LOS ANGELES -- There's no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight PT 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
LOS ANGELES -- There's no time to be tired for the Brewers and Dodgers, who departed after midnight PT 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.
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: They will stick with mostly the same lineup they used against Kershaw in Game 1, with Erik Kratz in place of Manny Pina because Kratz handles Miley's starts:
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
- Christian Yelich, RF
- Ryan Braun, LF
- Jesus Aguilar, 1B
- Hernan Perez, 2B
- Mike Moustakas, 3B
- Erik Kratz, C
- Orlando Arcia, SS
- 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 gets both in the lineup for Game 5. James Dozier delivered in Game 4, but Player Page for Max Muncy gets the start at second base. Cody Bellinger will bat in the leadoff spot for just the second time in his career; the first was during his second big league game, on April 26, 2017, in which he went 0-for-5.
1. Cody Bellinger, CF
- Justin Turner, 3B
- David Freese, 1B
- Manny Machado, SS
- Max Muncy, 2B
- Chris Taylor, LF
- Enrique Hernanadez, RF
- Austin Barnes, C
- 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.
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.
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 replaced Giovany Gonzalez, who went down in the second inning with a left high ankle sprain, with righty Zach Davies.
• Davies replaces injured Gio on Brewers roster
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.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Brewers: Hader, if the Brewers stick to the regular season formula that got them here.
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.
Any injuries of note?
Brewers: Since Gonzalez was replaced on the NLCS roster, he is ineligible for the World Series should the Brewers advance. He did not speak to reporters after Game 4.
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.
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.
Anything else fans might want to know?
The Dodgers are 4-8 and the Brewers are 0-1 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.