The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to assure themselves of their second consecutive World Series appearance when they face the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series Friday at Milwaukee’s Miller Park.
Hyun-Jin Ryu will start for the Dodgers against fellow left-hander Wade Miley in a rematch of the Game 2 starters. Ryu allowed two runs and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, striking out four and not walking a batter in the Dodgers 4-3 victory Saturday at Miller Park.
“I thought we did a nice job against Ryu the first game,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said.
Ryu has gone 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in five career postseason starts, striking out 21 batters and walking three, limiting opposing hitters to a .231 average.
Miley is making his second consecutive start. He walked Cody Bellinger, the Dodgers leadoff hitter, on five pitches in the bottom of the first in Game 5 Wednesday, then was replaced by Brandon Woodruff.
Counsell confirmed after the game that the “plan all along” was to replace Miley with Woodruff after one batter and have Miley start Game 6.
Miley shut out the Dodgers over 5 2/3 innings in Game 2, allowing two hits and striking out three. He did not walk a batter.
Teams with a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven NLCS have a 15-6 series record. Teams trailing 3-2 with Games 6 and 7 scheduled at home have a 4-8 record.
The Dodgers have a 5-1 record when taking a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series. The only loss came in the 1952 World Series when they were based in Brooklyn and faced the New York Yankees.
The Dodgers have held Milwaukee to three runs over the past two games.
“We need to score more runs,” Counsell said. “I think it boils down to our bats and have better at-bats and just trying to create more pressure on the other team.”
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts credited his team’s lead to its bullpen. Dodgers relievers have allowed three runs in 21 2/3 innings.
“I think for our pen to eat up those innings and put up a bunch of zeros allowed us to stay in games, keep leads,” Roberts said, referring to Clayton Kershaw’s four-inning stint in Game 1 and Ryu’s 4 1/3 innings in Game 2.
The Dodgers last made back-to-back World Series appearances in 1977 and 1978, losing to the Yankees both times.
Milwaukee is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time since Sept. 15-16. Their last three-game losing streak was Aug. 15-18. The Brewers entered the NLCS with an 11-game winning streak, which they extended to 12 games with a 6-5 victory in Game 1. Milwaukee has lost three of four games since then.
Game 7, if necessary, would be played Saturday, also at Miller Park.
The NLCS winner will face the American League champion Boston Red Sox in the World Series, which will begin Tuesday at Fenway Park. Boston completed its five-game victory over the defending World Series champion Houston Astros Thursday with a 4-1 victory at Minute Maid Park.