Kershaw's strong outing lifts Dodgers to 3-2 NLCS lead

Clayton Kershaw embarrassed the Brewers Erik Kratz with a filthy breaking ball

Clayton Kershaw embarrassed the Brewers Erik Kratz with a filthy breaking ball

The Milwaukee Brewers fell 5-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, and now face a 3-to-2 deficit in the best of seven series. With a victory, they will advance to the World Series for the second straight year, this time facing the Boston Red Sox.

This time around, there were no shenanigans-no revivals of century-old gambits or attempted rope-a-dopes or not-so-successful starter subterfuge.

"I think it's seeing our guys persevere through that game", Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. And I think that, again, it's a game that you just don't know how it's going to unfold.

That ended up being 13 solid if unspectacular outs, as Miley once again kept a tough Dodgers lineup off balance. The left-hander gave up one run on three hits and two walks while also earning two walks at the plate. His only trouble came against resident Brewers killer David Freese, who tagged him for a solo homer to lead off the game and an RBI double in the fifth. They are 10-for-43 with runners in scoring position for the series. Jansen, who has had the last two days off, can provide more than that.

Dodgers starters have had their struggles in the series, combining for a 4.10 ERA through the first five games - including Clayton Kershaw's seven-inning gem in Game 5.

Coming into Friday night, the Brewers' bats had been held in check.

Milwaukee turned to its bullpen after the first batter, bringing in Brandon Woodruff, a right-hander. Hyun-Jin Ryu will go for the Dodgers.

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After Ryan Braun walked two batters after Cain's RBI double, Kershaw (1-1) retired the final 13 batters he faced. Woodruff homered off Kershaw in Game 1 in Milwaukee, becoming the third relief pitcher to homer in a postseason game. More teams around the league picked up on the maneuver after the Tampa Bay Rays started using bullpen days to get through some games this season. The awakened offense, then, proved doubly crucial for the Brewers. That means Hader will go into Game 7 on Saturday not having pitched since Tuesday, so that'll be three days of rest.

"We're good for sure", Aguilar said.

The pitching matchup is already set.

Milwaukee catcher Erik Kratz pointed to a specific instance in the sixth inning of Game 5 when he saw Manny Machado motioning toward Chris Taylor, who was at the plate in what he thought was an attempt to inform him of the upcoming pitch.

Don't expect either of those two to be on the mound for long, though, barring stupendous efforts.

Buehler will become the fourth rookie in the last 30 years to start a Game 7, according to ESPN Stats & Information. This was a bit of gamesmanship on the part of Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell.

Counsell should have everyone at his disposal. He threw 70 pitches with 47 going for strikes. But aside from them, no other Brewers reliever was pushed on Friday, and as noted, Hader will be fresh and available for multiple innings. "Harris started righty Curly Ogden for one out in Game 7 to mess up John McGraw's lineup, then went to George Modridge", tweeted one Major League Baseball guru.

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