Imagine this scenario: Noah Syndergaard only lasts one inning, the Dodgers bullpen has to toss eight innings to close out the game, and the Brewers have NL-West-dominator Eric Lauer on the mound — who had an ERA of 2.37 and a 7-1 record over the Dodgers. Would you as a Brewers fan take a bet that Milwaukee wins the game? Seems likely.
Well, that’s exactly what happened, and the Brewers couldn’t get the job done. Early struggles from Lauer didn’t mix well with a quiet night from the offense, resulting in a 6-2 loss to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers wasted no time getting on the board tonight. Leadoff man and multi-time 300 bowler Mookie Betts sent the second pitch he saw out to the left-center field, clearing the wall for a home run to give the Dodgers a quick 1-0 lead. Freddy Freeman then found his way to third following a walk, stolen base, and poor pickoff attempt from Eric Lauer. Will Smith got him home with a sacrifice fly to center, extending the lead to 2-0 before the Brewers got to the plate.
The Brewers’ matchup with Noah Syndergaard would be short-lived. After a scoreless first inning, the right-hander was forced to exit the game with a blister on his index finger. The injury would open the door to the bullpen, with seven Dodgers combining to cover the final eight innings.
With the bullpen getting stretched, the offense continued to click for the visitors. A double from James Outman set the table for another insurance run, as Miguel Rojas drove him in with a single. Up 3-0 going into the third, Will Smith extended the lead with a home run to left. With the bullpen in full control, the Dodgers had a 4-0 lead.
Early on, the Brewers struggled to create chances. Tyrone Taylor made it to second in the third on a stolen base but could come around to score. The Brewers went down 1-2-3 each inning from the fourth through the sixth, while the Dodgers’ lead grew to 6-0 on a Miguel Vargas home run during that stretch.
The bottom of the seventh saw some action from the Brewers’ offense. Rowdy Tellez knocked his 10th home run of the year, a solo shot to center. A few batters later, Victor Caratini hit a solo home run of his own to make it 6-2. Beyond those bursts of power, they couldn’t muster much of a comeback. In the eighth they got two men on, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. In the ninth, they had men at the corners with Taylor at the plate, but he grounded out weakly to end the game. In the end, the Dodgers’ bullpen went eight innings, giving up four hits and two runs in the 6-2 win.
Wade Miley will get the ball in tomorrow’s rubber match against Clayton Kershaw, with first pitch at 12:40 p.m.