Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said before last night’s game that Yovani Gallardo wasn’t an option to start Game 6 on Sunday and he isn’t wavering now that his club is facing elimination.
According to Tom Haudricourt and Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Roenicke confirmed that Shaun Marcum will indeed make the start as scheduled, thus saving Yovani Gallardo for a potential Game 7 on Monday.
“Yes,” Roenicke said when asked if Marcum would make the start Sunday at Miller Park. “I’m not going to bring Yovani (Gallardo) back (on short rest).”
Marcum’s struggles date back to the final month of the regular season, but he has allowed 12 runs on 14 hits in 8 2/3 innings over his first two postseason starts. While Roenicke has mostly chalked his poor performance up to some bad luck, one thing we do know is that Marcum isn’t throwing his changeup nearly as often as he did during the regular season. He threw the pitch 8.9 percent of the time in Game 3 of the NLDS against the Diamondbacks and 15.2 percent of the time in Game 2 against the Cardinals on Monday. Widely regarded as the best pitch in his arsenal, he threw the pitch 24.8 percent of the time during the regular season.
As I noted yesterday, this will likely be an all-hands-on-deck situation if Marcum gets into any early trouble. Chris Narveson only faced one batter on Friday, so he would likely be the first arm out of the bullpen if they need multiple innings.
The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.
Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.
The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.
After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.
Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:
The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.
The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.