LOS ANGELES -- Player Page for Max Muncy bristled a bit earlier this week at Dodger Stadium when somebody suggested the Dodgers' offensive philosophy consisted of swinging hard and trying to hit home runs.:: NLCS schedule and results ::Not true, he said.The Dodgers showed a different offensive approach in Wednesday
LOS ANGELES -- Player Page for Max Muncy bristled a bit earlier this week at Dodger Stadium when somebody suggested the Dodgers' offensive philosophy consisted of swinging hard and trying to hit home runs.
:: NLCS schedule and results ::
Not true, he said.
The Dodgers showed a different offensive approach in Wednesday afternoon's 5-2 victory over the Brewers in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series. They scattered nine hits, regularly putting the ball in play in clutch moments. They scored without hitting a home run.
Muncy offered a simple explanation for Los Angeles' revamped approach at the plate: The Dodgers had no choice.
"Today was a tough day," Muncy said. "We had a long game last night. Everyone is feeling it. Everyone is a little tired. Then they bring in [Brandon] Woodruff [after the first batter]. He's throwing absolute missiles in there. It was a tough day for everyone, and then you have the shadows creeping in. There weren't going to be any home runs today. We knew that. We had to just figure out how to get the bat on the ball and make things happen."
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Added Cody Bellinger: "Our approach was [to] single them to death."
Austin Barnes, who got another start over Yasmani Grandal, singled to center field with one out in the fifth inning to score Chris Taylor and tie the game at 1. The Dodgers had runners on first and second with one out in the sixth inning when Muncy hit a ground ball through the left side of the infield, beating the shift and plating Justin Turner to give L.A. a 2-1 lead.
It was just the fourth time this season Muncy had a ground ball beat the shift through the left side.
"Just getting the run was a great feeling," Muncy said. "If it was the regular season maybe you say, 'Hey, take that, shift.' But right now, you're just happy you get the ball in."
Two batters later, Yasiel Puig's single to center field scored Manny Machado to make it 3-1. Turner's single to center scored Clayton Kershaw in the seventh to make it 4-1.
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See a pattern there?
"It's always a process," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "You're always trying to get better. But for us to see that and for those guys to get rewarded I think is encouraging.
"I don't know how many times we struck out tonight, but I felt that the intent … that's something our guys have talked about a lot lately, and when you're facing good pitching, you've got to give a little something. If it's slug to keep the line moving or to spoil a pitch, that's not always a bad thing."
The approach has Los Angeles one victory away from reaching its second consecutive World Series.
"I think that's something we talked about the whole series, today we actually did a better job of doing it," Turner said. "They obviously have good arms in their bullpen and it's not easy stuff. And I thought we did a lot better job from Austin's at-bat on, the quality of bats were unbelievable compared to the rest of the series."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.