MILWAUKEE -- The entertainment value of the National League Championship Series should remain high as the Brewers and Dodgers resume festivities at Dodger Stadium tonight for Game 3.The last time the clubs met out west was a wild 21-5 Dodgers win over Brewers Game 3 starter Jhoulys Chacin on Aug.
MILWAUKEE -- The entertainment value of the National League Championship Series should remain high as the Brewers and Dodgers resume festivities at Dodger Stadium tonight for Game 3.
The last time the clubs met out west was a wild 21-5 Dodgers win over Brewers Game 3 starter Jhoulys Chacin on Aug. 2, when the Dodgers launched seven home runs. Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig had two each, while Justin Turner, Cody Bellinger and James Dozier slugged one apiece.
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Los Angeles scored a 10th-inning walk-off win the previous game, 6-4, on Yasmani Grandal's two-run homer. Milwaukee won the first two games of the series, with Wade Miley, Joakim Soria and Jeremy Jeffress combining on a two-hit 1-0 shutout on July 31.
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In the history of best-of-seven series with the 2-3-2 format, teams that split the first two games on the road have gone on to take the series 36 of 80 times (45 percent).
Brewers: With righty Walker Buehler on the mound for L.A., Milwaukee's lineup card is likely to look like so:
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
- Christian Yelich, RF
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Travis Shaw, 2B
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
- Erik Kratz, C
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Jhoulys Chacin, P
Dodgers: Grandal returns, hitting seventh.
1. Joc Pederson, LF
- Player Page for Max Muncy, 1B
- Justin Turner, 3B
- Manny Machado, SS
- Cody Bellinger, CF
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Yasmani Grandal, C
- Enrique Hernandez, 2B
- Walker Buehler, P
Who are the starting pitchers?
Brewers: For Chacin (15-8, 3.50 ERA in the regular season), Game 3 of the NLCS will be an exercise in a player's uncanny ability to forget poor performances. On Aug. 2 at Dodger Stadium, a disputed walk helped load the bases for Bellinger's grand slam, part of a 4 1/3-inning outing in which Chacin was charged with nine runs (eight earned) on five hits and four walks.
"I know people might talk a lot about that," said Chacin, who rebounded to post a 2.67 ERA in his final 11 starts of the regular season before delivering five scoreless innings on short rest against the Rockies on Game 2 of the NL Division Series.
Dodgers: Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA) has looked like an ace-in-waiting for the past two months, except for the second inning of Game 3 of the NLDS against the Braves. Things sped up and he struggled through a five-run inning in a noisy ballpark in Atlanta. Los Angeles held Buehler back to make his next start in the more comfortable surroundings of Dodger Stadium. In his only start against the Brewers, he took a tough-luck loss on July 31, allowing one run in seven innings with seven strikeouts and no walks.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: Let's just say that Sunday's travel day was welcome. Jeffress and Corey Knebel have now pitched in all five of the Brewers' postseason games. Even though there was a nice layoff between rounds, Jeffress threw 39 pitches in Games 1 and 2, and Knebel 31. Josh Hader was off limits in Game 2 after throwing a season-high 46 pitches in Game 1. Soria was off in Game 2 after pitching each of Milwaukee's first four postseason games. The off-day should provide something of a reset.
Dodgers: They showed the game plan if they have a lead after seven innings. Caleb Ferguson faces the lefties, Kenta Maeda sets up and Kenley Jansen is the closer.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: Probably not, although manager Craig Counsell said he'd wait until today to make that determination.
Dodgers: L.A. used seven relievers in Game 2 (all but Julio Urias), but only Pedro Baez was used for more than three outs (four), and with a Sunday day off, everybody is probably available.
Any injuries of note?
Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: Yelich, who surged to the finish of the regular season and was an on-base machine in the NLDS against the Rockies, is 1-for-8 with two walks in the NLCS after his game-ending groundout with the tying runner in scoring position in Game 2. He credited the Dodgers for "making pitches when they have to." Moustakas went 0-for-3 Saturday to snap a 10-game postseason hitting streak.
Dodgers: Turner, Taylor and Pederson each had two hits in Game 2. Taylor is 5-for-9 in the series. Bellinger got his first hit of the postseason. Baez has four strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings. Alex Wood has allowed homers in his past two postseason appearances.
Anything else fans might want to know?
The Brewers and Dodgers set a record for most combined pitching appearances through two games of an LCS with 27. With 14, Los Angeles has the record for one team.
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.