LOS ANGELES -- After a 10-for-51 September, two hitless at-bats during the National League Division Series and being absent from the box scores in the first three games of the NL Championship Series, Jonathan Schoop found himself starting at second base for Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night
LOS ANGELES -- After a 10-for-51 September, two hitless at-bats during the National League Division Series and being absent from the box scores in the first three games of the NL Championship Series, Jonathan Schoop found himself starting at second base for Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
"I think [Dodgers starter] Rich Hill's stuff and Johnny's swing, and where the ball is probably going to end up, where Rich throws it a lot, it's a good matchup," said manager Craig Counsell. "When you compare it to our other options, it's the option I like best tonight."
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The other options were right-handed hitter Hernan Perez or left-handed hitter Travis Shaw, who have each started against left-handers in the postseason.
But Counsell instead went with Schoop, the former American League All-Star acquired from the Orioles on July 31 to help bolster what was at the time a sagging Milwaukee offense. He joined Shaw, Perez, Mike Moustakas and Orlando Arcia in an infield with many moving pieces, though Schoop never found consistent success at the plate.
He slashed .202/.246/.331 in 134 regular-season at-bats, with four home runs. The biggest was a go-ahead grand slam against the Giants' Madison Bumgarner on Sept. 9 at Miller Park, part of a five-RBI day that helped the Brewers sweep San Francisco amid a late-season surge that led then to the NL Central crown.
From that day through Monday, Schoop was 5-for-34 with a double and 12 strikeouts.
He has handled his struggles "probably as good as you can handle it," said former Orioles teammate Wade Miley, who is poised to start Game 5 for the Brewers on Wednesday. "Obviously he wants to play every day. For him, he's played 162 games in Baltimore for multiple years. It's probably hard to come off the bench like he did, but he's still there supporting his teammates day in and day out. He's going to try to do whatever he can to help the team win."
Miley saw Schoop at his best. In 2017, Schoop hit 32 home runs and drove in 105 runs while making his first All-Star team.
"From what I've seen he's a superstar," Miley said. "I don't know. He just needs at-bats, I guess. But it's hard. We've got a really good team over here. He came in in August and this is how we play. He'll be good again."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.