LOS ANGELES -- The Brewers will be looking to take a commanding lead and the Dodgers will be looking to even the best-of-seven National League Championship Series in Game 4 tonight at Dodger Stadium.Lefties Giovany Gonzalez of the Brewers and Rich Hill of the Dodgers will start. The Dodgers look
LOS ANGELES -- The Brewers will be looking to take a commanding lead and the Dodgers will be looking to even the best-of-seven National League Championship Series in Game 4 tonight at Dodger Stadium.
Lefties Giovany Gonzalez of the Brewers and Rich Hill of the Dodgers will start. The Dodgers look for Hill to get through the lineup at least twice, while Gonzalez faced only eight batters in Game 1, allowing a second-inning home run to Manny Machado before turning it over to the Milwaukee bullpen.
Brewers wipeout reliever Josh Hader faced only two batters in Game 3 -- striking out David Freese and Matt Kemp -- and should be available for an appearance in Game 4 or 5, if not both.
:: NLCS schedule and results ::
Brewers: With a lefty on the mound for the Dodgers for the third time in the series, the Brewers went with Jonathan Schoop at second base over Hernan Perez.
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
- Christian Yelich, RF
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
- Jonathan Schoop, 2B
- Manny Pina, C
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- Gio Gonzalez, P
Dodgers:Austin Barnes returns to the starting lineup behind the plate and Yasmani Grandal goes back to the bench after another rugged game for Grandal, who was charged with his third passed ball of the series and struck out three times in Game 3. James Dozier, who fanned with the bases loaded to end the game on Monday, will get his first start of the 2018 postseason.
1. Chris Taylor, LF
- Justin Turner, 3B
- David Freese, 1B
- Manny Machado, SS
- Brian Dozier, 2B
- Enrique Hernandez, CF
- Yasiel Puig, RF
- Austin Barnes, C
- Rich Hill, P
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Who are the starting pitchers?
Brewers: Gonzalez (10-11, 4.21 ERA) gets his second start of the series, but this could end up being another bullpen day for the Brewers. Gonzalez started Game 1 on Friday, when he threw just 32 pitches over two innings before being lifted for Brandon Woodruff, who took over when the Dodgers' lineup turned over for the first time. Woodruff hasn't pitched since, so he'll be available to cover innings whether Gonzalez struggles or not. Gonzalez figures to be on a short leash either way, though it's possible Craig Counsell asks the lefty for more than last time with Hader not an option for three innings like he threw in Game 1.
Gonzalez allowed a solo homer to Machado and little else in his first appearance of the postseason. He went 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA across five starts after being acquired from the Nationals at the end of August.
Dodgers: Hill (11-5, 3.65 ERA) hustled down to the bullpen late Monday and would have pitched in relief if the game went extra innings. Instead, he'll start Game 4. He was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against the Brewers this season and allowed one run in six innings the only time he faced them at Dodger Stadium in 2018. Hill is an intense competitor and lip readers will be entertained with his reaction to certain pitches and umpire calls.
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Brewers: The Brewers are in good shape despite using Corey Knebel and Jeremy Jeffress for the sixth time in as many postseason games, and deploying Hader in Game 3 after he was off-limits for Game 2. None of those pitchers threw more than Jeffress' 21 pitches, and Knebel was able to log five outs on only 19 pitches. That sets up those workhorses well for Games 4 and 5.
"We're not just trying to win games here, we're trying to win the series," Counsell said. "We've put ourselves in Games 4 and 5 with tonight's effort."
Dodgers: With Walker Buehler throwing seven innings in Game 3, the back end of the Dodgers' bullpen -- Kenley Jansen, Kenta Maeda, Pedro Baez, Caleb Ferguson -- is well rested. Only Alex Wood and Dylan Floro were used Monday night, for one inning each.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: The pressing question is Hader, whom the Brewers were extremely hesitant to pitch on back-to-back days during the regular season. He did so just five times, the last being Aug. 29-30, when Hader rebounded from a season-worst four-run outing to record an extra-inning save against the Reds. Counsell used Hader for two outs in Game 3, when he needed just eight pitches to strike out both batters he faced.
"You know, we'll always check on it and see how he feels and everything, but obviously the part of taking him out of the game [after two batters] was to have him available for Games 4 and 5 if we need him," Counsell said.
Said Hader: "We'll see what 'Couns' decides, but I'm ready to go."
Any injuries of note?
Who is hot and who is not?
Brewers: With his two-run homer in the seventh inning, Arcia has hit as many postseason home runs (three) as he hit in the entirety of a regular season that included two demotions to the Minor Leagues to work on his hitting. He's homered in two straight games. More >>
Shaw also stayed productive with a triple that gave the Brewers their second run on Monday thanks to a wild pitch. Two of Shaw's three NLCS hits have gone for extra bases.
Dodgers: Machado had two of the team's five hits in Game 3 and is batting .455 in the series. Grandal will be replaced behind the plate by Barnes, who had a single and bases-loaded walk on Saturday.
Anything else fans might want to know?
Teams that take a 2-1 lead in the NLCS have a 19-7 series record all time.
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.