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2016 NLCS: Dodgers vs. Cubs

For Crew, Game 7 not an end but a beginning

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- From Orlando magic on Opening Day to "Let's cry" on the mound in Colorado to "We Believe In Jesús" and learning that teenage tweets last forever but folks can forgive. From Brent Suter off Corey Kluber to Brandon Woodruff off Clayton Kershaw. From "too many outfielders" and "too few starting pitchers" to Lorenzo Cain's leaping catches, Christian Yelich looking like an MVP Award winner and late-inning lights-out relief. Some surprise first-inning lights-out relief, too.

There were George Webb hamburgers washed down by a trio of champagne celebrations. Bob Uecker, 84 years young, danced in the middle of them all. He wished there had been two more.

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MILWAUKEE -- From Orlando magic on Opening Day to "Let's cry" on the mound in Colorado to "We Believe In Jesús" and learning that teenage tweets last forever but folks can forgive. From Brent Suter off Corey Kluber to Brandon Woodruff off Clayton Kershaw. From "too many outfielders" and "too few starting pitchers" to Lorenzo Cain's leaping catches, Christian Yelich looking like an MVP Award winner and late-inning lights-out relief. Some surprise first-inning lights-out relief, too.

There were George Webb hamburgers washed down by a trio of champagne celebrations. Bob Uecker, 84 years young, danced in the middle of them all. He wished there had been two more.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

One of the most memorable of the 50 seasons in franchise history ended short of the goal on Saturday with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series.

For the Dodgers, it's on to the World Series. For the Brewers, it's wait 'til next year.

They think they will be pretty good again next year.

"The feeling here was really different in 2011," said owner Mark Attanasio, referring to Milwaukee's last team to make it this far, "because we sort of knew it was the end of the road. Prince [Fielder] was going to be a free agent. [Zack] Greinke was going to be gone the next year, [Shaun] Marcum was gone. There was a lot of sadness, because that group of men was being disbanded. This group of guys, it's just the beginning. It's the early innings for this group.

"So it feels different. I can report that from an owner's standpoint, losing a Game 7 is harder emotionally than losing a Game 6, because you can actually see it and taste it. But there's a lot of reason to be hopeful about this group."

As Attanasio spoke, the room had begun to clear of cameras, and the ambient noise picked up. Twenty-two-year-old Freddy Peralta came by for a hug, then resurgent reliever Corey Knebel. Yelich's tears started to dry. There was laughter in the corner where Cain was holding court.

"You didn't hear any of this in '11," Attanasio said. "Guys are already starting to pick up their spirits a little bit. This group knows it will be together."

Video: MLB Tonight discusses Miley's Game 6 start

There will be exceptions, of course. There always are. Curtis Granderson, Gio Gonzalez and Wade Miley are free agents, with Miley the most notable after he made 16 regular-season starts with a 2.57 ERA, then pitched four more times in the postseason, including a memorable one-batter decoy start in Game 5 of the NLCS. A new pitcher thanks to that cutter, he will try to cash in via free agency.

Mike Moustakas and Joakim Soria have mutual options, and Jeremy Jeffress and Jordan Lyles have club options that need addressing. Only Jeffress is sure to be back.

And the Brewers have a slew of arbitration-eligible players, including some intriguing cases coming off seasons complicated by injuries or performance, including pitchers Zach Davies, Knebel and Jimmy Nelson; catcher Stephen Vogt; infielder Jonathan Schoop; and outfielder Domingo Santana. Infielder Travis Shaw is eligible for the first time and due a huge raise, but he's not going anywhere.

Video: NCLS Gm7: Shaw doubles as Puig mistimes jump in 4th

Also not going anywhere: Cain and Yelich, who came to Milwaukee last Jan. 26, Cain via free agency and Yelich via trade, with five years of control apiece. Fellow All-Star Jesus Aguilar has another minimum-salary season ahead before he qualifies for arbitration. And the trio at back end of the bullpen -- Knebel, Jeffress and Josh Hader -- should all be back.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Hader fans 4 over 3 scoreless relief frames

What could make next season different in Attanasio's mind is the starting pitching. In addition to steady starter Jhoulys Chacin, the Brewers will choose from a field that includes Chase Anderson and Davies, Nelson coming off shoulder surgery and young arms Peralta, Corbin Burnes and Woodruff, each of whom took huge strides while coming out of the bullpen in October.

Video: MLB Tonight: Woodruff on his home run, Game 7

Woodruff logged a 2.19 ERA in 12 1/3 postseason innings and homered off Kershaw in Game 1 of the NLCS. Burnes pitched nine innings over six postseason games, with a 2.00 ERA. Peralta dealt three scoreless innings in relief of an injured Gonzalez in Game 4.

"You guys saw glimpses of what this team has to offer in the future with the young studs they have coming up," said Moustakas. "This team is going to be in a good spot next year and the next couple of years."

"A lot of special things happened this season. A lot of guys showed up," Cain said. "Woodruff is one guy who stood out to me this postseason. He went up and down during the regular season, and he stepped up big-time in the postseason. I expect him to be on the roster and ready to go next year, for sure. There's a lot of guys I expect big things from."

The Brewers have less than four months to ponder it. Milwaukee will report to renovated Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix during the second week of February.

"Before the future was just that [day's] game," said Jeffress. "Now we can look to the future and we're excited about it. We have a new complex in Arizona that we're excited for, and we're going to go there and re-evaluate some things and come back with the same type of guys that you saw this season. There's going to be a lot of fighting for jobs next year, and that's what we want."

Said Yelich: "The great thing about this sport is there's always hope. You always get ready for the next season. Use what we did this year and build on it in Spring Training. Use this feeling we're all feeling right now as fuel and motivation to get back and take that next step."

Will the Brewers be back? There are no guarantees, as Ryan Braun, the lone holdover from the 2011 NLCS entry, knows. Despite Fielder's pending departure, that club expressed optimism in a quiet clubhouse, too.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Braun on Brewers' season after NLCS exit

"You never know how things will play out with the team or what key free agents will be back," said Braun. "But so much of our success came from young guys who we control for a number of years moving forward. There's a lot of reasons for hope and optimism.

"At the same time, we were one win away from the World Series. We had an opportunity to play that game at home. We all know, no matter how good you are, those opportunities don't come around every year. It's disappointing today."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers

'Battle tested' Dodgers ready for Red Sox

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers won't have the home-field advantage in the World Series as they did last year, but they do have an advantage over last year's World Series appearance.

"It feels we're a little more battle tested this year. Last year was more of a joyride," general manager Farhan Zaidi said while being showered with expensive alcoholic beverages during the clubhouse celebration after Saturday night's 5-1 win over the Brewers clinched a second consecutive National League pennant.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers won't have the home-field advantage in the World Series as they did last year, but they do have an advantage over last year's World Series appearance.

"It feels we're a little more battle tested this year. Last year was more of a joyride," general manager Farhan Zaidi said while being showered with expensive alcoholic beverages during the clubhouse celebration after Saturday night's 5-1 win over the Brewers clinched a second consecutive National League pennant.

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:: World Series schedule and results ::

"We haven't taken anything for granted this year. We understood how hard it was, but also knew what it took to get here."

After winning 104 games in the regular season and cruising through the first two rounds of the postseason, the Dodgers lost to the Houston Astros in last year's World Series Game 7.

Zaidi said that experience better prepared his club for the NL Championship Series clincher and will better prepare it for the best-of-seven World Series against the Red Sox, whom the Dodgers haven't faced in the Fall Classic since 1916, won by Boston.

"The crowds, the media attention, everything that goes with being in the World Series, it will all be familiar to us this time in the same way as being on the LCS stage for the first time in '16 and winning at that stage last year," said Zaidi. "We played a very worthy opponent last year and the Red Sox are terrific, too. It's going to be just as tough and we'll be prepared."

Zaidi said winning the World Series this year is more about unfinished business than redemption for last year's missed opportunity.

"It's just about trying to win it all," he said. "Certainly last year, there were long nights in the offseason thinking about how close we got. We feel really fortunate to have an opportunity to go at it again. We earned it. It wasn't handed to us."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Roberts gives victory speech in clubhouse

Andrew Friedman, president of baseball operations, said the Red Sox pose a new set of challenges.

"It's a really good team. It's a really tough lineup," he said. "It's probably the best defensive outfield I've ever seen. Every time I go to look at them, I had to go back to focusing on the Brewers. That's a really good team. They didn't allow us to really look beyond them. I know Boston is really good. I know their pitching is really good. I know it's a deep, well rounded team. We'll take two days to cram and do everything we can to be ready to play them."

Justin Turner said the subtle benefits of having played in the World Series so recently shouldn't be underestimated.

"I just think we have a lot of experience, guys that have been there and done it," said Turner, "and that helps you control your emotions, control your anxiety, slow your heart beat down."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Rookie Buehler delivers with 7 K's in NLCS G7

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Andrew Friedman heard the chatter. Game 7. On the road. A rookie called upon to extend the season. How would Walker Buehler respond?

The Dodgers' president of baseball operations did not worry. The bigger gamble came years earlier, when Friedman, then in his first year running Los Angeles' front office, made Buehler his first Draft pick. Buehler required Tommy John surgery at the time. That was known. No matter. His upside was too great, despite the risk.

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MILWAUKEE -- Andrew Friedman heard the chatter. Game 7. On the road. A rookie called upon to extend the season. How would Walker Buehler respond?

The Dodgers' president of baseball operations did not worry. The bigger gamble came years earlier, when Friedman, then in his first year running Los Angeles' front office, made Buehler his first Draft pick. Buehler required Tommy John surgery at the time. That was known. No matter. His upside was too great, despite the risk.

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:: NLCS schedule and results ::

"I felt like it was validated long ago," Friedman said.

Now, though, Friedman and the Dodgers have a signature performance to point to. That much is clear after they punched a ticket to their second straight World Series on Saturday night, with Buehler playing a big role in their 5-1 win over the Brewers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park.

The moment was not too big for the 24-year-old righty, who held Milwaukee to a Christian Yelich solo homer in 4 2/3 innings.

"There is a lot of talent on this team and it was my turn to take the ball," Buehler said. "We're deep, one to 25. Go out and try to do as well as you can for as long as you can."

Flashing the high-octane arsenal that propelled him into the NL Rookie of the Year Award conversation this year, Buehler delivered against the Brewers. His fastball flirted with triple digits. Buehler struck out seven, walked none, and worked himself out of jams in the second and fourth before giving way to L.A.'s bullpen, which blanked Milwaukee the rest of the way. It was by far his best performance this October; Buehler allowed nine runs over his first two starts of the postseason.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Buehler retires pinch-hitting Schoop in 2nd

"He has supreme confidence. He is as confident, and I may even use the word 'cocky,' as any young player I've been around. It serves him really well," Friedman said. "There was a lot of talk coming into this game. 'How would Walker handle a Game 7? How would he handle a hostile environment?' Those of us who know him well were not concerned at all."

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler

Machado has last laugh at Miller with 1st WS

Dodgers star after G7 win: 'They're always going to boo the best'
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Manny Machado loved every second of this.

The supremely talented shortstop-turned-villain in the National League Championship Series capped his often-controversial series with the last laugh in a 5-1 victory over the Brewers in Game 7 on Saturday night at Miller Park. Machado celebrated his first trip to the World Series in the visitors' clubhouse, spraying and drinking champagne with his Dodgers teammates and relishing the fact that he sent more than 40,000 Brewers fans home unhappy.

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MILWAUKEE -- Manny Machado loved every second of this.

The supremely talented shortstop-turned-villain in the National League Championship Series capped his often-controversial series with the last laugh in a 5-1 victory over the Brewers in Game 7 on Saturday night at Miller Park. Machado celebrated his first trip to the World Series in the visitors' clubhouse, spraying and drinking champagne with his Dodgers teammates and relishing the fact that he sent more than 40,000 Brewers fans home unhappy.

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World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FOX

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

"They're always going to boo the best," Machado said.

Machado set the mood and the table in the series clincher. He stepped into the batter's box in the second inning to a chorus of boos from Brewers fans, who were feeling fine with Milwaukee holding a 1-0 lead. Machado became public enemy No. 1 when he got tangled up with Brewers first baseman Jesus Aguilar on a controversial play at first base in Game 4 at Dodger Stadium. Words were exchanged. Benches and bullpens cleared. Milwaukee right fielder Christian Yelich afterward called Machado a "dirty player."

Machado couldn't have cared less.

Dress for Fall Classic: Get Dodgers NL champs gear

Brewers fans jeered Machado throughout Game 6. They chanted "Manny sucks!" Machado went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in the 7-2 loss.

Machado lived up to his villain status and stepped up his game in Game 7. He worked a 3-2 count against Milwaukee right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in the second inning, when he unexpectedly bunted a slider up the third-base line for a single.

Machado, who famously answered criticism about not hustling in Game 2 by saying he will never be "Johnny Hustle," reached a sprint speed of 29.3 feet per second. It was Machado's fastest tracked sprint speed of the season.

It appears Machado, who averaged 26.3 feet per second. during the regular season, runs well when he chooses.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Statcast™ measures Machado's speed on bunt

But why bunt there, Manny? It was the first 3-2 bunt single since Norichika Aoki had one for the Royals on May 29, 2014.

"I can't say what I really want to say," Machado said.

Machado was upset that Chacin quick pitched him.

"I know it was a little [gutsy], but anything to win," Machado said. "It came out perfectly because Belli [Cody Bellinger] came up next and hit that big, big homer to put us up top."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Dodgers on advancing to the World Series

Machado's unexpected bunt was a moment to savor, but then he sparked further controversy. After he reached first base, he grabbed himself a few times as he faced Brewers fans in the stands. Asked if he made an untoward gesture toward them, Machado sidestepped.

"Honestly, I have no idea," Machado said. "All I heard was, 'Manny sucks.'"

So no gestures to the crowd?

"No," Machado said. "I just hear what they say. I just enjoy it, take it all in, you know?"

Asked if he likes being a villain, Machado sidestepped again.

"I play baseball, I play baseball," he said. "We won today. I love it. There's no better feeling than celebrating."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Roberts gives victory speech in clubhouse

But come on, Manny? Didn't it feel great to drop down a bunt to spark a rally and win Game 7, especially after the boos and his performance in Game 6?

Machado smiled and pointed to the golden champagne bottle in his hands.

"I play for this," he said.

Machado then scanned over the crowd of reporters in front of him.

"Where's the trophy at?" he said. "Where's the trophy at? That's all I play for, baby. That's all I play for."

Machado tries for a bigger trophy beginning Tuesday against the Red Sox in Game 1 of the World Series.

Todd Zolecki has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Yasiel Puig

Crew's thrilling run ends in heartbreak in G7

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' World Series hopes turned on two line drives.

One was caught. One was not.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers' World Series hopes turned on two line drives.

One was caught. One was not.

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And because of those outcomes -- a Christian Yelich drive that found Chris Taylor's glove at the warning track in the fifth inning before a laser beam of a three-run home run for Yasiel Puig in the sixth -- a surprising season that carried a Milwaukee team two years removed from rebuilding to within one victory of the Fall Classic came to a close. The 2018 Brewers went down with a 5-1 loss to the Dodgers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on Saturday night.

Just like that, it was the end. The Brewers set a franchise record with 102 total wins. That included a 12-game spree that stretched into October and covered regular season Game 163 at Wrigley Field for the NL Central crown before a sweep of the Rockies in the NL Division Series, then a date with the postseason-tested Dodgers in the NLCS.

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

The winning streak ended in Game 2 of the NLCS after Milwaukee had a three-run lead with nine outs to go, a result that tilted the series in Los Angeles' favor. Now the Dodgers are off to the World Series for the 20th time, tied with the Giants for the second most all time to the Yankees' 40.

The Brewers, including perhaps their highest-profile fan, will have to try again next year.

For Crew, Game 7 not an end but a beginning

"I'm sure not just for me personally, but for everybody here in Wisconsin, this is a big deal," said Hall of Famer Robin Yount an hour before the start of the second Game 7 in Brewers history. "We're not like some of the bigger franchises that experience this stuff a little more often.

"So when a team is this good and plays this well in the playoff atmosphere, we're all excited. I'm as excited as anybody."

Yount: First pitch feels 'like I'm at home'

Even Yount left the ballpark disappointed.

"The obvious is that it's disappointing," said Yelich, whose eyes welled as he talked about his remarkable and exhausting second-half push to become the NL MVP Award favorite. "But so many guys have gotten better. We can learn from this. It's something to be proud of. We accomplished a lot, especially down the stretch. Once this settles down, we can assess what we accomplished and use it as motivation for next year. Hopefully, this is just the beginning."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yelich lines solo HR to open scoring

Said Ryan Braun: "This is certainly not the position that we hoped to be in. I think we entered the day really confident. They just beat us today."

There was early reason for excitement in Game 7. Yelich drove in his first run of the NLCS with a solo homer in the first inning, but it was another fly ball off his bat on which the game would pivot. Milwaukee trailed in the fifth, 2-1, and had already burned relief ace Josh Hader for three scoreless innings in the wake of a shaky Jhoulys Chacin when Lorenzo Cain doubled off L.A. starter Walker Buehler with two outs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts popped out of the dugout to tap into his bullpen.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Hader fans 4 over 3 scoreless relief frames

If there exists a soft spot in Los Angeles' stout pitching staff, this may have been it. Buehler and his electric triple-digit-tickling fastball were out of the game, and Kenley Jansen and the Dodgers' best relievers were yet to come. Yelich drew 22-year-old lefty Julio Urias -- who was left off L.A.'s NLDS roster but was added for this round for just this kind of spot -- and he got a pitch to hit when Urias left an elevated 0-2 fastball within the bounds of the strike zone.

Yelich made solid contact and sent the baseball toward the gap in left-center. Taylor, who began the game at second base before moving to left in the third inning as Roberts once again aggressively employed his deep bench, took an adventurous route but found the right spot to make a running, sliding catch that ended the inning.

"You could feel the tension in the stands," Taylor said. "The stadium was going crazy, Julio facing the MVP and the tying run on second. It just all built up."

Video: NOCS Gm7: Taylor robs Yelich to save a run

"That's the thing, when there's one game, anything can happen," Yelich said. "Some things go your way, some things don't. They made the plays. They made the pitches when they had to to win. It's tough when it's one game that decides it. Credit to them, they played great and they won. I feel like we didn't really beat ourselves. They went out and they won the game."

That sucked some of the energy out of the crowd. Puig finished the job.

Cody Bellinger had given the Dodgers the lead with a two-run homer off Chacin in the second inning, but it was his speed legging out a potential double-play grounder in the sixth inning that allowed Puig to deliver the dagger. With two on and two outs against Jeremy Jeffress, who was every bit as good as Hader during the regular season but couldn't conjure the same results in October, Puig smashed a curveball -- it was actually low and away -- over the left-center-field wall for a three-run homer and a 5-1 lead.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Puig breaks it open with 3-run homer

Two of those runs were hung on Jeffress, who surrendered six earned runs in eight postseason innings. That matched the earned runs he allowed in his final 39 innings of the regular season dating all the way back to June 27.

"That's baseball, man," said Jeffress. "That was a good pitch for me. The whole series, I've been throwing good pitches. They've just been getting hit."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Jeffress reflects on Brewers' 2018 season

Did Jeffress run out of gas at the end?

"I don't have the perfect answer for you," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Tonight I thought both hits were on some breaking balls that just didn't have the good bite to them that they needed to have. This guy got outs better than anybody in the National League out of the bullpen this year. He was wonderful. And the playoffs did not go well for him."

Dodgers relievers had no such trouble, retiring 13 of the 14 Brewers batters they faced beginning with Urias' big out against Yelich. Milwaukee's only baserunner the rest of the way came on Orlando Arcia's two-out single in the seventh.

After Clayton Kershaw emerged from the bullpen and recorded the final three outs, Counsell left his club with a message to take into the offseason.

"This team, what I just told them is that they took us on an amazing journey," Counsell said. "They really did. They took us on an incredible journey that we should all be grateful for being able to see, because it was a magical run, especially in the month of September and into October. From Pittsburgh [in late September] on was absolutely incredible, how the team played and answered every tough situation they were in."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Brewers on postseason run, 2018 season

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
A bunt and a blast: Chacin, the Brewers' best pitcher during the regular season, was not at his best in Game 7. Every Dodger besides Manny Machado resisted offering at Chacin's slider, and when he grooved a two-seam fastball to Bellinger that was supposed to be up and in, Bellinger blasted it to the right-field bleachers for a two-run homer and a lead for Los Angeles. The homer followed a surprise bunt single in a full count from Machado, who was booed loudly for the second straight night. It was the first full-count bunt hit in the Majors since Nori Aoki of the Royals on May 29, 2014.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Bellinger belts 2-run homer, scores Machado

"I think I quick-pitched him, so the only thing he could do was bunt there," said Chacin. "It was a perfect bunt. That's what I was most surprised of. Then I tried to get Bellinger to chase up, and the ball sunk down. He put a good swing on the ball.

"... I'm really proud of all of the guys here. Nobody believed we could make it here, and we just went one win away from the World Series. I'm excited for next year."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Chacin discusses tough Game 7 loss

Stranding Shaw: It was still 2-1 in the fourth when Travis Shaw's leadoff double against Buehler put the Brewers in business. But the Dodgers rookie never let Shaw budge from second base, striking out Jesus Aguilar (his breakthrough season ended with an 0-for-4, four-strikeout night) and Erik Kratz around a Mike Moustakas flyout. Milwaukee's only other runner in scoring position the rest of the night was Cain in the fifth.

Video: NCLS Gm7: Shaw doubles as Puig mistimes jump in 4th

"The bottom line is they pitched well and they didn't let us get anything going," Counsell said. "I talked before the game about multiple baserunners. We did get some leadoff guys on, but I don't know if there was an inning [after the second] where we had multiple baserunners on. We weren't able to put together rallies, multiple hits, and get things going. And credit to them for how they pitched tonight."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Buehler fans Kratz to escape trouble in 4th

SOUND SMART
Arcia's strong finish gave the Brewers hope for better things in 2019 for the slick-fielding shortstop. He became the 12th player to collect a hit in all seven games of an LCS. The last was the Giants' Marco Scutaro in 2012.

HE SAID IT
"Losing sucks. It hurts any time; it's not the 'stage of my career.' If we came up short in Game 163, it would have sucked. It doesn't suck any more or any less. I remember losing in the championship game in Little League just like I remember losing in Game 7 of the World Series. You learn from it and hopefully you become better, because if you don't become better, that means you became worse." -- Kratz

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers, Jhoulys Chacin, Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, Christian Yelich

LA wins NL, setting up titanic WS with Red Sox

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Corey Seager's elbow blew out, and the Dodgers found a way. The entire starting rotation went on the disabled list, and they found a way. Kenley Jansen's heart raced, and they found a way. They even found a way to overcome a nine-game deficit in the National League West. And on Saturday, the Dodgers found their way back to the World Series.

Dress for Fall Classic: Get Dodgers NL champs gear

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MILWAUKEE -- Corey Seager's elbow blew out, and the Dodgers found a way. The entire starting rotation went on the disabled list, and they found a way. Kenley Jansen's heart raced, and they found a way. They even found a way to overcome a nine-game deficit in the National League West. And on Saturday, the Dodgers found their way back to the World Series.

Dress for Fall Classic: Get Dodgers NL champs gear

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:: NLCS schedule and results ::

With rookie starter Walker Buehler poised under pressure, NLCS MVP Cody Bellinger and Yasiel Puig launching crowd-silencing homers at Miller Park and Chris Taylor pulling off a miracle catch in left field, the Dodgers eliminated the Brewers in Game 7 of the NL Championship Series, 5-1, and will play the Red Sox in the World Series starting Tuesday night in Boston.

"Every single person in this room has their fingerprints on this season," said Dave Roberts, who will be managing against his former Dodgers teammate, Boston's Alex Cora. "We haven't accomplished our goal yet. Four more wins. Let's go."

The Dodgers are going to back-to-back World Series for the first time since 1977-78, when they lost both times to the Yankees. They'll be trying for their first World Series win since 1988, which was clinched 30 years ago to the day, the same year they last won a Game 7 in the NLCS against the Mets. This one secured their 20th appearance in the Fall Classic, tying the Giants for the most in the NL.

"We found a way to get it done again," said Justin Turner. "You saw big swings from two guys [Bellinger and Puig] that didn't have the success this year they wanted. Walker Buehler gave us almost five innings, Ryan Madson is the unsung hero of the entire postseason and our bullpen was outstanding in a series when their bullpen got a lot of the press, a lot of attention. Our guys stepped up and got it done."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Dodgers on advancing to the World Series

The Dodgers' bullpen, outpitching a more celebrated Brewers bullpen, finished it off with 4 1/3 scoreless innings. Jansen struck out three of the four batters he faced, then handed the baton to Game 5 winner Clayton Kershaw, who struck out Mike Moustakas and was in the middle of the dogpile.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Kershaw on 9th inning, Dodgers' NLCS win

"Where we came from this year, it's a testament to these guys," said Kershaw. "It's a great group, we're excited, we're going to celebrate but we don't want to lose again, so we'll be ready to go."

Los Angeles' bullpen had a 1.45 ERA in the series.

Bullpen of the Week: Dodgers

Video: NLCS Gm7: Jansen racks up 3 strikeouts in Game 7

"All the heavy punches we took all season about the bullpen, including myself, and here we are celebrating," said Jansen. "We win another National League championship and we're going to the World Series. It was harder from the start and feels so much sweeter than last year."

General manager Farhan Zaidi echoed Jansen's analysis.

"We really had our backs to the wall in this game," he said. "Easy wasn't really in our playbook, so it was fitting it took us until Game 7. It was more of a joyride last year."

Like everything else this season, though, the Game 7 victory was tougher than it looked. Milwaukee scored first on Christian Yelich's homer, his second extra-base hit and first RBI of the series, on a 98 mph Buehler fastball in the first inning. Teams scoring first in a winner-take-all Game 7 had been 36-19 and 11-5 in Game 7 of the LCS.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yelich lines solo HR to open scoring

But Brewers starter Jhoulys Chacin couldn't hold the lead for even a half-inning. Manny Machado, with boos echoing through Miller Park, shocked everybody by perfectly bunting a 3-2 hanging slider for a leadoff infield single in the second. Bellinger, batting .190 at the time, followed by crushing a two-run homer projected by Statcast™ at 425 feet for a 2-1 lead. Add that to the dazzling catch and walk-off hit to win the 13-inning Game 4 and Bellinger was named MVP.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Bellinger blasts a 2-run homer in the 2nd

Before the top of the second ended, Milwaukee started warming up its most lethal weapon, Josh Hader, and after the inning ended, Kershaw walked from the dugout to the Dodgers' bullpen. And the plot thickened. Hader entered to start the third inning. He put up three zeros for the second time in the series.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Hader fans 4 over 3 scoreless relief frames

But it was Taylor -- co-MVP of last year's NLCS -- who at least matched Bellinger's catch in Game 4 with a spectacularly circuitous, lunging, sliding, over-the-shoulder catch of what would have been a game-tying double by Yelich with two outs in the fifth inning, saving L.A. reliever Julio Urias, brought in specifically to retire Yelich.

"At that point in time, I thought the game was tied," said Roberts. "But C.T. gets a great break on the ball, and really a game-saving play."

"That was the catch of the year," said Bellinger, who held the title for three games.

Video: Must C Catch: Taylor ranges to make run-saving grab

Urias, pitching back to back for the first time in his life, also was pitching the day after the death of his grandmother, revealed to the team in the clubhouse by Enrique Hernandez before the champagne celebration began.

The catch should put Taylor right there with Bellinger and Brooklyn's Al Gionfriddo and Sandy Amoros for the most crucial defensive plays in Dodgers postseason history. Usually soft-spoken and mild-mannered, Taylor made, for him, a scene celebrating.

"You could feel the tension in the stands," he explained. "The stadium was going crazy, Julio facing the MVP and the tying run on second."

That set up the key blow in the sixth after Max Muncy and Turner singled and Bellinger beat out a double-play grounder, as Puig hit a three-run blast off Jeremy Jeffress, who called Turner "lucky" after his Game 2-winning homer off Jeffress. Puig was 3-for-4.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Puig breaks it open with 3-run homer

Buehler struck out seven in 4 2/3 innings. Madson followed Urias for five outs and was credited with the victory, Jansen came on with two outs in the seventh and Kershaw pitched the ninth, his first postseason relief outing since Game 7 of last year's World Series.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Madson K's 2 over 1 2/3, earns Game 7 win

"I think [World Series] Game 7 last year prepared us for Game 7 tonight," said catcher Austin Barnes. "If you make it bigger than it is, it works against you. I think we learned that last year. We executed."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Machado, who felt Chacin was quick-pitching him, effortlessly dropped a ridiculously perfect bunt single on a 3-2 pitch, which hadn't been done by anybody in any big league game since 2014. It silenced a crowd that had been raucously booing Machado and maybe it rattled Chacin, who served up the go-ahead home run to the next batter, Bellinger.

Machado has last laugh at Miller with 1st WS

Video: NLCS Gm7: Statcast™ measures Machado's speed on bunt

SOUND SMART
Puig is the third Cuban player to homer in a Game 7, joining Tony Perez (1975 World Series) and Bert Campaneris ('73 World Series).

Puig celebrated his HR with a crazy celebration

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
If Bellinger doesn't beat out the double-play grounder with one out in the sixth inning, Puig doesn't come up to slug the three-run homer. Statcast™ timed Bellinger's sprint speed from home to first at 30.5 feet per second (30.0 is considered elite).

Video: NLCS Gm7: Bellinger prevents double play in the 6th

HE SAID IT
"Puig was right." -- Barnes, on his teammate's prediction on a World Series return

Video: Dodgers, Red Sox sizzle through postseason gauntlet

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Cody Bellinger, Walker Buehler, Yasiel Puig

Taylor robs Crew of tying run with must-see grab

Roberts after Game 7 win: 'That certainly was a signature play'
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Chris Taylor had never played the outfield before last season, but the man sure can catch a fly ball. He started Game 7 of the National League Championship Series at second base, but he moved to left field in the third inning before making a momentum-killing catch on the warning track in left-center field to end the fifth on Saturday at Miller Park.

It might have been the defensive play of the series.

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MILWAUKEE -- Chris Taylor had never played the outfield before last season, but the man sure can catch a fly ball. He started Game 7 of the National League Championship Series at second base, but he moved to left field in the third inning before making a momentum-killing catch on the warning track in left-center field to end the fifth on Saturday at Miller Park.

It might have been the defensive play of the series.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

"It was just a big moment," Taylor said after the 5-1 victory over the Brewers clinched the Dodgers' second consecutive trip to the World Series. "You can feel the tension in the stands. The stadium was going crazy. We brought [Julio Urias] in to face the [likely] MVP. The tying run was on second. It just all built up."

Dress for Fall Classic: Get Dodgers NL champs gear

After Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain hit a two-out double in the fifth with Los Angeles holding a 2-1 lead, left-hander Urias entered the game to face Christian Yelich. The Brewers' right fielder ripped an 0-2 fastball to deep left-center field. It looked like a sure-fire extra-base hit as the ball left Yelich's bat at 97.8 mph, especially after Taylor initially broke toward center field.

"I thought it was going to be further in the gap," Taylor said.

But Taylor corrected his route and threw up his glove at the last second, catching the ball as he fell onto the warning track.

"It kind of tailed a lot," Taylor said. "So my original route, I had to kind of banana back toward the wall. I was just glad I was able to make the adjustment to make the play."

"That certainly was a signature play," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "Once the game is tied anything can happen. The momentum shifts."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Taylor, Bellinger, Roberts on Taylor's grab

Taylor needed to travel 81 feet to catch the ball, but he ran 85 feet as he adjusted from his initial break, according to Statcast™. Taylor said he also worried about Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger, which is why he never reached top speed. Taylor's sprint speed to the ball (27.1 feet per second) is nowhere near the 30.1 feet per second he reached in the outfield this season.

"I actually thought it was going to be Belly's ball," Taylor said. "It was right in between us; trying to get a feel where he was and whose ball it was going to be. It's so loud in there, calling for the ball does no good. Just trying to get a read on him and the ball at the same time."

Video: MLB Tonight discusses Taylor's key 5th-inning grab

Asked how plays like that come to him, Taylor said, "It's just one of those reaction plays, I think. Those are some of the tougher ones, a lefty hits one in the gap, it tails. You don't really know how much that ball is going to tail back. It's really just a reaction play."

And one that propelled L.A. to Boston for Game 1 of the World Series.

Todd Zolecki has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2009. Follow him on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Chris Taylor

Kershaw closes out NLCS G7 with 1-2-3 9th

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers have been conservative with their handling of Clayton Kershaw this postseason, more inclined to start him on extra rest than short rest. But with their season down to a single game, things were understandably different on Saturday night.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FOX

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers have been conservative with their handling of Clayton Kershaw this postseason, more inclined to start him on extra rest than short rest. But with their season down to a single game, things were understandably different on Saturday night.

World Series presented by YouTube TV, Game 1: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET/5:09 PT on FOX

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Manager Dave Roberts called on Kershaw to close out Game 7 of the National League Championship Series on two days' rest after an outstanding start in Game 5 at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. The Dodgers' ace delivered a scoreless ninth inning with two strikeouts to secure the NL pennant with a 5-1 win and advance Los Angeles to the World Series against the Red Sox.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Kershaw seals Game 7 as Dodgers win pennant

"It doesn't matter how you get there," Kershaw said after the game. "But to get to go back after last year is unbelievable. Where we came from this year, it's a testament to these guys, man. It's a great group. We're excited, we're gonna celebrate tonight, but we don't want to lose again, so we'll be ready to go."

Dress for Fall Classic: Get Dodgers NL champs gear

Kershaw entered Saturday having made five career postseason relief appearances to go along with his 22 starts. He threw four innings without allowing a run in Game 7 of last year's World Series, also on two days' rest after a Game 5 start.

Matthew Leach is an editor for MLB.com.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw

Yelich homer opens scoring in Game 7

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- That power stroke? Christian Yelich couldn't have picked a better time to find it again.

Quiet for much of the National League Championship Series, Yelich powered the Brewers to an early lead in Game 7 on Saturday by rocketing a solo home run off Walker Buehler in the first inning. The homer was Yelich's first of the series, and his first since Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Rockies.

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MILWAUKEE -- That power stroke? Christian Yelich couldn't have picked a better time to find it again.

Quiet for much of the National League Championship Series, Yelich powered the Brewers to an early lead in Game 7 on Saturday by rocketing a solo home run off Walker Buehler in the first inning. The homer was Yelich's first of the series, and his first since Game 1 of the NL Division Series against the Rockies.

View Full Game Coverage

Milwaukee sprinted into the postseason largely on the back of Yelich, whose monster second half propelled him to the front of the race for the NL Most Valuable Player Award. He hit 36 home runs in the regular season and led all NL hitters in batting average, slugging percentage and OPS.

Tweet from @MLB: What slump? #Game7 pic.twitter.com/Os8N41Gc40

But Yelich cooled off following his postseason-opening homer against Colorado, and entered play on Saturday hitting .167 with five walks across 29 plate appearances in this series. His homer gave the Brewers a 1-0 advantage, and the early lead they were looking for, although it evaporated when Cody Bellinger took Jhoulys Chacin deep in the top of the second to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.

Tweet from @Brewers: The MVP makes it 1-0 in the bottom of the 1st! #OurCrewOurOctober pic.twitter.com/vLdNhDPiPv

Yelich earned his homer. The 98.4-mph fastball from Buehler was the hardest pitch Yelich has homered on in his career, according to Statcast™. The resulting liner squeaked over the wall in right-center, just beyond the reach of a leaping Yasiel Puig.

Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz.

Milwaukee Brewers, Christian Yelich

Yount: First pitch feels 'like I'm at home'

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Robin Yount almost left the Brewers to chase a ring in Anaheim. It's nights like Saturday that make him glad he stayed.

Yount, the Hall of Famer and two-time American League MVP Award winner (1982, '89), threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, before this Brewers team tried to get where only Yount's '82 team had gone before: the World Series.

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MILWAUKEE -- Robin Yount almost left the Brewers to chase a ring in Anaheim. It's nights like Saturday that make him glad he stayed.

Yount, the Hall of Famer and two-time American League MVP Award winner (1982, '89), threw the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, before this Brewers team tried to get where only Yount's '82 team had gone before: the World Series.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

"I know one thing, it's a heck of a lot easier to be in uniform during these games than it is being a fan in the stands," said Yount. "I mean, I'm way more nervous today than I was when I played. And it's not to throw out the first pitch, because that's easy. The game coming up is. ... In my gut right now, it's pretty exciting."

Yount hadn't picked up a baseball in years, but he wasn't worried. In 2016, Yount -- an avid motorcyclist who lives in the Phoenix area -- nearly lost the use of his right hand when a compressor fell and crushed it while he was working in his garage. He drove himself to the hospital, and later underwent extensive surgery for multiple broken bones.

But Yount healed, and was able to continue attending autograph signings and other events. On Saturday, he took the field at Miller Park, the retractable-domed home of the Brewers that he helped lobby to get built.

"I will say there's something about going out on a big league field, for me, that is very comfortable," Yount said. "I'm not comfortable sitting right here talking to you folks, but I feel very comfortable out on that field. And I know when I walk out there I'm going to feel like I'm at home. And that's just the way it's been."

Twenty-five years after he retired, Yount remains the most revered player in franchise history, having played all 20 of his Major League seasons in Milwaukee while topping 3,000 hits. But it almost didn't happen that way. In December 1989, he nearly signed with the Angels, believing they were closer to contention than a Brewers team coming off an 81-81 campaign.

What made Yount stay?

"It was the right thing to do at that point in my career," he said. "[Then-Brewers owner Bud Selig] convinced me that it was the right thing to do. The fans of this community and Wisconsin convinced me it was the right thing to do.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yount on return to Milwaukee, first pitch

"And as bad as I wanted to go chase that ring, after I had made the decision to stay, I knew it was the right thing to do."

Yount came along for the ride as the 2018 Brewers chased the same dream. He attended NL Division Series games at Miller Park and has been a regular throughout the NLCS, including the games at Dodger Stadium.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yount on Counsell growing up around Brewers

Yount, who grew up in Los Angeles, was asked about the players he cheered as a boy, and he made an admission that may stun those familiar with NL rivalries.

"I'm just going to be very honest. I grew up in L.A., but I was a Giant fan," he said. "I didn't really care for the Dodgers all that much. So I guess I'm not surprising anybody if I say I'm cheering for the Brewers tonight."

Video: NLCS Gm7: Yount on impact of baseball on Wisconsin

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Milwaukee Brewers

Roberts puts faith in Muncy in Game 7

Slugger gets start at 1B over Freese; Taylor gets nod at 2B
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts started Max Muncy at first base and Chris Taylor at second base in the decisive National League Championship Series Game 7 on Saturday night.

Muncy came into the game hitting .167 (3-for-18) with one RBI, three walks, 10 strikeouts and a .452 OPS in the NLCS. Roberts could have started David Freese at first, particularly because he has done well against the Brewers over the years. Plus, Freese is a clutch postseason performer. He has a 1.083 OPS in nine NLCS plate appearances against Milwaukee and a career .883 OPS in 208 postseason plate appearances. Freese homered and doubled in a 7-2 loss in Game 6.

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MILWAUKEE -- Dodgers manager Dave Roberts started Max Muncy at first base and Chris Taylor at second base in the decisive National League Championship Series Game 7 on Saturday night.

Muncy came into the game hitting .167 (3-for-18) with one RBI, three walks, 10 strikeouts and a .452 OPS in the NLCS. Roberts could have started David Freese at first, particularly because he has done well against the Brewers over the years. Plus, Freese is a clutch postseason performer. He has a 1.083 OPS in nine NLCS plate appearances against Milwaukee and a career .883 OPS in 208 postseason plate appearances. Freese homered and doubled in a 7-2 loss in Game 6.

View Full Game Coverage

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

It is not like Freese's season platoon splits are wildly drastic, either. He had a .786 OPS vs. right-handers compared to an .876 OPS against left-handers.

"I do believe that there's been some swing-and-miss with Max," Roberts said, when asked why he started Muncy over Freese. "I still like him in the batter's box, I do. [Brewers right-hander Jhoulys] Chacin has made some good pitches on him as [have] their guys in the bullpen. I also feel that Freese is a very good weapon in a selected spot off the bench. And I still trust Max's ability to get on base and potentially slug for us."

Taylor started at second for the first time this postseason, although he has played there four times. He played 12 regular-season games there, starting five times.

Pederson good to go

Joc Pederson, struck on the right wrist by a 96 mph fastball from Corey Knebel in Game 6, was in the starting lineup for the Dodgers, leading off and playing left field.

Pederson did not take batting practice on the field with the rest of the squad before Game 7, but Roberts insisted Pederson's wrist was sound and that the outfielder took his batting practice in the indoor batting cage, along with Yasiel Puig. The rest of the club took batting practice, as usual, on the field.

Pederson is 3-for-12 in the series, with a walk and four strikeouts.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Max Muncy

NLCS Game 7: Muncy at 1B; Crew unchanged

Buehler, Chacin to square off in rematch of Game 3
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers and Brewers are taking this National League Championship Series the distance with a decisive Game 7 on Saturday at Miller Park, the winner going to the World Series, the loser going home. Eight months of work boiled down to one night.

The game will be a rematch of Game 3's starting pitchers, rookie Walker Buehler for Los Angeles and veteran Jhoulys Chacin for Milwaukee. The Dodgers are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s, the Brewers 0-1, while the home team is 6-3 in NLCS Game 7s.

View Full Game Coverage

MILWAUKEE -- The Dodgers and Brewers are taking this National League Championship Series the distance with a decisive Game 7 on Saturday at Miller Park, the winner going to the World Series, the loser going home. Eight months of work boiled down to one night.

The game will be a rematch of Game 3's starting pitchers, rookie Walker Buehler for Los Angeles and veteran Jhoulys Chacin for Milwaukee. The Dodgers are 3-4 all-time in Game 7s, the Brewers 0-1, while the home team is 6-3 in NLCS Game 7s.

View Full Game Coverage

Here are possible starting lineups and answers to the most frequently asked questions about Game 7:

:: NLCS schedule and results ::

Starting lineups

Dodgers
1. Joc Pederson, LF
2. Max Muncy, 1B
3. Justin Turner, 3B
4. Manny Machado, SS
5. Cody Bellinger, CF
6. Yasiel Puig, RF
7. Chris Taylor, 2B
8. Austin Barnes, C
9. Walker Buehler, P

Brewers
1. Lorenzo Cain, CF
2. Christian Yelich, RF
3. Ryan Braun, LF
4. Travis Shaw, 2B
5. Jesus Aguilar, 1B
6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
7. Erik Kratz, C
8. Orlando Arcia, SS
9. Jhoulys Chacin, SP

Who are the starting pitchers?
Dodgers: Buehler pitched better than his Game 3 line (four runs, seven innings) looked, and he gets another chance in a rematch with Chacin. Four of Buehler's innings were scoreless, but he also allowed four extra-base hits -- a homer to Arcia, a triple to Shaw and doubles to Braun and Kratz. All factored in the scoring. His stuff is electric and his confidence is off the charts, but it's a Game 7 on the road and will be an acid test for the rookie who was rattled in Atlanta in the NL Division Series.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Walker Buehler discusses starting Game 7

Brewers: From innings eater to playoff ace, that's the journey Chacin has taken this year. And now he gets the ball for Milwaukee with the season on the line. How long will the leash be for Chacin? Probably minimal, given what's at stake and how aggressively the Brewers have deployed their relievers this October, when less was at stake. This is a winner-take-all, so it's possible Chacin might only pitch until the first sign of trouble.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Chacin discusses starting pivotal Game 7

But that's not a reflection on how effective Chacin has been this postseason. Quite the opposite. The Brewers' most durable starter in the regular season, he is unscored upon across 10 1/3 innings this October, the workload split between two starts. Chacin shut out the Dodgers for 5 1/3 in his last outing, Milwaukee's 4-0 Game 3 win in Los Angeles.

Video: NLCS Gm7: Buehler, Chacin set to face off in Game 7

NLCS gear: Dodgers | Brewers

How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Dodgers: Falling behind early in Game 6, Dave Roberts managed his bullpen thinking about Game 7. He didn't use closer Kenley Jansen, Pedro Baez or Ryan Madson, and he gets another pretty good high-leverage arm with Game 5 winner Clayton Kershaw available for relief duty.

Brewers: It won't technically be a bullpen game, but semantics aside, it very well could end up that way. The Brewers will be even more hyper-aggressive deploying their relievers in Game 7's do-or-die setting, and they are perfectly set up to do so after winning Game 6 handily. Their 7-2 margin ensured they didn't have to use Josh Hader, meaning the fireman will be on three full days of rest and no restrictions. That plays completely into Craig Counsell's game plan

Video: NLCS Gm6: Counsell on having Hader for Game 7.

Should Milwaukee grab an early lead, Counsell would likely call on Hader and ride him as far as he can. And behind Hader, the Brewers are set up well. Jeremy Jeffress is coming off a scoreless outing. Joakim Soria will be rested after not pitching in Game 6. And Corey Knebel has been dominant this postseason, Friday's 1 2/3-innings effort providing the latest example. Knebel is likely the only member of the usual late-inning crew who might need to be used at all delicately.

"Best-case scenario for us," Counsell said. "You'll see [Hader on Saturday], for sure."

Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Dodgers: Roberts said it's all hands on deck.

Brewers: Corbin Burnes could be limited after throwing two innings Friday, and it may be a push to ask Knebel for five outs again. But if they have to, the Brewers will. It's win or go home.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Burnes retires Kemp to force a Game 7

Any injuries of note?
Dodgers: The one possibility is Pederson, who was hit by a 96-mph Knebel pitch on the right wrist in the sixth inning. He remained in and finished the game, struck out in the ninth inning and apparently did not have X-rays taken, but that doesn't mean it won't swell up and be sore Saturday.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Pederson stays in after getting hit on hand

Brewers: No.

Who is hot and who is not?
Dodgers: After going 0-for-5 as mostly a decoy, Freese homered and doubled against Wade Miley. Machado has done the most damage for the Dodgers this postseason, but he responded to a hostile Milwaukee crowd with an 0-for-4 and two strikeouts. L.A.'s position player with the highest average in the series is Taylor at .350. Muncy has 10 strikeouts in 18 at-bats.

Brewers: Cain is back to fueling the Brewers from the top of their order, going 4-for-his-last-9. Yelich doubled Friday, but it marked just his first extra-base hit of this series. Milwaukee hopes big Game 6 performances by Aguilar (3-for-5, 3 RBIs) and Moustakas (RBI double) were signs of more to come.

More than anything, Friday marked a departure from what had been a series-long struggle for the Brewers: hitting with runners in scoring position. They went 5-for-16 (.313) in those spots in Game 6, after entering play 5-for-their-last-35 in those situations.

Video: NLCS Gm6: Aguilar records 3 hits, 3 RBIs in Game 6

Anything else fans might want to know?
This is the first Game 7 in Milwaukee since the 1958 World Series, when the Milwaukee Braves lost to the Yankees, 6-2. … The only previous Game 7 in Brewers history was a 6-3 loss to the Cardinals in the 1982 World Series. ... The last NLCS Game 7 came in 2012, when the Giants beat the Cardinals at AT&T Park, 9-0. ... The last time the Dodgers won consecutive NL pennants was 1977-78; coincidentally those are also their two most recent World Series losses prior to last year.

Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Walker Buehler, Jhoulys Chacin