No one knew quite what to expect from Brian Wilson when the Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal in late July. He’d missed nearly one-and-a-half seasons since undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery and some reports questioned how much his raw stuff had returned.
It turns out, he’s been pretty damn good. Wilson got a call-up to the Dodgers in mid-August and has appeared in 15 games, throwing 11.1 innings with a 0.79 ERA and 10/3 K/BB ratio while holding opponents to a .211 batting average and zero homers. He’s also stranded 10 of 11 inherited runners. And while his velocity hasn’t quite returned to pre-surgery levels Wilson has averaged 92.9 miles per hour with his fastball.
Wilson is still just 31 years old and with free agency around the corner he’s put himself in line for a nice payday and possibly another closing gig next season.
The Dodgers only need one more win to clinch the NL pennant and advance to a World Series showdown against the Red Sox, but they might not get that chance tonight. Following David Freese‘s leadoff home run off of Milwaukee left-hander Wade Miley, the Brewers erupted for four runs in the bottom of the first inning to take the lead.
In his second start of the NLCS, Dodgers’ southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu had a two-on, two-out situation when Jesus Aguilar came up to the plate in the first inning. Aguilar worked a 2-1 count against Ryu, then lashed a two-run line drive double to right field, bringing both Lorenzo Cain and Ryan Braun home to score. In the next at-bat, Mike Moustakas drove in Aguilar with a first-pitch double to right, while Erik Kratz‘s RBI single topped off the Brewers’ four-run spread to give them an early 4-1 advantage.
Ryu didn’t get a reprieve for long. In the second, Christian Yelich and Braun went back-to-back with another pair of doubles to advance the Brewers 5-1 above their National League rivals. The lefty was pulled after just three innings of seven-hit, five-run, three-strikeout ball — per MLB.com’s Bill Shaikin, it marked just the second time the 31-year-old had given up four or more runs in a start this season.
The Dodgers started to work their way back in the fifth inning: Freese returned with an RBI double that plated Brian Dozier, who scooted around from first and easily beat the tag at the plate to score the Dodgers’ second run of the night. Together, the teams have combined for five doubles in five innings. The Brewers still lead in the fifth, 5-2.