LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill will have to wait to hear which of the Brewers' "initial out-getters" he'll match up against in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.Continuing their practice of a flexible pitching plan, Brewers manager Craig Counsell was not ready to reveal Sunday who
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers left-hander Rich Hill will have to wait to hear which of the Brewers' "initial out-getters" he'll match up against in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.
Continuing their practice of a flexible pitching plan, Brewers manager Craig Counsell was not ready to reveal Sunday who would start Tuesday night's Game 4 at Dodger Stadium.
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It will depend on how the team navigates Game 3, with Jhoulys Chacin getting the start, which leaves open the possibility of employing another "opener" like in Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Rockies, when Brandon Woodruff started and pitched three innings, and Game 1 of the NLCS, when Giovany Gonzalez pitched two innings.
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Woodruff and Gonzalez are among the Game 4 options in the wake of modest pitch counts in Game 1. So are right-handers Freddy Peralta, who has yet to pitch in the postseason, and Junior Guerra, who was sharp in an inning at the end of Game 2.
"We'll put together some way to get 27 outs," Counsell said. "I don't mean to be coy about it, that's how we're looking at it. And there's several candidates for it. But we're going to use all our resources in Game 3 and then move on to Game 4."
Good for a laugh
Game 2 didn't end the way the Brewers wanted, but it included a light moment along the way.
When Counsell went to the mound to replace starter Wade Miley with right-hander Corbin Burnes, he also brought Hernan Perez into the game in a double switch. The departing position player was first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who followed Miley to the dugout to a huge ovation for the left-hander, who'd delivered two hits and pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings.
Aguilar, acting as if the ovation was for him, doffed his cap to the crowd.
"I was not looking at Corbin Burnes coming in the game. All six of us on the mound were saying, 'Look at Aggie, man,'" Counsell said with a laugh. "Isn't that just like Aggie? We were laughing. We were all watching him. Corbin, I had to turn around and hand him the ball because we were watching Aggie ham it up -- as he's really good at doing."
• To preserve their sleep cycles, the Brewers waited until midday Sunday to fly to Los Angeles, then took part in an optional workout at Dodger Stadium. Most of the position players took a day of rest, though veteran outfielder Curtis Granderson was on hand to take batting practice.
• Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson has a fan in Dodgers Game 3 starter Walker Buehler, who committed to Vanderbilt University when Johnson was the pitching coach. Johnson subsequently got a job as Minor League pitching coordinator with the Cubs, and Buehler went on to be the Dodgers' first-round Draft pick in 2015, a few months before the Brewers hired Johnson to be Counsell's pitching coach.
"He was a big, big reason why I chose to go to Vanderbilt," said Buehler, who was impressed with "the way he did things, and treating guys similarly, and being able to put his approach on everyone. I'm not surprised that they've had success over there under him, just because he's a special mind."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.