Before we get into the predictions, I just have to ask this question. Why do the Brewers insist on putting Jeremy Jeffress in the game?
During the NLDS against the Rockies, the Brewers pitching staff, minus Jeffress, allowed 0 runs on 8 hits over 24.2 innings while striking out 26 batters. Jeffress during the NLDS pitched just 3.1 innings and allowed 2 runs on 6 hits while striking out 4 batters. Now during the NLCS against the Dodgers, his struggles on the mound have gotten worse.
The stats don’t reflect this, but Jeffress entered Game 1 with 2 outs and loaded bases. He immediately gives up a 2-run single to Manny Machado, followed by an RBI single to Max Muncy, turning a 6-1 advantage into a 6-4 ballgame. None of those runs count against Jeffress, making his performance look good on paper. As for me, I count those against him. With 2 outs, it is the closers job to get out of that situation with as little damage as possible, however, Jeffress allowed all 3 inherited runners to score.
Game 2, Jeffress comes in with runners on 1st and 2nd, no outs and the Brewers leading 3-1. First batter he faces hits a single to load the bases. He gets Yasiel Puig to strikeout for out number 1, then issues a bases loaded walk to Austin Barnes. He got out of the jam with a timely double play. The Brewers stuck with him to start the 8th inning and immediately regretted that decision as he allowed a lead off single, followed by a 2-run home run to Justin Turner, giving the Dodgers the lead and ultimately the win. Again, the run that was walked in, did not count against Jeffress.
Game 3, 9th inning with a 4-0 lead the Brewers went with Jeffress. In no time, the Dodgers have the bases loaded with 1 out. He was fortunate to get out of this one without any damage, but the issue remains. Jeremy Jeffress is unable to keep runners off the bases this postseason and is an unreliable relief pitcher at this point. In total, the Brewers bullpen has pitched 29.1 innings, allowing 10 runs on 24 hits and 8 walks. In my opinion, despite the statistics, Jeremy Jeffress alone is responsible for 8 of those runs while giving up 13 hits and 3 walks.
Unless it is a blowout, Brewers fans need to be concerned if Jeffress is on the mound. Now straight to our predictions.
Gio Gonzalez vs Rich Hill in Game 4. This will be a sloppy game on the mound as both pitchers struggle to keep runners off the bases. Hill’s control issues will roll over into this game as the walks get him into trouble early. Gonzalez will get hit, but will keep the runs from scoring early on as the Brewers turn it over to their bullpen. If Jeffress comes in then expect trouble, but if they keep him on the bench then the Brewers bullpen will lock it down to give them the win in this high scoring affair.
Game 5 will be the rubber match of the postseason as Wade Miley takes on Clayton Kershaw in an elimination game for the Dodgers. Kershaw was off his game in Game 1, but don’t expect that to continue as he rights the ship and gives us a legendary performance much like he did in the NLDS. Miley will match him pitch for pitch through much of the game as this one remains scoreless late. The Dodgers will get on the board late in the game fighting hard to earn the run, but it will be worth it as they live to see another day.
Game 4 – Brewers win
Game 5 – Dodgers win