NLCS Game 1: Brewers reliever Brandon Woodruff stuns Dodgers with home run against Clayton Kershaw

Going into the NLCS, it was clear the Brewers' bullpen would be a factor in the series. We just didn't expect the bullpen to be a factor on offense.

In the third inning of Game 1 on Friday night, Brewers reliever Brandon Woodruff cranked a game-tying solo home run against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. It was a 2-2 fastball down the middle and Woodruff swung like he knew it was coming:

That's a good looking swing! Woodruff went 2 for 8 with a home run and a walk during the regular season, so he kinda sorta has an idea at the plate. Kershaw gave him a cookie and Woodruff didn't miss it.

Woodruff's dinger is the 24th home run by a pitcher in postseason history -- Jake Arrieta was the last pitcher to go deep in October (2016 NLDS Game 3 vs. Madison Bumgarner) -- and the only the third by a reliever. The postseason reliever home run list:

  • Brandon Woodruff, Brewers (2018 NLCS Game 1 vs. Clayton Kershaw)
  • Travis Wood, Cubs (2016 NLDS Game 2 vs. George Kontos)
  • Rosy Ryan, Giants (1924 World Series Game 3 vs. Allen Russell)

Also, that is only the fourth home run Kershaw has given up to a pitcher in his career. Bumgarner has taken him deep twice (May 2015 and April 2016) and Tyson Ross also took him deep on September 13 of this season. So that's twice in the span of a calendar month that Kershaw has allowed a home run to a pitcher. Bad timing!

As for Woodruff, he struck out Justin Turner with a 97 mph fastball to end the top of the third inning before leading off the bottom of the third with that home run. Not a bad five minutes there for Woodruff, who replaced Gio Gonzalez in the third as part of the club's bullpenning plan.

You can follow along with all the NLCS action in our live blog or stream the game on fuboTV (Try for free).   

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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