The No. 1 seed Los Angeles Dodgers suffocated the No. 8 Milwaukee Brewers in a two-game sweep to clinch a spot in the National League Divisional Series. With a gem from a familiar face, and an all-around solid performance from the pitching staff, the Dodgers will cruise to Arlington, Texas, where they will await their next opponent.
The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the NL Wild Card Series, beating the Brewers 4-2 in a game that came down to taking advantage of the pitchers mistakes.
Los Angeles capitalized immediately from a shaky start by Milwaukee LHP Brent Suter, who couldn’t find the strike zone. He allowed a lead-off double to RF Mookie Betts before walking four Dodgers in the first inning to fall behind 2-0. In the next inning, he gave up back-to-back doubles to Betts and 2B Chris Taylor, placing the team in a 3-0 hole.
The Brewers offense would fight back in the fourth when SS Orlando Arcia hit a two-run homer off SP Walker Buehler, driving in DH Daniel Vogelbach to bring the game within one.
The offense would slow almost to a halt on both sides as the pitching staff tightened up for the remainder of the game. Dodgers SS Corey Seager would be the only player to break the silence when he hit a solo shot homer in the seventh to bring the game to its final score, 4-2.
The Dodgers were treated to an all-time performance from their starter Clayton Kershaw in this series clinching game. Through eight scoreless innings, Kershaw struck out 13 Brewers while allowing only one walk and three hits.
Through the first four innings, although the game was scoreless, it seemed like Milwaukee starter Brandon Woodruff would get the better of Kershaw, as he had allowed one hit, struck out eight Dodger batters, and looked to be the more comfortable pitcher.
However, the Los Angeles offense would shatter Woodruff’s momentum in the fifth, starting with CF Cody Bellinger and Taylor singling back-to-back to put two on with one out. Dodgers LF A.J. Pollock bounced into a fielder’s choice, with Bellinger being forced out at third, but leaving Taylor on second and Pollock on first.
Dodgers C Austin Barnes singled up the middle to drive in Taylor for the first run of the game. He would be immediately followed up by Betts, who doubled down the left field line to drive in Pollock and Barnes, stretching the lead to 3-0.
Kershaw dominated the next three innings, setting the stage for RHP Brusdar Graterol to close out the ninth inning, securing the save and shutout, and punching the Dodgers’ ticket to the NLDS.
The Dodgers can enjoy their win tonight, but will surely be watching eagerly tomorrow as the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego Padres will face off in a winner take all game.
Hey, my name is Max Perez, I am a contributing writer for The Bullpen and a senior at California State University, Long Beach. Since beginning my education I have been dedicated to sports journalism, working for two different student publication and covering as many sports as possible, and hope to continue that journey here.