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Brewers defeat Rockies 6-0 to complete NLDS sweep, advance to NLCS

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The Brewers are headed to the NLCS after sweeping the Rockies in the NLDS. They won 6-0 in Game 3 on Sunday evening at Coors Field, winning the club’s first playoff series since the 2011 NLDS.

Wade Miley got the start for the Brewers opposite the Rockies’ Germán Márquez. The offense gave Miley four runs of support. One came in the first inning on a Travis Shaw ground out. Jesús Aguilar smashed a solo homer in the fourth to make it 2-0. In the sixth, Rockies reliever Scott Oberg balked in a run, then allowed another run to score when he uncorked a wild pitch. Orlando Arcia and Keon Broxton tacked on back-to-back solo homers in the top of the ninth to push the lead to 6-0.

Miley tossed 4 2/3 scoreless innings, yielding three hits and a walk while striking out two on 64 pitches. He exited with two outs in the fifth as manager Craig Counsell preferred having Corey Knebel face Charlie Blackmon with a runner on base. Knebel got Blackmon to strike out to end the frame.

Joakim Soria tossed a scoreless sixth. Corbin Burnes held the Rockies at bay in the seventh and eighth. Jeremy Jeffress took over in the ninth but got into some trouble, allowing a double to Trevor Story followed by a walk to Matt Holliday. Not messing around with a six-run lead, Counsell called upon Josh Hader to get the final two outs of the game. He did just that, striking out Carlos González looking before getting Ian Desmond to fly out to center field.

The Rockies managed just two runs the entire series with both runs coming in the top of the ninth inning in Game 1. In other words, they were held scoreless in 27 of 28 innings in the NLDS. Some credit is certainly owed to the Brewers’ pitching staff, but the Rockies’ offense was considered a liability heading into the series.

The NLCS will begin on Friday, so the Brewers have four days off. They await the winner of the Braves-Dodgers series. The Dodgers are going for a sweep of their own tonight.

Pirates hire Ben Cherington as their new general manager

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The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.

Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.

Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.

The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.