NLCS Bound! Brewers Complete Sweep of Rockies, Will Face Dodgers or Braves
For just the second time since moving to the National League and third time in the history of the franchise, the Milwaukee Brewers are headed to the National League Championship Series to face either the Los Angeles Dodgers or Atlanta Braves in a best-of-seven series. A trip to the World Series will be on the line when they square off against either team, but one thing is for sure, Milwaukee is the hottest team in the postseason right now after sweeping the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS.
The Brewers, like the Rockies came into the series having to play in a division tiebreaker game the day after the season ended to determine whether they would play in the National League Wild Card Game or head straight to the National League Division Series. In Milwaukee's case, they defeated the Chicago Cubs to win the division and punch their ticket into the NLDS. As for the Rockies, they were defeated in their tiebreaker game against the Los Angeles Dodgers before defeating the Cubs in the wild card game to set up a date with the Brewers.
But Rocktober was no match for the hot bats and hot pitching of the Brew Crew as Milwaukee made quick work of their West Coast opponent in just three games. Momentum could have easily shifted in favor of the Rockies after closer Jeremy Jeffress gave up two runs in the top of the ninth on a single and sacrifice fly to knot things up at two. But Mike Moustakas knocked a two-out single to right which scored MVP candidate Christian Yelich from third to give Milwaukee a 3-2 walk-off win and control of the series, 1-0.
From there on out, the rest of the series was all Brewers. The pitching was masterful after the ninth-inning failure in Game 1 with starters Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley blanking the Rockies in their respective starts before giving way to Milwaukee's dominant bullpen. Chacin pitched five scoreless innings in Game 2, allowing no runs on three hits, striking out three, and walking three before the Brewer's bullpen threw the last four innings of the game. Like Chacin, the bullpen sparkled and allowed just three hits over the course of the final four innings and struck out seven Colorado batters. As for the offense, they held up their side of things, getting their starter a 1-0 lead on a ground rule double by Hernan Perez off Rockies starter Tyler Anderson which would be enough offense for the win. However, Milwaukee was not done there, tacking on three more runs in the eighth inning on singles by Moustakas and Erik Kratz to put them up 4-0 heading into the ninth. After blowing the save the previous night, Jeremy Jeffress earned himself a two-inning save as the Brew Crew took a 2-0 lead headed on the road to Coors Field.
Then came last night's series-clinching game with Wade Miley in which the starter went 4 2/3 innings, giving up no runs on three hits, striking out two, and walking one batter before getting the hook for Corey Knebel to finish the fifth for him. At that point, the Brewers already tagged Rockies starter German Marquez for two runs on a fielder's choice by Travis Shaw and home run by Jesus Aguilar to give themselves a 2-0 lead. Again that would be all Milwaukee needed to get the win as the bullpen came in relief of Miley to pitch 5 1/3 innings in which they gave up no runs on one hit, struck out six, and walked two batters. Meanwhile, the Brewers cranked out four more runs of offense thanks to a balk and wild pitch by reliever Scott Oberg and back-to-back home runs from the bats of Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton off reliever Wade Davis to pad the Brewers lead as took Game 3, 6-0 for the series sweep.
The back-to-back shutouts by Milwaukee's pitching puts their scoreless inning streak at 19 while the team has a win streak dating back to the regular season of 11 straight games. The Brewers are dominating in all aspects of the game and look to be a tough out no matter who they end up facing in the NLCS. Speaking of NLCS, this is Milwaukee's first NLCS since 2011 when they faced the eventually World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals in a series they ended up losing in six games. With the Dodgers and Braves headed for Game 4 this afternoon, the Brewers can head home and relax for a few days knowing they will play Games 1 and 2 at home starting on Friday no matter who emerges from the other NLDS series. Milwaukee seems to be building something special and with be a tough out for the remainder of the postseason no matter who they play.
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