven series when tied 2-2, while the Brewers are 0-2. Teams in the position of the Dodgers in a best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format -- tied 2-2, home for Game 5, on the road for Games 6 and 7 -- have gone on to win the series 23 of 54 times (43 percent).

The win had added strategic importance for the Dodgers, because the Brewers used wipeout reliever Josh Hader in a loss. It was his second consecutive appearance and his fastball was two miles an hour slower than Monday night, leaving his availability to pitch in Game 5 uncertain.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Hader strands 2 with a K after 2 replays

"You lose that game, extra innings, at home, go down 3-1, it's not a very good feeling with the quick turnaround tomorrow," said Turner, the Dodgers' Mr. October, who turned in a handful of defensive gems at third base. "It's something we had to get done. Belly, what an incredible at-bat he had, laying off tough pitches and finding a hole."

After causing a furor with his explanation for not hustling earlier in the series -- and nearly mixing it up with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar on a play at first base in the 10th inning -- Machado was 0-for-5 with one out in the 13th when he reached first base on a broken-bat single to left off Junior Guerra, who was in his fourth inning of relief.

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

With two outs, Machado was heads-up on the first breaking ball to Bellinger in the dirt and aggressively advanced to second on what turned out to be a pivotal wild pitch blocked by catcher Erik Kratz. Trying to extend his lead off second base with Bellinger up, Machado was nearly picked off. Bellinger worked the count to 3-2 and rifled a slider past diving first baseman Jesus Aguilar and into right field, Machado racing home and sliding his hand under the tag after a strong throw from Christian Yelich.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado dives back in to second in the 13th

The Dodgers mobbed Bellinger, chasing him into left field. Only two players have had a walk-off hit in the postseason at a younger age than Bellinger's 23 years and 95 days: Edgar Renteria with the 1997 Marlins (twice) and Carlos Correa with the 2017 Astros.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Roberts, Bellinger, Machado on Game 4 win

"It's probably a feeling you won't forget, seeing your guys chase after you," said Bellinger. "Honestly, I was surprised that they were throwing to me, I thought they would pitch around me and get me to swing. Once I saw they were attacking me, it was just kind of grind mode and do what you can to put the ball in play and try to end the game.

"I've been seeing [back-foot sliders] so much now that if you keep seeing it you're going to get used to it. And I'm a different hitter than I was last year. I've learned a lot."

Video: NLCS Gm4: Bellinger on walk-off, Roberts greeting him

With Yasmani Grandal and the pitcher's spot following Bellinger, Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said intentionally walking Bellinger wasn't a strong consideration.

"I thought it was worth the risk of trying to expand to Bellinger, and if the at-bat goes to Grandal, we walk Grandal," he said.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Counsell on pitching to Bellinger in 13th

For most of the 13 innings, both offenses went nowhere, with the Dodgers striking out 17 times (a franchise postseason record) and going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position until Bellinger's hit. The Brewers went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Peralta strikes out 6 over 3 no-hit innings

Despite the missed scoring opportunities, the Dodgers got big-time efforts from all over the place, among them: Starting pitcher Rich Hill allowed one run in five innings; Brian Dozier delivered a clutch RBI single in the first inning, Bellinger's ridiculous layout dive-and-slide catch in right field, where he never started this year; postseason veteran reliever Ryan Madson put down another brushfire; and closer Kenley Jansen pitched two scoreless innings, his longest appearance since last year's World Series.

Rich Hill destroys candy in Dodgers dugout

Video: NLCS Gm4: Jansen strikes out 2, allows just 1 hit

Jansen was one of eight Dodgers relievers who combined to throw eight scoreless innings as Roberts emptied his bullpen. Julio Urias, the 22-year-old coming off shoulder surgery who was added to the roster for this series, pitched around a one-out single by Ryan Braun in the 13th inning and was credited with the victory.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Urias freezes Moustakas in the 13th

Roberts said scheduled Game 6 starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was headed to the bullpen when the game ended.

"So, I guess the poker reference -- we were all in," he said.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Roberts on Bellinger's walk-off hit in 13th

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Plenty to choose from, but not to be overlooked was the one out Madson got, inheriting a runner on third base and two outs in the seventh inning and retiring Lorenzo Cain on a groundout on one pitch. Madson was virtually a non-factor after the Dodgers acquired him Aug. 31, but he's allowed one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings in the postseason while stranding six of nine inherited runners.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Madson retires Cain, preserves tie in 7th

SOUND SMART
At 13 innings it was the longest NLCS game by innings since the Dodgers and Cardinals went 13 innings in 2013. At five hours and 15 minutes, it was the second-longest NLCS game by time, surpassed only by Game 5 in 1999 between the Mets and Braves at 5:46.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Bellinger's diving catch in the 10th was spectacular and critical. He had a 17 percent catch probability on the play, according to Statcast™, and he almost certainly saved extra bases by catching it. Two batters later, Ryan Braun singled, a ball that might well have scored Cain and potentially delivered a Brewers win.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Bellinger dives, makes low-probability grab

HE SAID IT
"I knew I had a shot at it. I played right field in the Minor Leagues a lot before I started playing center field. I haven't been there much lately. But it's kind of like riding a bike. I saw it hanging up there and ran as fast as I could and dove for it." -- Bellinger, on his catch

Video: NLCS Gm4: Bellinger discusses his superb grab in 10th

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Brewers used both of their challenges during a single Brian Dozier at-bat in the decisive eighth inning, first asking the umpires to look for fan interference on a foul ball down the right-field line, where Yelich attempted a sliding catch. The original non-call stood.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Dozier smacks a foul ball, call stands

Then, after Dozier grounded into a fielder's choice and narrowly got to first base to avoid an inning-ending double play, the Brewers challenged again. A challenge covers the totality of the play, so replay officials examined whether Muncy had violated the slide rule at second base, and whether Dozier reached first in time. In both cases, the original calls were confirmed.

Video: NLCS Gm4: No interference, safe call confirmed in 8th

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

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger, Rich Hill

Sox ride Eovaldi's gem, JBJ's slam to ALCS lead

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

HOUSTON -- The most legendary flame-thrower from Alvin, Texas -- or perhaps anywhere -- was sitting in the front row of the stands behind home plate, a direct line from the pitcher's mound.

But the man on the mound for the Red Sox was the most impactful Alvin native during Tuesday's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. With Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan looking on, Nathan Eovaldi pumped in fastballs between 95.5 and 101 mph as the Sox recorded an 8-2 victory over the Astros to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

View Full Game Coverage

HOUSTON -- The most legendary flame-thrower from Alvin, Texas -- or perhaps anywhere -- was sitting in the front row of the stands behind home plate, a direct line from the pitcher's mound.

But the man on the mound for the Red Sox was the most impactful Alvin native during Tuesday's Game 3 of the American League Championship Series. With Hall of Famer Nolan Ryan looking on, Nathan Eovaldi pumped in fastballs between 95.5 and 101 mph as the Sox recorded an 8-2 victory over the Astros to take a 2-1 lead in this best-of-seven series.

View Full Game Coverage

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 4: Tonight, 8:39 ET on TBS

Video: ALCS Gm3: Eovaldi on his outing in team's Game 3 win

Eovaldi was so focused on catcher Christian Vazquez's mitt that he never did catch a glimpse of MLB's all-time strikeout leader.

"No, I assume he's there, but I'm not looking for him, I'm just trying to stay focused and locked in on the target and focusing on that strike one," said Eovaldi. "I had a lot of friends and family here tonight at the game. It was definitely a special game for me."

The hit that put the game away and solidified the win for Eovaldi was a grand slam to right by Jackie Bradley Jr. with two outs in the top of the eighth against Astros closer Roberto Osuna.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Bradley Jr. launches a grand slam

"It's huge. We're playing a really good team in Houston. Runs are at a premium," Bradley said. "We never feel like enough runs is going to be enough. So it was very, very special for us."

Papi's reaction to Bradley's grand slam was priceless

Video: ALCS Gm3: Bradley Jr. on demeanor throughout the year

It had been a tight game throughout the first seven innings, but the Astros helped Boston extend its lead when Osuna hit pinch-hitters Brock Holt and Mitch Moreland back-to-back to load them up for Bradley, who mashed the sixth grand slam in postseason history for the Red Sox. It was the first postseason slam in MLB history for a non-pitcher or pinch-hitter in the ninth slot in the batting order.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Moreland plates a run with a hit-by-pitch

"Obviously we erupted," said Boston reliever Ryan Brasier. "Crowd was pretty quiet after that. It was awesome. Jackie hit it and we all knew it was gone right when he hit it."

Red Sox harness power from unlikely sources

Video: Bradley delivers clutch hits in Games 2 and 3 of ALCS

Before the game turned into a rout, Eovaldi (2-0, 2.08 ERA in this postseason) was nails. The righty went six innings while scattering six hits and two runs. Eovaldi walked two and struck out four, following up with a strong encore to his tremendous outing at Yankee Stadium in Game 3 of the AL Division Series. Of his 92 pitches, 60 were for strikes.

In hindsight, Dombrowski's Deadline deals a hit

"Nate did amazing," said Bradley. "He's been like the unsung hero, coming in and just filling up the zone with strikes with all his pitches, and taking it deep into the game, allowing the bullpen to rest a little bit. He's battled since pitch one and it's been a lot of fun playing behind him."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Bradley and Pearce on Eovaldi's start

As for Bradley, he got a 94.4-mph fastball that was up and in, and he obliterated it.

"You know what, that's a pitch I always get him out with," Osuna said. "He hit it today, but I mean, I will go there a hundred more times."

While Bradley's knock was the biggest of the game, Steve Pearce also came up clutch, launching a towering homer to lead off the top of the sixth, breaking a 2-2 tie. It was Pearce's first career postseason homer.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Pearce crushes a solo shot to left field

"It felt great. I'm not going to lie," said Pearce. "I'm just glad it stayed fair. It was really close and timely. So, yeah, we'll hopefully keep the ball rolling."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Pearce on his go-ahead home run in the 6th

After losing Game 1 at Fenway, the Red Sox have responded and regained home-field advantage in this clash of titans between the two winningest teams in the Majors this season. In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that win Game 3 on the road to grab a 2-1 advantage have gone on to take the series 27 of 36 times (75 percent).

Video: ALCS Gm3: Cora on importance of Pearce's homer in 6th

The Sox are 3-0 on the road in this postseason, something that will give them confidence for these next two games in Houston.

Video: MLB Tonight on adjustments Red Sox made in Game 3

"It's not easy to win here," said Boston manager Alex Cora. "This is a place that they feed off the crowd. They're very comfortable here offensively, and to show up today and play the way we did, I'm very proud of them."

Unlike the last time Eovaldi pitched in Houston, back on June 20 when he allowed three consecutive homers while with the Rays, he held the defending World Series champion Astros in check in this one.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Red Sox talk about ALCS Game 3 victory

"Nate was outstanding. Like I said, stuff-wise, he's one of the best left in October," said Cora. "His fastball, his cutter [were both good]. He didn't throw too many breaking balls. He did to Marwin [Gonzalez], but overall, a great outing. He didn't get caught up in the moment either. For him, I know it was a special one."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Cora on Eovaldi's start in Game 3 win

Just like in Game 2, the Red Sox got out to a fast start. And again, it was Mookie Betts setting the tone with a leadoff single. Andrew Benintendi followed with a single to left. J.D. Martinez then broke his 0-for-7 ALCS drought by lacing an RBI double down the line in right. Xander Bogaerts made it 2-0 with a fielder's-choice grounder to short.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Martinez, Bogaerts lead Sox to 2-run 1st

Houston responded in its half of the first when Gonzalez laced an RBI single to right to make it a one-run game.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Bregman hits an RBI double to left

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

Eovaldi settled down nicely in the middle innings, but Jose Altuve got a key two-out walk in the fifth. Alex Bregman stepped up next and smashed a double under the glove of third baseman Rafael Devers to tie the game at 2.

"I was a little frustrated," Eovaldi said. "He was able to sink a ball down the line and get a double out of it. And I was more upset with the fact I had two outs and I had an 0-2 count on Altuve and I ended up walking him."

Sale to throw bullpen session Wednesday

After that, the momentum went to Boston and stayed there.

"For Pearce to step up like he did in the sixth inning and answer right back, that says a lot about our team," Eovaldi said.

Troll at your own risk: Sox responding with routs

For Eovaldi, this will be a performance he will never forget. And his countless friends and family members who were in attendance or watching on television will make sure he doesn't.

Nagging ankle injury impacting Nunez at third

"I had a little over 100 text messages," said Eovaldi. "I definitely appreciate all my family sending their love and support. I know it's on the road, but I had a lot of friends and family here, and I know how important the game was tonight."

That's not fair: Eovaldi deals 96-mph cutter

So important in fact that it put the Red Sox just two wins away from getting to the World Series.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Brasier bests Bregman: When Altuve dropped down a perfect bunt single with two outs in the seventh, the Astros had their best player at the plate in Bregman. After a passed ball by Vazquez moved Altuve to second, it was fair to wonder if Boston might give Bregman -- a walk machine in these playoffs -- an intentional pass. But after falling behind 3-1, Brasier got Bregman to line his two-seamer to Bradley in center to end the inning.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Brasier retires Bregman to escape jam

"All the games we're in right now, every out to us is the biggest out of the series," Brasier said. "We attack every out as if it's the biggest out of the game. It kind of ran up to him a little bit, but maybe it did get in on him just a little bit. Just enough to not get good contact on it, and that's all you can ask for."

SOUND SMART
The slam by Bradley was the first by the Red Sox in the postseason since Shane Victorino's game-breaking shot in the clinching Game 6 of the ALCS against the Tigers in 2013. David Ortiz mauled a game-tying slam in Game 2 of that same series against Joaquin Benoit.

Video: Victorino's dramatic slam puts Sox on top in Game 6

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
In the top of the third, Pearce nearly had a double off the wall on a high fly ball to left. Tony Kemp drifted back to the wall an timed his leap perfectly for a dazzling grab that thrilled the crowd. One run would have scored if the ball had gone off the wall, if not two.

Video: Must C Catch: Kemp makes incredible leaping grab

"Going back to the wall, pretty much I just have the countdown in my head," said Kemp. "Once the ball goes up and as it's at the apex and it's coming down, you know how far the ball is going to reach the wall, so you have to make the ball doesn't touch the wall in any way you can."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Kemp discusses his catch, Game 3 loss

Betts, Verlander awestruck by Kemp's leaping catch

HE SAID IT
"Maybe when the season is finally over, I'll sit back and think about it. But right now, I'm so focused on being ready in two days if they need me out of the bullpen." -- Eovaldi, on his journey from Tommy John surgery to postseason hero

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The late innings could have had a lot more tension if not for Osuna hitting Holt on the back foot on an 0-2 slider in that eighth inning. It was originally called a ball, but the Red Sox alertly challenged it and it was overturned, helping to set the stage for Bradley.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Holt reaches with hit-by-pitch on review

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Nathan Eovaldi, Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, Steve Pearce

Machado called out as 'dirty' after eventful G4

Shortstop scores winning run after benches-clearing incident in extras
MLB.com @ToddZolecki

LOS ANGELES -- Manny Machado is making a name for himself in ways both welcome and unwanted in this National League Championship Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Manny Machado is making a name for himself in ways both welcome and unwanted in this National League Championship Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET/2:05 PT on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

Before he hit a broken-bat single, advanced to second on a wild pitch and jetted home on Cody Bellinger's walk-off single to right field in the 13th inning in a 2-1 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, Machado answered criticism in an FS1 interview about not running hard down the first-base line in Game 2. He said he will never be "Johnny Hustle" and that running down the line and sliding into bases is not his "cup of tea."

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Ironically, Machado sparked controversy when he hustled down the line on a groundout in the 10th, and helped win the game with two effort plays in the 13th.

In the 10th, Machado dragged his left leg into Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar's back leg as he crossed first base. The contact angered Aguilar, leading to a heated exchange and clearing both benches and bullpens.

"It's a dirty play by a dirty player," Brewers right fielder Christian Yelich said.

"It looked like it," Aguilar said. "I've known Manny for many years and I don't know why he would act like that."

Brewers manager Craig Counsell threw shade at Machado when asked if the play went beyond the grounds of hard play.

"I don't know," he said. "I guess they got tangled up at first base. I don't think he's playing all that hard."

Machado professed that he could not get out of the way of Aguilar's leg, although he never raised his own leg to avoid it.

"If that's dirty, that's dirty," Machado said. "I don't know, call it what you want. I play baseball. I try to go out there and win for my team. If that's their comments, that's their comments. I can't do nothing about that."

Video: NLCS Gm4: Machado on altercation with Aguilar

Aguilar and Machado chatted at first base in the 13th inning, with Aguilar patting Machado at one point.

"We talked," Aguilar said. "It's over. For me, it's over."

Video: NLCS Gm 4: Aguilar addresses exchange with Machado

"We go way back," Machado said, referring to the pair playing against each other early in their Minor League careers. "Whatever happens on the field … stays between the lines."

But it might not be finished for Aguilar's teammates.

"I saw it from center field," Brewers center fielder Lorenzo Cain said. "I'll have to get in there and look at it to really give you my opinion. Nobody wants to get their ankle stepped on. I'll look at it, and if it looks dirty, we'll see what happens."

"You can't respect someone who plays the game like that," Yelich said. "I don't know what his problem is, honestly."

Video: NLCS Gm4: Yelich reacts to Machado's baserunning

It should make the NLCS more interesting with Game 5 on Wednesday afternoon. It should make Machado's postseason more interesting, too. The baseball world is watching him as he prepares to enter the free-agent market in the offseason, when he hopes to fetch one of the most lucrative contracts in baseball history. Machado entered Game 4 hitting .455 (5-for-11) with one double, one home run and three RBIs. He was hitless in his first five plate appearances before singling in the 13th.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Dodgers, Crew on Machado-Aguilar incident

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Jesus Aguilar, Manny Machado

Troll at your own risk: Sox responding with routs

First Judge, now Bregman -- Boston all business after being dissed
MLB.com @feinsand

HOUSTON -- Perhaps the Astros should institute a social media blackout for the remainder of the American League Championship Series.

And if Boston manages to advance to the World Series, the higher-ups in the Brewers' and Dodgers' front offices might think about doing the same for the Fall Classic.

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HOUSTON -- Perhaps the Astros should institute a social media blackout for the remainder of the American League Championship Series.

And if Boston manages to advance to the World Series, the higher-ups in the Brewers' and Dodgers' front offices might think about doing the same for the Fall Classic.

View Full Game Coverage

Meet the Red Sox, the team that simply cannot be trolled.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 4: Tonight, 8:39 ET on TBS

It was just 10 days ago that Aaron Judge and the Yankees beat the Red Sox in Game 2 of the AL Division Series, walking out of Fenway Park with a boom box blaring "New York, New York" on their way back home.

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

That was the final time we heard Ol' Blue Eyes' voice following a Yankees win. The Red Sox went to the Bronx and took two straight, sending their rivals home, where they could listen to as much Sinatra as they pleased while they watched the rest of the postseason on television.

Monday, only hours after the Red Sox had evened the best-of-seven ALCS with a Game 2 win at home, Astros third baseman Alex Bregman posted on his Instagram feed: "Lil pregame video work," accompanied by a video of George Springer, Bregman and Jose Altuve tagging Nathan Eovaldi -- Boston's Game 3 starter -- for back-to-back-to-back home runs in a June game while the pitcher was still with the Rays.

"Welcome to the current generation," Houston manager AJ Hinch said when asked about it on Monday's off-day. "Obviously there's fun banter. … You get the different tweets and the different Instagram posts, and it's all in good fun."

The Astros didn't have much fun Tuesday, walking off their home field as losers of an 8-2 blowout. The game was close through seven innings, but the Red Sox posted a five-spot in the eighth, breaking it open to regain home-field advantage.

That's the only kind of posting the Red Sox are doing these days.

"We don't even look into that stuff," J.D. Martinez said, when asked about the impact Bregman's Instagram post may have had on Boston prior to Game 3. "We've done a real good job of minding our own business."

Video: ALCS Gm3: Martinez on scoring first, rest of series

Neither manager Alex Cora, Steve Pearce nor Jackie Bradley Jr. would bite when asked about the social media story after Game 3, preferring to talk about what they can control, instead.

"Not worried about it," said Pearce, who hit a go-ahead home run in the sixth before Bradley belted a grand slam in the eighth. Eovaldi finished with six strong innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out four.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Eovaldi on his outing in team's Game 3 win

The Red Sox claimed not to know much about Judge's musical selection before Game 3 of the ALDS, but they went out and bludgeoned the Yankees, 16-1, in the next game. After closing out the series in four games, it was no coincidence that Sinatra's ode to Gotham was playing in the visitors' clubhouse as they popped champagne.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Red Sox talk about ALCS Game 3 victory

Who knows if Bregman's post did anything to poke the bear, but after seeing Boston seize control of the series, it's clear that the bear is wide awake. The Red Sox are now 3-0 away from Fenway Park in this postseason, so even with the next two games being played at Minute Maid Park, there's no reason for Boston to think it can't finish things up here and enjoy a few days off before hosting Game 1 of the World Series next Tuesday.

Heck, maybe the Red Sox will even tag Bregman if they decide to post some photos from the celebration on Instagram.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Boston Red Sox, Nathan Eovaldi, Jackie Bradley Jr., J.D. Martinez, Steve Pearce

Red Sox-Astros G4: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

MLB.com @brianmctaggart and @IanMBrowne

HOUSTON -- Now that the Red Sox have taken control of the American League Championship Series after beating the Astros in Game 3 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead, it will be up to Charlie Morton to keep Houston's back from being against the wall.

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HOUSTON -- Now that the Red Sox have taken control of the American League Championship Series after beating the Astros in Game 3 on Tuesday night to take a 2-1 series lead, it will be up to Charlie Morton to keep Houston's back from being against the wall.

:: ALCS schedule and results ::

View Full Game Coverage

Morton will face former AL Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello in Game 4 on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park. The Astros' loss at home in Game 3 was only their second in their past 12 playoff games at Minute Maid Park since the start of last season.

ALCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 4: Tonight, 8:39 p.m. ET on TBS

In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that win Game 3 on the road to grab a 2-1 advantage have eventually gone on to take the series 27 of 36 times (75 percent).

What might the starting lineups look like?
Red Sox: After being shut down by the Astros in Game 1, the Red Sox have started to resemble themselves again over the past two games, which means they are also very dangerous. Jackie Bradley Jr., who is notoriously streaky, is riding some confidence after huge hits in the last two games of the series, including a grand slam that broke open Game 3. Look for Brock Holt to be back in the lineup against a righty in Morton. Steve Pearce continues to contribute, so he could remain in the lineup even if Mitch Moreland is healthy enough to start again.

Gear up for the ALCS: Astros | Red Sox

Video: Bradley delivers clutch hits in Games 2 and 3 of ALCS

1. Mookie Betts, RF
2. Andrew Benintendi, LF
3. J.D. Martinez, DH
4. Xander Bogaerts, SS
5. Steve Pearce, 1B
6. Rafael Devers, 3B
7. Brock Holt, 2B
8. Christian Vazquez, C
9. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF

Astros: Jose Altuve's ailing right knee forced manager AJ Hinch to start him at designated hitter in Game 3, and there's a good chance he could do that again. If he does, that likely means Tony Kemp gets another start in left field. Expect Martin Maldonado to be back behind the plate at catcher after Brian McCann started Game 3:

1. George Springer, CF
2. Jose Altuve, DH
3. Alex Bregman, 3B
4. Yuli Gurriel, 1B
5. Marwin Gonzalez, 2B
6. Josh Reddick, RF
7. Carlos Correa, SS
8. Martin Maldonado, C
9. Tony Kemp, LF

Who are the starting pitchers?
Red Sox: Porcello has come up big in this postseason (1-0, 1.35 ERA) as a starter and as a reliever. It is back to the rotation for Porcello, who had a big scoreless eighth inning in relief in Game 2. Porcello has pitched three times against the Astros this season, going 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA. He got the win while facing Morton back on June 3 at Minute Maid Park.

Video: ALCS Gm4: Porcello on emotions as starter, reliver

Astros: Morton will be making his first outing since throwing three innings in the Astros' regular-season finale Sept. 30 at Baltimore. He's thrown just 15 innings since coming off the disabled list Sept. 8. Houston put Morton on the DL to skip one start and rest a sore right shoulder.

Last year, Morton started against the Red Sox in Game 4 of the AL Division Series in Boston, and he allowed two runs in 4 1/3 innings in the Astros' series-clinching win. In two starts against the Red Sox this year, Morton is 1-1 with a 6.97 ERA, allowing 16 hits and eight runs in 10 1/3 innings.

Video: ALCS Gm4: Morton talks staying fresh for Game 4 start

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Red Sox: From question mark to strength, Boston's bullpen is rolling in the ALCS. The relief corps fired three scoreless innings in Game 3. The Red Sox would love to get closer Craig Kimbrel on track. Though the righty is 3-for-3 in save opportunities this postseason, he has yet to have a scoreless outing. Lefty David Price could be used in the bullpen if necessary. Matt Barnes and Ryan Brasier continue to be the setup men manager Alex Cora trusts the most.

Astros: It should be all hands on deck for Houston, even though the club used six of its eight relief pitchers in Game 3. Closer Roberto Osuna threw the most pitches (27) among the relievers used Tuesday, but if the Astros have the lead in the ninth inning, you can bet he will get the ball. Ryan Pressly threw only 13 pitches and will definitely be available.

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Red Sox: None.

Astros: None.

Any injuries of note?
Red Sox: Third baseman Eduardo Nunez tweaked his right ankle in Game 3 and came out in the fourth inning as a precaution. Moreland continues to make progress with the right hamstring injury he sustained in Game 2 of the AL Division Series. The left-handed hitter has reached base in all three of his pinch-hitting appearances in this series, and he has come out for a pinch-runner each time.

Astros: Altuve is still battling a sore right knee, though it didn't prevent him from getting two hits and scoring a pair of runs in Game 3, including scoring from first base on a Bregman double and later beating out a bunt hit.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Altuve hits Eovaldi's 100.8-mph fastball

Who is hot and who is not?
Red Sox: Pearce has recorded at least one hit and scored at least one run in each game he has played in this postseason … Bradley has seven RBIs in the past two games … Ian Kinsler is hitless in the two games he's started in the series … The same goes for Vazquez. In fact, Boston doesn't have a hit from any of its catchers in this series.

Video: MLB Tonight on Pearce's big ALCS Game 3

Astros: Bregman (2-for-6, seven walks, .714 on-base percentage) and Springer (4-for-13) are the only Houston players hitting better than .300 in the ALCS. Meanwhile, Gonzalez (2-for-12), Gurriel (2-for-12) and Reddick (1-for-11) have been struggling at the plate.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros

Rich Hill took his frustration out on all the candy in the Dodgers dugout after allowing a run

Tensions were high in Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night. The Dodgers were looking to tie the series at two games apiece, but their offense had issues scoring runs early in the game. This put pressure on lefty Rich Hill, who had to try to keep the Brewers' powerful offense at bay.

With the Dodgers holding a perilous 1-0 lead in the fifth, Hill allowed a run on a pinch-hit RBI double from Domingo Santana. He recovered, getting Lorenzo Cain on a groundout and striking out Christian Yelich with a series of nasty curveballs, but he was not happy about things when he returned to the Dodgers dugout.

Rumors: Kershaw, Marlins, Eovaldi, Keuchel

The latest MLB free agent and trade rumors for Hot Stove season
MLB.com

As the postseason concludes, Hot Stove season begins. MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

Clayton Kershaw still undecided on opt out clause
Oct. 16: Kershaw is expected to opt out of his contract with the Dodgers after this season and test the free-agent market, according to a recent repoort from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. And the left-hander was asked whether he had made a decision on the matter within the context that he could be making his final career start with the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, should the Dodgers fail to advance. 

As the postseason concludes, Hot Stove season begins. MLB.com is keeping track of all the latest free agent and trade rumors right here.

Clayton Kershaw still undecided on opt out clause
Oct. 16: Kershaw is expected to opt out of his contract with the Dodgers after this season and test the free-agent market, according to a recent repoort from MLB Network insider Jon Heyman. And the left-hander was asked whether he had made a decision on the matter within the context that he could be making his final career start with the Dodgers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday, should the Dodgers fail to advance. 

"I have not made a decision," Kershaw said. "And to my understanding you get ten days after the World Series. So should be a busy 10 days."

Kershaw, 30, was referencing the 10-day period after the World Series in which he will be mandated to make a decision of whether to opt out of the two years and just over $70 million remaining on a seven-year, $215 million contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2014 season.

When asked if he had been processing things differently this postseason given his well-accoladed history with Los Angeles, and the potential that this could be his last with the Dodgers, Kershaw said: "Trying not to. I think it's hard enough to try and win a postseason game. I know more than anybody knows that. So, I think for me it's just trying to focus as much as I possibly can on the Brewers and getting ready for tomorrow's start. And putting everything else on the back burner as best I possibly can."

Video: NLCS Gm 5: Roberts on expectations for Kershaw

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts echoed Kershaw's sentiment and focus when he was asked about Kershaw's uncertain future with the club. 

"You bring it up to my attention and I'm sure -- I guess it's a reality," Roberts said. "But I think that for me it's just thinking about tonight and tomorrow with Clayton pitching for us. And so I don't get too far ahead of that, no."

Kershaw, the '14 NL MVP Award winner and three-time NL Cy Young Award winner, has dealt with lingering back issues the past three seasons and was limited to just 26 starts this year, so it is far from certain that the left-hander would be able to find a suitor for another longterm deal. However, he'd likely be able to sign for more than the two years he has left on his current pact with the Dodgers. More >

Marlins add more international bonus pool money with eye on three Cuban prospects
Oct. 16: The Marlins created more financial flexibility on Tuesday to make an aggressive run at the three coveted Cuban prospects they've been pursuing this offseason, trading Minor Leaguers Adonis Giron and Brayan De Paula to the Astros for $500,000 in international bonus pool money, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro. 

The latest of their three trades this offseason is believed to have pushed Miami's international bonus pool ahead of the Orioles' $6.7 million for the MLB high. That would put them in a more favorable position to sign Cuban prospects Victor Victor Mesa, his brother, Victor Mesa Jr., and Sandy Gaston, who were each granted free agency by MLB a few weeeks ago, making them eligible to sign at any time.

Video: Hill discusses hosting Mesa, Gaston at showcase

Tuesday's trade was the Marlins' third this offseason that was largely geared at adding international talent. On Oct. 10, they traded right-hander Kyle Barraclough to the Nationals for $1 million and on Oct. 6, they traded right-handed pitching prospect Ryan Lillie to the Reds for $750,000. 

Before the two deals, the Marlins had $4.3 million in their international allotment, behind only the Orioles. How much that gap has narrowed isn't yet known.

Victor Victor Mesa, 22, and Victor Jr., 18, are both outfielders. Gaston is a 16-year-old right-hander. Victor Victor Mesa is ranked by MLB Pipeline as the top international prospect on the market, and Gaston is ranked 16th. More >

Eovaldi, Keuchel turn in strong performances in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series
Oct. 16: With not only a national audience of fans watching, but also potential suitors in free agency, Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi and Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel each turned in formidable performances during Boston's 8-2 win in ALCS Game 3 on Tuesday. 

Ahead of ALCS Game 3, MLB.com's Mike Petriello broke down how both Eovaldi and Keuchel could be among the most coveted free agent starting pitchers this offseason.

Video: ALCS Gm3: Eovaldi K's 4, allows 2 ER over 6

Eovaldi, who Boston acquired from Tampa Bay ahead of the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline explicitly to make starts such as Tuesday's, allowed two runs on six hits and two walks over six strong innings while averaging a whopping 98.8 mph on his four-seam fastball and topping out at 101 mph. Eovaldi's blemishes came in the fifth inning, when he walked Jose Altuve in a full count with two outs and then surrendered a game-tying double to the red-hot Alex Bregman. Eovaldi eventually got out of the fifth with no more damage and returned to toss a scoreless sixth. 

Eovaldi's stock appears to be on the rise after undergoing multiple surgeries to repair his pitching arm, including two Tommy John operations. After missing all of the 2017 season and the first two months of '18 while recovering from the latest tear in his right elbow, Eovaldi bounced back to go 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA over 12 regular season outings -- and he's been even better in his first career postseason. In addition to Tuesday, Eovaldi tossed seven scoreless innings in the Red Sox's 16-1 win over the Yankees of Game 3 of the AL Division Series last Tuesday,. 

Keuchel on Tuesday gave up three of the four hits he surrendered and two runs in the first inning -- a one-run double to J.D. Martinez and an RBI groundout to Xander Bogaerts -- then threw four scoreless frames to finish his outing. He also issued two walks, and left with a 2-1 deficit, as the Astros' loss fell on the shoulders of their bullpen. 

Video: ALCS Gm3: Keuchel on his start, Astros' Game 3 loss

Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner, may have seen his stock drop some in 2018 after two All-Star appearances over the three seasons prior, but the left-hander is nonetheless considered one of the better starting arms that will be available in free agency. After being limited in consecutive seasons due to injuries (left shoulder pain in '16 and neck discomfort in '17), Keuchel eclipsed the 200-inning plateau for the third time in '18, going 12-11 with a 3.74 ERA. 

Kluber, Paxton, MadBum among SP trade candidates who could shake up offseason
Oct. 16: Last offseason, clubs had limited options when it came to free-agent starting pitchers, but the market was bolstered by the availability of Gerrit Cole, who was traded to the Astros and ended up being one of the best additions any team made over the past year.

In a story for the New York Post on Tuesday, MLB Network insider Joel Sherman shared a handful of names who could do the same for the market if they are made available this offseason, with the Indians' Corey Kluber, the Mariners' James Paxton and the Giants' Madison Bumgarner among them.

Based on contract escalators tied to his finishes in Cy Young Award voting, Kluber is expected to be owed $17 million for next season, with club options for 2020 and '21 that could be worth up to $17.5 million and $18 million, respectively.

Sherman argues the Indians would still be prohibitive favorites in a weak AL Central even if they traded Kluber, who will turn 33 years old in April and has struggled in each of the past two postseasons, as the club could use that money to address other needs on the roster.

As for Paxton, Sherman notes that the Mariners have few ways to significantly improve their situation, given their old, expensive core and poor farm system. Trading the big left-hander, who can become a free agent after the 2020 campaign and has never thrown more than 160 1/3 innings in a season, could be a way to address some of their needs.

Bumgarner, meanwhile, has a $12 million club option for 2019 and should draw significant trade interest despite showing signs of decline in '18. Per Sherman, it could make sense for the Giants to deal the left-hander now, as they are unlikely to be serious contenders in '19 and would be taking a major risk by signing him to an extension.

Also part of Sherman's list were the D-backs' Robbie Ray and the Cardinals' Carlos Martinez, who both dealt with injuries in '18 but have displayed ace potential in the past. Ray can become a free agent after 2020, while Martinez is controllable for five more seasons if his club options are picked up for '22 ($17 million) and '23 ($18 million).

Machado, Grandal on opposite tracks in postseason
Oct. 16: One run of postseason games might not outweigh the full body of work of the regular season, but it leaves an impression. And two of the Dodgers' key free-agents-to-be, Manny Machado and Yasmani Grandal, have been trending in opposite directions this October.

Machado, one of the two marquee names hitting the market this winter along with Bryce Harper, has been heating up. After a slow-ish start to the playoffs -- which still included the decisive two-run homer in the Dodgers' Game 2 NLDS win over the Braves -- the superstar shortstop has three multi-hit efforts and a pair of home runs in his last four games. In the NLCS, Machado is 5-for-11 with a homer and a double (although there have been questions about his hustle after he didn't run hard on a groundout in Game 2).

Grandal, on the other hand, has struggled offensively and behind the plate. He's hitting just .136 this postseason (3-for-22) with one homer. But Grandal's defense has been the most visible issue. He's had two nightmarish games in the NLCS, both of which have resulted in the Dodgers replacing him with Austin Barnes for the following game.

In Game 1, a one-run loss, Grandal had two errors and two passed balls -- becoming the first catcher in postseason history with multiple errors and multiple passed balls in the same game. Barnes then started Game 2. Grandal returned for Game 3, but had another tough night in another Dodgers loss. He couldn't block a wild pitch in the sixth inning, which brought home a run for the Brewers, and he had a passed ball in the eighth. After that, Barnes will start Tuesday's Game 4.

That's now two straight postseasons Grandal has lost playing time to Barnes. Last year, Barnes started 13 of the Dodgers' 15 playoff games at catcher, including all seven World Series games, compared to just two starts for Grandal.

Even after Grandal's impressive 2018 regular season -- he hit the second-most home runs among catchers (24) and the third-highest wRC+ (125, meaning he was 25 percent better than a league-average hitter) -- that's not what potential suitors want to see in October out of a free-agent target, especially one who could be an important signing at a critical position.

Braves enter winter with flexibility to address needs
Oct. 15: The Braves could be major players in free agency. The club will have considerable financial flexibility with at least $60 million to spend this winter, reported MLB.com's Mark Bowman. 

Atlanta enters the offseason with needs at catcher and in the outfield, bullpen and starting rotation. The Braves could go a number of directions once free agency opens, but they'll likely make another run at Marlins All-Star catcher J.T. Realmuto and explore the trade market before any aggressive signings, per Bowman. They could also pursue D-backs pitcher Patrick Corbin, one of the top arms on the market.

Tweet from @mlbbowman: Today���s session with Anthopoulos confirmed the Braves will have plenty financial flexibility. Specifics weren���t revealed, but it appears they���ll have at least $60M to fill multiple needs: Catcher, OF, Bullpen depth, a SP, but only if Corbin or another frontline option makes sense

After being eliminated by the Dodgers in the National League Division Series, the Braves' first move of the offseason was signing manager Brian Snitker to a two-year contract Monday that includes an option for the 2021 season.

Giants could pursue Harper, but competition expected to be fierce
Oct. 15: Although Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, the two biggest names set to hit free agency this offseason, play different positions, the markets for both players will surely dovetail in some way.

For instance, the Giants are expected to be one of the suitors for Harper, and their pursuit could be indirectly affected by the Yankees, as John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle pointed out Saturday.

With the news that shortstop Didi Gregorius is scheduled to undergo Tommy John surgery, many now speculate that the Yankees will make a greater push for Machado.

If that happens, and New York comes away with Machado, it could in turn make the Dodgers -- Machado's current team -- more likely to make a serious push for Harper. That could be bad news for the Giants, as Los Angeles will likely be able to outbid San Francisco for Harper and is arguably a more attractive landing spot for the superstar outfielder.

Could Goldschmidt be a fit for Yankees?
Oct. 15: Facing a critical juncture this offseason after missing the playoffs in 2018, the D-backs are reportedly expected to listen to offers for a number of their top players, including Paul Goldschmidt.

• Complete list of free agents this offseason

The problem for Arizona, as ESPN's Buster Olney noted via Twitter, is that there aren't a lot of obvious fits for Goldschmidt, as many contenders are set at first base. However, Olney speculates that the Yankees could enter the mix for the six-time All-Star, who can become a free agent after the 2019 season.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: As has been reported, the D-Backs will listen to offers on their best players, including Paul Goldschmidt. Most contenders are locked in at 1B for 2019; the Cubs have Rizzo, for example. Total speculation: One team that could be a great fit for a Goldschmidt deal -- the Yankees.

Tweet from @Buster_ESPN: This is all speculation... To add: for Goldschmidt, hitting in Yankee Stadium as he went through his free-agent season, in the middle of a deep lineup, could be a great development for him, as well.

New York's current options at first base include in-season acquisition Luke Voit and Greg Bird, who hasn't been able to stay healthy or consistently produce during his big league tenure. The Yankees will need to decide if either player is a long-term answer.

Voit seemingly has the inside edge to earn a starting job in 2019, as he hit .322 with 15 homers in only 47 games with the club and became an everyday lineup fixture down the stretch. But Voit will be 28 on Opening Day, and he'll need to show that his 2018 performance was not a fluke.

Meanwhile, Goldschmidt remains one of the best hitters in baseball, recording a .290 average with 33 homers and a .922 OPS in 2018, and he could help the Yankees close the gap with the Red Sox and Astros in the AL.

Rockies facing big questions this offseason
Oct. 15: Before the Rockies make a bid for their third straight postseason appearance in 2019, they will need to answer a number of pressing questions about their roster this offseason, which Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post broke down Sunday.

Among those questions is what to do about impending free agents DJ LeMahieu, Carlos Gonzalez and Adam Ottavino. Saunders considers it unlikely that the Rockies will re-sign LeMahieu and Ottavino, and he speculates that the club could look to move on from Gonzalez as well, even though the outfielder has expressed interest in returning.

While that would give Colorado three big holes to address, it doesn't necessarily mean the club will look to the free-agent market for replacements, especially considering the mixed results the Rockies have gotten from recent signings such as Ian Desmond, Wade Davis, Bryan Shaw and Jake McGee, a quartet that will take up a sizable portion of the payroll in 2019. The Rockies may also look to work on a contract extension with Nolan Arenado, who can become a free agent after next season.

As a result, greater importance will likely be placed on low-cost youngsters such as David Dahl, Ryan McMahon, Garrett Hampson, Brendan Rodgers and Raimel Tapia in 2019.

Video: ARI@SD: Corbin goes scoreless in final start of 2018

Cashman: Yankees will try to trade Gray
Oct. 12: When the Yankees acquired Sonny Gray from the A's in July 2017, it wasn't just a short-term move. Gray is under team control through '19, and he was expected to be an important part of New York's rotation at least until the end of that season.

It hasn't worked out that way. After posting a 4.90 ERA over 30 appearances (23 starts) in 2018, Gray was left off the Yankees' AL Wild Card Game and ALDS rosters. And now, he may now be on his way out of town.

Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said Friday that the club will try to trade Gray this offseason.

"It hasn't worked out thus far," Cashman said. "I think he's extremely talented. I think that we'll enter the winter, unfortunately, open-minded to a relocation. Probably, if he can maximize his abilities, it will more likely be best somewhere else. But then it comes down to the final decision of the price, in terms of trade acquisition and matching up with somebody. If we match up, then I think, yeah, it's probably best to try this somewhere else."

Although Gray's value is down, New York can sell the fact that the righty recorded a 3.17 ERA with a 1.16 WHIP and a 9.9 K/9 rate on the road (6.98 ERA, 1.90 WHIP, 6.8 K/9 rate at Yankee Stadium) as proof that he can still be a viable big league starter in a different environment.

Yankees expected to pursue Corbin
Oct. 11: The Yankees are expected to target left-hander Patrick Corbin in free agency this winter, according to a report from MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman on Thursday.

New York will be looking to bolster its starting rotation after a shaky playoff performance in its ALDS loss to the Red Sox -- Luis Severino, J.A. Happ and CC Sabathia all struggled.

Happ and Sabathia will both be free agents this offseason. The Yankees could try to re-sign one or both of the left-handers, per Heyman.

Corbin, 29, is coming off a career year with the D-backs. He made the NL All-Star team for the second time in his career and set career-best marks with a 3.15 ERA, 1.050 WHIP and 246 strikeouts in 33 starts. More >

Cardinals re-sign Wainwright for 2019
Oct. 11: The Cardinals' pitching staff next season will once again include Adam Wainwright. The longtime leader of the rotation agreed Thursday to a one-year contract for 2019, which will be his 15th season with the club.

The two sides ended any speculation about the right-hander's future when they announced the extension, which will follow a five-year, $97.5 million contract that expired with this season. Financial terms of Wainwright's next deal were not disclosed by the club.

Wainwright's return further fills a rotation teeming with options for 2019. The Cardinals have several other starters -- including Carlos Martinez, Miles Mikolas, Michael Wacha, Jack Flaherty, Alex Reyes, Luke Weaver, Austin Gomber, John Gant and Daniel Poncedeleon -- also under contract. More >

Bryant turns down $200 million extension
Oct. 10: The Cubs made an attempt to lock up Kris Bryant to a multiyear deal in the neighborhood of $200 million, but the superstar third baseman turned down the deal in recent months, a source confirmed to MLB.com on Wednesday. ESPN's Dave Kaplan was the first to report the offer and its rejection. The club has not confirmed such an offer.

Bryant and agent Scott Boras are inclined to proceed on a year-by-year salary increase through arbitration before Bryant becomes a free agent after the 2021 season. Bryant earned a record $10.85 million in 2018, the highest salary a player has earned in his first year of arbitration.

Should Bryant plan to wait out his final four years of club control and hit the free-agent market, the Cubs could face the possibility of losing him for nothing. In that context, Bryant might be a valuable trade commodity as a former NL MVP Award winner who is under club control for three more seasons. More >

Brewers-Dodgers G5: Lineups, matchups, FAQs

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- There's no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight following a 13-inning marathon in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and will be back on the field this afternoon for Game 5 to decide which team moves within one victory of the World Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- There's no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight following a 13-inning marathon in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series and will be back on the field this afternoon for Game 5 to decide which team moves within one victory of the World Series.

NLCS presented by Google Assistant, Game 5: Today, 5:05 p.m. ET on FS1

View Full Game Coverage

It could be Clayton Kershaw's last start as a Dodger, though he'll have a more immediate task at hand trying to shed a disappointing performance in Game 1 at Miller Park. Brewers starter Wade Miley will seek to do just the opposite after a brilliant performance in Game 2.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Both starters may be asked to eat quite a few innings, since both bullpens worked very hard in the Dodgers' 2-1 win in Game 4. Who's available, and how extensively, will be one of the key questions today. Here's a look at where the teams stand with the series tied at two games apiece:

What might the starting lineups look like?
Brewers: Here's the lineup the Brewers submitted against Kershaw in Game 1, with Erik Kratz in place of Manny Pina because Kratz handles Miley's starts:

1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
5. Hernan Perez, 2B
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Wade Miley, P

Cain, Yelich look to get timing right in NLCS

Dodgers: Only Chris Taylor and Justin Turner had hits off Miley in Game 2, so manager Dave Roberts might get even more creative than usual with his lineup. Brian Dozier delivered in Game 4 and might earn a repeat start.

1. Chris Taylor, CF
2. Justin Turner, 3B
3. David Freese, 1B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Matt Kemp, LF
6. Brian Dozier, 2B
7. Yasiel Puig, RF
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Clayton Kershaw, P

Who are the starting pitchers?
Brewers: Convention says the Brewers will need length from Miley after digging so deep into the bullpen on Tuesday night, but that's complicated by the fact the veteran left-hander will be pitching on short rest since the first start of his first full season in 2012 with the D-backs. That start followed a relief outing. Miley has been terrific for the Brewers all season, starting 18 times and allowing three or fewer earned runs each time out, including a pair of scoreless starts in the postseason. He delivered 5 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 2 and chipped in two hits.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Miley on approach vs. Dodgers in Game 5

Dodgers: Not much on the mind of Kershaw (9-5, 2.73 ERA), other than he's starting the pivotal game in the series, he has that postseason narrative dogging him and, oh, it might be his last as a Dodger with a potential opt-out looming. His Game 1 start was a mess, from Yasmani Grandal's meltdown behind the plate to the home run Kershaw allowed to reliever Brandon Woodruff. Still, he's the best pitcher of his generation, and he's on full rest. It will shock almost no one if he's outstanding.

Video: NLCS Gm5: Kershaw on yearly playoff contention

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: Josh Hader has never pitched three straight days, but that would be the ask if the Brewers use him in Game 5 after eight pitches in Game 3 and 20 in Game 4. Corey Knebel could also be limited after 19 pitches in Game 3 and 18 in Game 4. Still, Counsell will have arms to draw from, since Jeremy Jeffress was not used Tuesday night, nor was Woodruff, the right-handed throwing, left-handed hitting threat who homered off Kershaw in Game 1 at Miller Park. The Brewers are "likely," as Counsell put it, to have a fresh arm on the roster in place Gio Gonzalez, who went down in the second inning with a left high ankle sprain. The candidates include right-handed starters Chase Anderson and Zach Davies, and left-handed reliever Dan Jennings.

"We'll have to kind of put our heads together and look at what we've got," Counsell said. "We've got some guys we've used quite a bit. We were able to stay away from a couple of guys tonight, but we're in a little bit of a tough spot, for sure. I think that's just the nature of a 13-inning game and losing your starter in the second inning."

Video: NLCS Gm4: Craig Counsell on his bullpen, Gio's injury

Dodgers: After the Game 4 marathon, in which every reliever on the roster was used, Game 5 will be as tricky for the Dodgers as the Brewers. Kenta Maeda and Caleb Ferguson should be the freshest and capable of going two innings each.

Video: NLCS Gm 4: Roberts talks 13-inning, 2-1 win

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: Hader, if the Brewers stick to the regular season formula that got them here.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Hader strikes out Kemp, escapes jam

Dodgers: Kenley Jansen pitched two innings (34 pitches) in Game 4 for the first time since last year's World Series, but he'll probably take the ball if it means a save. It's worth noting that he did throw a shutout inning the day after those two innings in the 2017 Fall Classsic. Game 4 winner Julio Urias hasn't pitched on consecutive days since shoulder surgery. Alex Wood and Dylan Floro have pitched two straight days each so they will be limited, if available at all.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Urias freezes Moustakas in the 13th

Any injuries of note?
Brewers: If they replace him on the NLCS roster, Gonzalez would be ineligible for the World Series should the Brewers advance. He did not speak to reporters after Game 4.

Dodgers: No.

Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: The Brewers have too many hitters in the "not" category. After three hits in Game 1, including a pair of singles off Kershaw, Cain is 1-for-15 in Games 2-4. Christian Yelich is 3-for-16 in the series including a bunt hit and an infield hit, though he's taken four walks to push his on-base percentage to .350. Mike Moustakas is 2-for-17 after joining Cain in the 0-for-6 club in Game 4. The only Brewers hitter who distinguished himself on Tuesday was Ryan Braun, who tallied three hits plus a scorching groundout that spun Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner around in the third inning.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Cain discusses recent batting struggles

Dodgers: Bellinger is hitting only .214 in the series, but his confidence has to be on the improve after a walk-off hit in Game 4. Manny Machado had only one hit that broke his bat, but he seems to play a part whenever the Dodgers win. Oddly, Turner is batting only .167. Yasmani Grandal figures to sit again and watch Austin Barnes start at catcher. Ryan Madson is a season-saver middle reliever.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Roberts, Bellinger, Machado on Game 4 win

Anything else fans might want to know?
The Dodgers are 4-8 and the Brewers are 0-2 when tied 2-2 in best-of-seven NLCS. After Games 3 and 4 started late enough that the Dodger Stadium shadows didn't figure in the festivities, keep an eye on hitters' swings in the early innings of Game 5, with first pitch at 2:05 p.m. PT.

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

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

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers

High ankle sprain could end Gio's postseason

Lefty injured after comebacker in 2nd inning of Game 4 start
MLB.com @JoeTrezz

LOS ANGELES -- Gio Gonzalez's night ended sooner than expected. The Brewers starting pitcher left Game 4 of the National League Championship Series injured on Tuesday, and now the rest of his postseason is in jeopardy.

The high left-ankle sprain Gonzalez suffered trying to field a second-inning comebacker off the bat of Yasiel Puig has the Brewers prepping a potential roster move before Wednesday's Game 5, after the injury forced Gonzalez from his second postseason start after an inning-plus.

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LOS ANGELES -- Gio Gonzalez's night ended sooner than expected. The Brewers starting pitcher left Game 4 of the National League Championship Series injured on Tuesday, and now the rest of his postseason is in jeopardy.

The high left-ankle sprain Gonzalez suffered trying to field a second-inning comebacker off the bat of Yasiel Puig has the Brewers prepping a potential roster move before Wednesday's Game 5, after the injury forced Gonzalez from his second postseason start after an inning-plus.

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"It's likely that we're going to have to replace him," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.

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Clubs are permitted to replace injured players on postseason rosters with one condition. The player who is removed from the roster is not eligible to play in the next round. So if Milwaukee replaces Gonzalez, he would not be allowed to pitch in the World Series if the Brewers were to advance.

If it comes to that, the Brewers have options, and they'll likely choose with an eye toward covering innings after Counsell used seven pitchers in Tuesday's 2-1, 13-inning loss in Game 4. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies both fit that bill. Left-hander Dan Jennings is a candidate as well, though Milwaukee is already carrying Xavier Cedeno as a situational lefty in the bullpen behind Josh Hader.

Anderson and Davies began the year as Milwaukee's top two starters, but both were left off the rosters for the postseason's first two rounds. Anderson last pitched on Sept. 18, and hasn't completed more than four innings in an appearance since Sept. 7. Davies last pitched in the season's final week, going four innings in a win against Detroit. Jennings has yet to appear in the postseason as well.

Gonzalez was never long for Game 4, with the Brewers planning to go to their bullpen aggressively as they have all postseason. But he left earlier even expected after landing awkwardly in the second inning, then limping to corral what turned into an infield hit for Puig up the third-base line.

Gonzalez's reaction prompted a visit from Counsell and head athletic trainer Dan Wright, who initially kept Gonzalez in the game. After the conference, Gonzalez made a pickoff throw to first before delivering a pitch to the next batter, Austin Barnes. Counsell and Wright then emerged again from the dugout to remove Gonzalez, who was visibly upset to leave the game.

Video: NLCS Gm4: Craig Counsell on his bullpen, Gio's injury

Gonzalez called his ankle "sore" after the game, before declining further comment. One of the Brewers' more effective starters down the stretch, the veteran lefty pitched to a 2.13 ERA across five starts after being acquired from the Nationals in late August. He did not appear in the NL Division Series against the Rockies, but was tabbed to make a truncated start in Game 1 of the NLCS. He ended up completing two innings, facing the Dodgers lineup one time through before Counsell began emptying his bullpen.

Gonzalez's leash was expected to be similarly short in Game 4, then tightened after Gonzalez labored through an eventful first inning. He threw just 10 of his 26 pitches for strikes in the frame, when the Dodgers struck first on an RBI single from Brian Dozier. The one-inning outing matched Shaun Marcum's start in Game 6 of the 2011 NLCS for the shortest in postseason franchise history.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Milwaukee Brewers, Gio Gonzalez