Dodgers vs. Brewers score: Cody Bellinger walks it off for Los Angeles in Game 4 to tie NLCS at 2-2
The bullpens carried the day (and night) in Game 4
The Milwaukee Brewers and host Los Angeles Dodgers played deep into the night on Tuesday, and not until the 13th inning was Game 4 of the NLCS decided. It was a taut, low-scoring affair that eventually descended into drudgery until Cody Bellinger's walk-off single plated Manny Machado and gave the Dodgers a 2-1 win. L.A. starter Rich Hill pitched solidly, Milwaukee's Gio Gonzalez after only one inning, and both bullpens gave heroic efforts. The Dodgers have now tied the best-of-seven series at 2-2. Below, you'll find what you need to know about Game 4.
The Dodgers finally came through with a clutch hit
In their Game 3 loss, the Dodgers were 0 for 10 with runners in scoring position with eight men left on base. That trend continued in Game 4, as L.A. went just 1 for 10 with RISP and 11 runners left stranded until Bellinger stepped in against Junior Guerra in the 13th.
It was Bellinger's first walk-off hit of his career. As you'll soon see, Bellinger also made an impact with the glove.
The benches cleared in the 10th
And it was because of, which can objectively be called dirty as hell:
That definitely looks like an intentional attempt to injure Jesus Aguilar. Don't be surprised if this leads to some kind of reprisal -- whether at the plate or on the bases -- later in the series.
Turner played some D
Justin Turner had the biggest single hit of the NLCS thus far in Game 2, and in Game 3 he made an impact with his glove. Dig this one:
Mercy. It takes some fortitude to man the hot corner in the bigs. Turner also did a nifty job of starting a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth. Turner's evolution as a power hitter gets plenty of attention, but he's been a standout defender at third for some time.
Speaking of D, Bellinger made a play to remember
Cody Bellinger hasn't played a lot of right field, but you wouldn't know from this gem of a play to rob Lorenzo Cain of extra bases in the 10th:
Given that Ryan Braun singled to center later in the frame, Bellinger's miracle snare may have saved the go-ahead run.
Santana again came up big as pinch-hitter
Domingo Santana was perhaps the Brewers' best hitter in 2017, but major struggles and a crowded outfield cut into his playing time this year. As such, it's easy to forget about him. During that regular season, though, Santana batted .414/469/.793 in 32 plate appearances as a pinch-hitter. Yes, the sample size is so small as to be meaningless, but the production happened. In Game 1 of the NLCS, he notched a pinch-hit, two-RBI single that forced Clayton Kershaw out of the game. Then in Game 4 on Tuesday night, he plated the tying run as a pinch hitter.
Much has rightly been made of the strength of the Dodgers' bench during the postseason, but let's not forget about the necessary work Santana has been doing for Milwaukee.
Hill pitched well
If all you saw of Rich Hill was this:
Then you'd probably assume he struggled in Game 4. That really wasn't the case, though:
The dugout tantrum above is a consequence of his allowing the tying run to score in the fifth, but overall it was a strong outing for Hill. The Dodgers just didn't give him ample run support.
Gonzalez departed with injury
Yasiel Puig led off the second with a high bouncer back to the mound, and Gonzalez came down on his ankle after trying to make a leaping grab.
Gonzalez tried to walk it off and seemed to be fighting to stay in, but it's hard to keep pitching with injured ankle on your drive leg. Gonzalez probably wasn't going to go deep anyway, but the injury forced Craig Counsell's hand ahead of schedule. Potentially, the Brewers may be looking at replacing him on the NLCS roster.
Peralta came up big in a pinch
Twenty-two-year-old Freddy Peralta made 14 starts and two relief appearances for the Brewers in the regular season, but didn't see any postseason action until Game 4. Pressed into duty after the Gonzalez injury, Peralta saw his fastball play up a bit coming out of the bullpen. He also got some very necessary outs for Milwaukee. He walked three batters in as many innings, but he also struck out six without allowing any hits. More to the point, he didn't allow any runs.
The bullpens as a whole were dominant
The two starters combined to six innings, and the game went to the 12th. So, yes, it was a bullpen-heavy game. It was also a bullpen-dominant game. In all, 13 different relievers combined to allow only one run in 21 2/3 innings of work. On the Milwaukee side, postseason history was made:
Pity these two managers if the Game 5 starters don't go deep.
It's now basically a best-of-three series
We're tied 2-2, and that means it's in essence a best-of-three series the rest of the way. Stated yet another way, one of these two teams is headed back to Milwaukee for Game 6 needing only one win to advance to the World Series. History may be working against the Dodgers in this instance, though. In all best-of-seven postseason series that have been tied 2-2, the team with home-field advantage -- the Brewers in this instance -- have gone on to win that series 58.2 percent of the time.
The Brewers and Dodgers will play the final game of the series in Dodger Stadium on Wednesday. First pitch of Game 5 is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. ET and can be streamed on fuboTV (Try for free). Lefty Wade Miley will be going on short rest for the Brewers (he worked 5 2/3 shutout innings in Game 2), and he'll be opposed by Clayton Kershaw, who had a rough go of it in Game 1.
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