The Los Angeles Dodgers will get a second and final chance to assure themselves of their second consecutive World Series appearance when they face the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series Saturday at Milwaukee’s Miller Park.
Rookie Walker Buehler will start for the Dodgers, facing fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin in a rematch of the starters in Monday’s Game 3, won by Milwaukee, 4-0.
“Walker is prepared for this moment,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “As far as his rest, he’s ready to go. And as far as his heartbeat, the weapons, all that stuff, we’re in really good shape with him.
“He understands the magnitude of this moment, this game, and he’s a good person for us to take the baseball.”
Buehler was charged with the loss in Game 3, allowing four runs and five hits, striking out eight and walking one.
Chacin limited the Dodgers to three hits in 5 1/3 shutout innings in Game 3, walking two and striking out six. He was credited with the victory.
Home teams are 55-56 in winner-take-all games in MLB postseason history, according to ESPN Stats & Info.
The Dodgers last made back-to-back World Series appearances in 1977 and 1978, losing to the New York Yankees both times.
No team has won back-to-back National League pennants since the 2008 and 2009 Philadelphia Phillies.
The NLCS winner will face the American League champion Boston Red Sox in the World Series, which will begin Tuesday at Fenway Park.
The Brewers extended the best-of-seven series to its limit with a 7-2 victory Friday with Hyun-Jin Ryu allowing four runs in the bottom of the first inning after Dodgers leadoff hitter David Freese hit Wade Miley’s 2-2 changeup for a home run.
“It was huge to be able to answer back in the first inning after the homer,” said Chatsworth High School alumnus Mike Moustakas. “One would have been great, two would have been awesome. To put up four right there just gives us a lot of confidence.”
Milwaukee’s three consecutive two-out hits drove in four runs in the first. Jesus Aguilar doubled in Lorenzo Cain, who led off with an infield single, and Ryan Braun, a former Granada Hills High standout, who walked with one out.
Moustakas followed with a double that scored Aguilar. Erik Kratz singled in Moustakas.
The Brewers added a run in the second on back-to-back one-out doubles by Westlake High School graduate Christian Yelich and Braun.
The Dodgers cut the deficit to 5-2 in the fifth when Freese’s one-out double drove in Brian Dozier, who walked. Freese’s double was the Dodgers final hit.
Milwaukee scored once in both the seventh and eighth.
Aguilar doubled leading off the seventh, moved to third on Orlando Arcia’s one-out ground out and scored on a wild pitch by Kenta Maeda, the sixth of seven Dodger pitchers.
Cain walked to lead off the eighth. Roberts then replaced Maeda with Rich Hill, who walked Yelich, the first batter he faced, advancing Cain to second. Cain moved to third when Hernan Perez grounded into a force out and scored on Aguliar’s single.
The Dodgers were out-hit, 11-5, left six runners on base, were hitless in three at-bats with runners in scoring position and struck out nine times. The Brewers left 11 runners on base, were five-for-16 with runners in scoring position and struck out 13 times.
Ryu was charged with the loss, allowing five runs and seven hits in three innings, striking out three and walking two. He had not given up more than three earned runs in any previous start in 2018.
Corey Knebel, the second of four Brewer pitchers, was credited with the victory, pitching 1 2/3 hitless innings in relief of Miley, striking out two.
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