The Milwaukee Brewers are in trouble.The National League
Central champion heads to Dodger Stadium tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers in
the NLCS.Few things have gone to plan for Craig Counsell's team Gaylord
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, as its dominant bullpen has been rattled by a
confident Dodgers lineup.Los Angeles sits in perfect position to take control of
the series in Game 3 on Monday, and if it gets on a roll at home, it could
finish off the series inside Dodger Stadium by Wednesday. NLCS ScheduleAll Times
ET.Game 3:Monday October 15 at Los Angeles (7:39 p.m., FS1)Game 4:Tuesday,
October 16 at Los Angeles (9:09 p.m., FS1)Game 5:Wednesday, October 17 at Los
Angeles (5:05 p.m., FS1)Game 6:Friday, October 19 at Milwaukee (8:39 p.m.,
FS1)*Game 7:Saturday, October 20 at Milwaukee (9:09 p.m., FS1)**If
necessary.OddsGame 3Milwaukee (+140; bet $100 to win $140)Los Angeles (-165; bet
$165 to win $100)According toOddsShark. PredictionsMilwaukee's Bullpen Continues
to StruggleEight of the nine runs the Brewers have let up in the NLCS have been
conceded by the bullpen.Of the octet of relievers Milwaukee has trotted out to
the mound ,
six have given up at least one hit, with Brandon Woodruff and Junior Guerra the
only pitchers with unblemished lines.Counsell blew up his normal bullpen
strategy in Game 1, as he let Josh Hader deal for three innings, making him
unavailable for Game 2.In the loss to the Dodgers on Saturday, Jeremy Jeffress
conceded a game-winning two-run homer to Justin Turner in the eighth
inning.Dylan Buell/Getty ImagesAlthough he wasn't charged with the second
Dodgers' run, Jeffress allowed the score, as he walked Austin Barnes with the
bases loaded after coming in for Corbin Burnes.The majority of the Dodgers
lineup has been challenged with the best stuff from each of Milwaukee's top
relievers through two games.There's an extended book on Hader going into Game 3
because he went through the entire order during his Game 1 appearance.The change
of scenery and day off鈥攐r in Hader's case, two days off鈥攃ould help the Brewers
refocus and put Games 1 and 2 behind them.But given the success the Dodgers have
had in the latter innings in the NLCS, it will be hard for the Brewers to regain
their commanding bullpen form moving forward. Turner's Game 2 Home Run Gives
Dodgers Lineup an Extra SparkLos Angeles' lineup lacked a contribution from
Turner in Game 1, as he went 0-for-5 and struck out on four occasions.In Game 2,
Turner produced two hits, including the game-winning two-run shot off Jeffress
in the eighth inning.Jeff Roberson/Associated PressWith the home run acting as a
catalyst for Turner's NLCS performance Brandon
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, the Dodgers should be able to put plenty of
runners on base for their power hitters in the three upcoming home games.Leadoff
man Chris Taylor leads the Dodgers with five hits in the NLCS, while cleanup
hitter Manny Machado has three hits and has driven in a team-high three
runs.With Taylor and Turner thriving at the top of the lineup, the Dodgers could
put a few runs across the plate early in Game 3, which would force the Brewers
to stretch out their bullpen even further.In addition to Taylor and
Turner'sspark at the top of the order, Los Angeles could unleash Max Muncy in
Game 3 after he started the first two games on the bench in favor of David
Freese.If Muncy and Machado come to the plate with runners in scoring position
on multiple occasions, the Dodgers have an opportunity to run away with the
series. Series Prediction:Los Angeles in six.Follow Joe on Twitter, JTansey90.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Blake Snell didn’t stick around long enough to win
his 10th straight start, but the Tampa Bay Rays left-hander felt he solidified
his chances for the Cy Young Award in his final appearance.The Rays beat the
Toronto Blue Jays 4-3 on Saturday night.“I feel like I have a pretty good case,”
said Snell, who leads the American League in wins (21) and ERA (1.89). “They’re
going to pick who they pick. I don’t have a say, but the work that I did put
together ,
it’s a great case to have.”Snell gave up a run in the first inning and left
after five with the score tied at 1. He gave up three hits and four walks (three
in the first inning) and struck out 10.“Three walks in the first inning, that’s
rough,” he said. “I’ve got to be in the zone more, but in between that was very
good. I’m happy the way the season ended.”Snell, whose last loss came on July
12, finished with a 21-5 record. In 14 starts at home, he never gave up more
than two runs and finished with an ERA of 1.27. He was trying to become the
first pitcher to win 10 straight starts within a season since Justin Verlander
with Detroit in 2011.The last 10 pitchers to lead the American League in wins
and ERA won the Cy Young Award, and Rays manager Kevin Cash thinks Snell will
make it 11.“There’s really not much debate, in my opinion,” Cash said.Diego
Castillo (4-2) got the win with two innings of relief. Sergio Romo pitched the
ninth for his 25th save despite giving up a pinch-hit homer to Reese
McGuire.C.J. Cron’s 30th homer got Tampa Bay on the board in the second against
Toronto starter Ryan Borucki (4-6), and Austin Meadows put the Rays ahead for
the first time with another homer off Borucki in the seventh.It was the sixth
homer of the season and the first as a Ray for Meadows, who was acquired along
with pitcher Tyler Glasnow in the July 31 trade that sent pitcher Chris Archer
to Pittsburgh.Jon Berti led off the game with an infield single Jeff
Samardzija Jersey
, stole second and scored the run off Snell on
Rowdy Tellez’s sacrifice fly.With Snell out of the game, Teoscar Hernandez hit
his 22nd home run off Castillo to put the Blue Jays up 2-1.Tommy Pham led off
the Tampa Bay sixth with a single, extending to 31 his streak of games in which
he has reached base safely, the longest active streak in the majors. He scored
on Brandon Lowe’s two-out single, tying it at 2 in the sixth.Borucki gave up
four runs on seven hits in 6 2/3 innings, and finished September 1-3 despite a
2.65 ERA over 34 innings.“It was just good to prove myself and get that
confidence that I can get these guys out, these hitters out,” said the rookie
left-hander. “For so long you think these guys are invincible and they never get
out, but just being up here and just really proving to myself I can do this is
definitely a confidence boost going into ’19.”RUSSELL’S REIGNBlue Jays manager
John Gibbons has decided to let 35-year-old catcher Russell Martin manage the
team in Sunday’s regular-season finale. “I’m having a little fun with it,”
Gibbons said. “Let him see how tough it is.”Martin hasn’t played since Sept. 3
because Toronto is looking at younger catchers.The team announced Wednesday that
Gibbons will not return as manager next season.TRAINER’S ROOMBlue Jays: RHP
Marco Estrada, bothered by lower back soreness, will not make his final
scheduled start Sunday. “We talked about it ,”
Estrada said. “Obviously, I’ve been feeling some stuff, so they kind of figured
what’s the point. Done enough, let’s just rest now.” Estrada, 7-14 with a 5.64
ERA in 28 starts in what could be his last year with Toronto, becomes a free
agent after the season.UP NEXTRHP Sam Gaviglio (3-9) will make his 24th start
for the Blue Jays, his fourth against the Rays, in Sunday’s season finale. The
Rays will finish with a “bullpen day,” starting with RHP Ryne Stanek
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