NLCS Game 7: Bellinger, Puig Muscle Dodgers To The World Series

Thirty years ago today the 1988 Dodgers clinched the World Series Championship in Oakland. On this day the 2018 Dodgers didn’t channel those little mighty 1988 Dodgers, they channeled the 2018 Dodgers. The boys in blue turned to a tried and true weapon, the home run. The Dodgers slugged two home runs (Cody Bellinger, Yasiel Puig) Walker Buehler tossed 4.2 innings of one-run ball and Chris Taylor made the catch of the year in left field to lead the Dodgers to their second consecutive National League pennant.

The game started poorly for Buehler as he allowed a solo home run to Christian Yelich in the bottom of the first inning. The home run ball sailed just over the outstretched leaping glove of Yasiel Puig in right field to give Milwaukee a 1-0 lead. That would be the only mistake young Buehler would make. The Dodgers were really putting all of their eggs in the young hurler’s basket.

Milwaukee starter Jhoulys Chacin lasted just two innings before giving way to Josh Hader. The Dodgers would answer in the top of the second. Manny Machado surprised everyone by laying down a bunt sinlge up along the third base line. Cody Bellinger followed with a massive two-run bomb into the upper deck on a 3-2 pitch. The Dodgers took a 2-1 lead.

NLCS Game 7 Dodgers Win Series 4-3

Dodgers 5 10 0

Brewers 1 7 0

WP-Madson-1-0

LP-Chacin-1-1

HR-Yelich-1-Bellinger-1-Puig-1

The Brewers would continue to put pressure on Buehler, but would not score. Milwaukee would put two on in the bottom of the second when Mike Moustakas and Orlando Arcia both singled, but Buehler would get Jonathan Schoop to ground out. Buehler would get a double play grounder form Yelich in the third, followed by a strikeout on Ryan Braun.

The Brewers got a lead-off double from Travis Shaw in the bottom of the fourth frame, but Buehler would retire the next three hitters, striking out Aguilar and Erik Kratz. The fifth inning became trouble for Buehler and the Dodgers. With two outs, Lorenzo Cain doubled to left. Dave Roberts immediately hooked Buehler and brought in Julio Urias. Buehler finished with seven strikeouts, no walks and six hits over 4.2 innings. The next hitter Yelich, drove a gapper into left field, but Chris Taylor (who was moved from center to left the inning before) covered 85 feet (according to statcast) to make an incredible sliding lunging grab to get the Dodgers out of the inning.

The sixth inning would be the Brewers undoing. Craig Counsell had already burned Hader, using him in the third, fourth and fifth innings. Xavier Cedeno began the inning and gave up a single to Max Muncy. Milwaukee then brings in Jeremy Jeffress and he gives up a single to Justin Turner. Two outs later Puig muscles a wall-scraper over the center field fence to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. Puig flexed his muscles as he rounded the bases after his three-run jack. The Dodger dugout exploded into celebration as Miller Park fell silent.

The Dodgers bullpen was fantastic. Ryan Madson, the veteran tossed a scoreless sixth inning, notching a whiff on Aguilar to end the inning. Madson got the first two outs in the bottom of the seventh before Arcia singled. Enter Kenley Jansen who strikes out pinch-hitter Curtis Granderson for the third out. Kenley pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, striking out Yelich and Ryan Braun.

Move to the top of the ninth inning. The Dodgers still leading 5-1. The Dodgers threaten as Puig singled, and Taylor doubled him to third. After a soft ground out from Barnes, Milwaukee intentionally walks Matt Kemp to load the bases. But Woodruff struck out Hernandez and Muncy.

Into the bottom of the ninth we go with the Dodgers three outs away from the World Series. Clayton Kershaw is called upon to close it out. Travis Shaw grounds out for the first out. Aguilar whiffs for out number two! Kershaw whiffs Moustakas for the final out! The Dodgers are going to the World Series!

The Dodgers thrive on pressure. They live for this stuff. When their backs are against the wall is when they play their best baseball. To everyone within the Dodgers organization and everyone here. To all of Los Angeles and every Dodger fan around the world…..Congratulations! There’s more work to be done folks! The Dodgers are going back to the World Series!

(Passes out and cries)

Scott Andes

Scott Andes

Scott Andes: Former Co-editor of Lasorda's Lair. Longtime writer and Dodger fanatic Cheap MLB Tickets

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9 thoughts on “NLCS Game 7: Bellinger, Puig Muscle Dodgers To The World Series

  1. As inconsistent as the Dodgers have been all year, they still manage to get to the WS. For all the complaining that we do about every little thing, this team still surprises the wisest, the wise-asses, the old schoolers, and the stat geeks. No one is spared from incredulousness. How do they do it? Every season since FAZ has been in charge they’ve won their division. 4 in a row, 2 trips to the WS. Even for the most jaded baseball junkie, you have to take your hat off to FAZ to gather enough talent to get the job done. No team is perfect and the Dodgers certainly have not bulldozed the league at all, yet another appearance in the WS will be theirs. The only thing that should be decided is whether the NL competition is inferior to the AL this year. We fell short by one game last year. Will the Dodgers really topple a great team like Boston? The Astros were great last year and proved it. This year they were also outstanding, but Boston is the Supreme Power in the AL. Will they prove it against the Dodgers and the NL? Vegas is betting against them.

  2. Congratulation’s to the Dodgers. Never doubted one bit…….uh, not. I am glad they made it and I get to see them in the fall classic, which the way things are going is fast becoming the winter classic. They did what they had to do. I said yesterday that they needed to get the lead early. And Belli did just that. But Machado surprised everyone and their grandmother with that bunt and his hustle, and to his credit, he ignored the raucous Brewers fans. Buehler showed a poise beyond his years and Urias, who was pitching with a very heavy heart because his grandmother died, and with the help of Chris Taylor, got the one batter he was charged with getting. Madson, who stunk up the joint when he first came over, was nails, and Puig got his absolute biggest hit as a Dodger. But lets not forget that Roberts pulled Pederson after 1 AB and that allowed Taylor to be out there in left too make that catch. It made me feel good to see Yasiel do that since I remember how many fans were screaming trade the bum earlier in the year. They got where I did not think they would be, so my hats off to the team and the front office. P.S. It is going to be really COLD in Boston……wear your long johns.

  3. It’s great to have a shot at winning the World Series again. Let’s how we do given last year’s experience.

    I’m very curious how we will set up our roster and our rotation. Is Grandal deadweight at this point? How about Kemp? I am guessing we will pitch Ryu at Dodgers Stadium.

    1. Remember Yueh, first 2 games in Boston, so the Dodgers will get to use a DH. Since Sale is starting game 1, my guess is Matt Kemp is the DH. Grandal is dead weight, at this point, and so is Kike. But I believe both will be on the roster. I would tend to doubt they replace Grandal with Farmer, or Kike with another player like say, Utley. If they change any players I would think it would be someone in the bullpen. Other wise I do not expect a whole lot of roster movement for the series. Kersh will get the ball in game 1 and probably Hill in game 2. That sets up Ryu on regular rest at the Ravine for game 3 and Buehler in game 4. Last time these 2 met in a series was 1916, Babe Ruth pitched back then and won a 14 inning game. 102 years ago! Long time. Freese will probably get a start or two in the series also since they have Price and Sale from the left side. Both teams have excellent defense. I am wondering since the announcers mentioned it tonight, if Pederson’s wrist is still sore from getting hit in game 6. I think he will still be on the roster since I do not think they feel Toles or Verdugo would be the better option although either one of them could be on the roster if needed. Hill should be comfortable in Boston since he pitched for the Sox a few years back. I would even consider using him in game 1 and move Kersh to game 2. But I think they want to be able to get as many games out of Kershaw as needed.

        1. It might not make sense, but that is probably the way they will line up. They could pitch him in game 7 on short rest because of the travel day. Of course, right now I would not worry about that, lets see how the first few games go. The other option for him to be ready for game 7 is flip he and Ryu and have Buehler pitch game 3 in LA. That would line him up for a game 7 start if needed. But for sure he is not pitching game 1 or 2.

  4. Go Dodgers! Incredible game all around. Many tense moments.

    Several heros in this NL Chamionship game:
    Buehler, a strong 4 2/3 of pitching. Couragious effort by the Rookie.
    Bellie, the two run blast to take the lead and set the tone.
    CT3, what a catch! The “Game Changer” in my books.
    Puiggy, the sealing of the deal with his three run laser shot.
    The Bullpen, lights out. Urias, Madson, Jansen AND Kershaw!

    Sad to have to pick one MVP, but great to see Bellie in the limelight.

    Cautionary note: In order to beat the Bosox, the Dodgers have to improve on wasting opportunities. 1-10 RISP, and double digit strikeouts, GIDP’s will make the World Series Championship a tough task.

    Off to Boston. Go Dodgers!

    1. It is going to be fun watching the Dodgers RH power, Turner, Machado, Puig, Kemp, Taylor, Freese, all take shots at the Green Monster.

  5. Now there seems to be some question as to whether it will be Kershaw or Hill who will start game 1. Really makes no difference to me. Just win 4 games anyway you can, you do that and the last 30 years will be just a memory.

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