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And That Happened: Monday’s Scores and Highlights

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Here are the scores. Here are the highlights:

Red Sox 2, Phillies 1: David Price and Aaron Nola battled admirably for eight innings, each allowing a run, but this one would head to extras. In the 13th Eduardo Nunez led off with a single, stole second and then Blake Swihart ended things by hitting a walkoff ground rule double to drive him in. Then, after the game, the Red Sox acquired a second baseman who will probably get more playing time than Nunez going forward. You’re welcome.

Braves 5, Marlins 3: Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña each went deep and the Braves bullpen tossed four scoreless innings as Atlanta cut Philly’s lead in the East to a half game.

Twins 5, Indians 4: Jose Ramirez hit two home runs for Cleveland, but the game was tied in the ninth when Mitch Garver drove in the winning run with a walkoff double. The Indians have somehow dropped seven of ten against Minnesota this year.

Cardinals 5, Rockies 4: The third walkoff win of the night, this one courtesy of a Marcell Ozuna 10th inning homer. It was Ozuna’s third straight game with a homer. The Rockies had taken an early 4-0 lead in this one thanks to a Nolan Arenado grand slam, but the Cardinals came back to tie it thanks to a Jedd Gyorko homer, Harrison Bader walking with the based loaded and a Matt Carpenter RBI single, setting the stage for Ozuna.

Rangers 9, Diamondbacks 5Shin-Soo Choo homered twice and had four RBI in a game that was delayed 21 minues by a power outage due to a storm that rumbled through downtown Phoenix.  Rougned Odor hit a solo homer that gave the Rangers the lead in the seventh. The Rangers have won four in a row.

Brewers 5, Dodgers 2: Eric Thames‘ three-run homer in the third gave the Brewers an early margin that proved to be sufficient as five Milwaukee pitchers combined to tame the Dodgers. Manny Machado made his debut in Los Angeles and hit a homer, but it was too little, too late for the Dodgers. There was a power outage delay in this one too —  it lasted for 23 minutes between the first and second innings — but it was because of power grid issues, not a storm, as it never rains in southern California.

Athletics 10, Blue Jays 1: Edwin Jackson tossed five shutout innings to notch his 100th career win and the A’s pounded the Jays thanks in part to homers from Mark Canha and Stephen Piscotty and three RBI from Jonathan Lucroy. The only downside to any of this is that, with the A’s winning this year, the plan to filp Jackson — that had to the plan, right? — is no longer operative so, absent an A’s collapse in August that gets him traded in a waiver deal he won’t also get to play for his 14th team. All milestones are important, man.

Mariners 2, Astros 0: The A’s pick up no ground on Seattle, but they and the Mariners pick up a game on Houston as James Paxton twirled seven shutout innings which rendered Nelson Cruz‘s sixth inning two-run double sufficient enough offense to beat the Astros. Houston has lost five in a row and six of seven. Their lead in the AL West is down to three games.

Giants 5, Padres 3: San Diego came back from an early 3-0 deficit to tie things up with a Christian Villanueva RBI double in the eighth to force extras. Gorkys Hernandez broke that tie with a 12th inning homer and Buster Posey added an insurance run with a fielder’s choice later that inning.

Brewers on the brink of their first pennant in 36 years

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A series that had swung back and forth twice already swung back in Milwaukee’s favor last night with a convincing win. That it was convincing — it was not at all close after the second inning — is a key factor heading into today, as Craig Counsell has his bullpen set up nicely to shorten the game if his Brewers can get an early lead.

Josh Hader — who, if you are unaware, has not allowed a run and has struck out 12 batters in seven innings of postseason work — did not pitch yesterday or in Game 5. As such, he’s had three full days off. Given that this is a win or go home day and, if they win, he’s guaranteed two more days off before the World Series, he’s good for two innings and could very well go for three. That’s not what you want if you’re the Dodgers.

But it gets worse. Jeremy Jeffress pitched last night but it was only one pretty easy inning, so he could go two if he has to. Corey Knebel pitched an inning and two-thirds but he could probably give Counsell an inning of work if need be. Joakim Soria didn’t pitch at all yesterday. Between those guys and the less important relievers, all of whom save Brandon Woodruff are all pretty fresh, the Dodgers aren’t going to have any easy marks.

But the thing is: Counsell may not need to go that deep given that Jhoulys Chacin, their best starter of the postseason, gets the start. So, yes, in light of that, you have to like the Brewers’ chances tonight, and that’s before you realize that the home crowd is going to be louder than hell.

Not that the Dodgers are going to roll over — it’ll be all hands on deck for them with every pitcher except for Hyun-Jim Ryu available, you figure — but if they’re going to repeat as NL champs, they’re going to have to earn it either by bloodying Chacin’s nose early and neutralizing the threat of facing Hader and company with a lead, or by marching through the teeth of the Brewers bullpen and coming out alive on the other side.
NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs. Brewers
Ballpark: Miller Park
Time: 8:09 PM Eastern
TV: FS1
Pitchers:  Walker Buehler vs. Jhoulys Chacin
Breakdown:

The most important part of this breakdown — the stuff about the Brewers’ pen — has already been said and, I presume anyway, the starters here will have the shortest of leashes. Chacin’s will be longer, as he has not allowed a run over 10 and a third innings in his first two postseason starts, making him the Brewers’ defacto ace. Every inning he goes tonight makes things much, much harder for the Dodgers once he’s gone as it means Milwaukee will be able to rely more and more on Hader and Jeffress, so the Dodgers had best get to him early.

Buehler has come up weak so far this postseason, having allowed nine runs in 12 innings, including surrendering four runs on six hits over seven innings in Milwaukee’s Game 3 victory. Still, it’s not hard to remember how dominating he was in the second half of the season. If that Buehler shows up and can keep things close, we’ll have a ballgame. If L.A. finds itself in an early hole once again, theirs will be the tallest of orders.