The Los Angeles Dodgers had Cody Bellinger to thank after they levelled up their National League Championship Series with the Milwaukee Brewers after a thrilling 2-1 victory in game four.
Bellinger went into Tuesday's match 1 for 21 in the postseason and 1 for 10 in the NLCS, but that all changed with a sensational reel catch to keep Lorenzo Cain off the bases late in the game.
He also went 2 for 4 including a walk-off RBI single in the 13th inning which gave the Dodgers a 2-1 victory.
Playing the matchups doesn't always work
The Brewers played the matchup on Tuesday by giving Jonathan Schoop his first start of the NLCS. Schoop, a right-handed hitter, got the call over lefty Travis Shaw as Rich Hill was called upon by the Dodgers.
On the surface it looked like a good move. Schoop was a .300 hitter last season against lefties and was 30 points better this season against southpaws than Shaw (.239 to .209). But Schoop went 0 for 2 with a strikeout against Hill and followed that up with another K against Pedro Baez in the sixth inning. He also grounded out when he faced Kenley Jansen in the ninth and grounded out again in extra innings.
These were Schoop's third, fourth and fifth at-bats of the postseason. Shaw was hitting .333 with a .417 on-base percentage in the postseason before Tuesday's game, and for his career, he is batting just 12 points lower than Schoop against lefties (.246 to .234). The numbers this season said to start Schoop on Tuesday, but starting Shaw would not have turned out worse.
In Schoop's defence, though, Shaw did strike out in the ninth inning against Jansen, so he did not make much of an impact when he got the chance, either.
That was exhausting.— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 17, 2018
That was exhilarating.
That was October baseball.pic.twitter.com/Pq442ePOmf
Domingo Santana carving out a niche
Domingo Santana was the odd-man out for the Brewers this year. With the offseason acquisitions of Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain, Santana was constantly on the trade block and had 314 fewer at-bats in 2018 than 2017.
But as much of a challenge as he had finding a spot in the line-up, he still found a way to deliver in key spots. He did just that in game four as he drove in Orlando Arcia with a pinch-hit double in the fifth inning.
Santana thrived as a pinch-hitter this season. According to the Athletic, Santana's .793 slugging percentage and 1.262 OPS ranked first as a pinch-hitter out of 89 players this season with 20 or more at-bats. He may not have found chances to contribute the way he wanted to in 2018, but he absolutely made an impact in game four.
Domingo Santana game-tying pinch-hit double ..— Katie Sharp (@ktsharp) October 17, 2018
Santana's .793 slug pct and 1.262 OPS as pinch hitter during regular season ranked 1st out 89 players with 20+ PA.
Kenley Jansen is to the Brewers what Craig Kimbrel is to the Rays
Sometimes teams simply cannot hit a pitcher. The Tampa Bay Rays have never been able to hit Craig Kimbrel. The Boston Red Sox's closer has a 0.62 ERA in 28 career games (29 innings) against Tampa Bay. Kenley Jansen is the same way with the Brewers.
Los Angeles' closer came into game four with a career 0.00 ERA against the Brewers with 33 strikeouts in 19 innings. He added another two scoreless innings while allowing a hit and a walk on Tuesday.
23 de enero 2019
|Burton Albion 0 Manchester City 1 (0-10 agg): Holders coast through to clinch Wembley return|
|PSG´s Neymar hobbles off in Coupe de France clash|
|De Ligt bored of Ajax departure rumours|
|Piatek completes AC Milan move after Higuain exit|
|Super Bowl LIII: Rams RBs v Patriots RBs|
|BREAKING NEWS: Chelsea seal Higuain loan|
|Ismaily kicked out of CAF Champions League after fans throw stones, bottles|
|England star Itoje pens new Saracens deal|
|Palace keeper Hennessey charged over Instagram post|
|Chelsea warn supporters over anti-Semitic chanting ahead of Tottenham EFL Cup tie|
|Joshua primed to make call on next opponent|
|Super Bowl LIII: Brady v Goff|
|Sala search suspended as Cardiff chairman confirms club wanted different travel arrangements|
|Cruyff, Koeman, Kluivert - De Jong following pantheon of Dutch Barca greats|
|Sarfraz apologises for comments picked up by stump mic|
|Djokovic: Pouille deserves top-10 spot|
|Hazard must be more demanding if he wants to leave Chelsea, says Ballack|
|Celtics´ Kyrie Irving to sit out Cavs game with flu-like symptoms|
|Barcelona seal €86m De Jong deal|
|Vietnam v Japan: Moriyasu happy to keep doing just enough|
|Hendricks, De Kock and Steyn join up with Proteas squad|
|Lorenzo excited for ´new level´ at Repsol Honda|
|Fernando replaces injured Pradeep in Sri Lanka squad|
|China v Iran: Queiroz wants to exorcise 2015 quarter-final|
|Balotelli joins Marseille until the end of the season|
|Emery gives Monchi ringing endorsement amid Arsenal sporting director links|
|Larry Fitzgerald returning to Cardinals on one-year deal|
|Watson absence ´an opportunity´ for Scotland hopefuls, says Townsend|
|Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast|
|´No trace´ of aircraft so far in Sala search|
|Pochettino will not judge Sarri for criticising Chelsea players|
|From front row to four in a row - Best takes on Farrell at Connect 4|
|Hazard an individual, not a leader - Sarri urges Chelsea star to do more|
|Broad left out of England team for first Test|
|Higuain set to sign for Chelsea but won´t face Tottenham – Sarri|
|McGillvary injury blow for Giants|
|Solari praises Marcelo amid exit rumours|
|A-League Review: Joy and pain for De Jong as Sydney close gap|
|Halfpenny, Davies and Williams set to miss France clash|
|India to rest Kohli from back end of New Zealand tour|
|The hand is good - Farrell expects to be fit to face Ireland|
|Martinez leaves Arsenal for Reading loan|
|Beckham becomes Salford City shareholder|
|Maradona hopes Sala will be found alive|
|Djokovic will not discuss potential Nadal showdown yet|
|A Federer-Nadal double? Even historic scalps may not be enough for Tsitsipas|
|Raonic to assess knee injury, hopes to avoid surgery|
|Barcelona right to fine ´complicated´ Dembele, says Ter Stegen|
|Higuain and Piatek on the move on busy day for Milan|
|Philippe and Vince humble the Hurricanes|
|Nishikori: I couldn´t beat anybody on one leg|
|Boateng poised for debut as Barcelona axe Suarez|
|Shami sets record in crushing win after sun stops play|
|Sala search focused on possible use of life raft|
|Pouille exceeds own expectations with run to Aus Open semis|
|Nishikori retirement sees Djokovic through to semi-finals|
|A golden boy, a guy you want to love - Delecroix pays emotional tribute to Sala|
|Richardson, Patterson to make Australia debuts against Sri Lanka|
|Police resume search for missing Sala plane|
|Pouille upsets Raonic to reach Australian Open semis|
|Dunk sees Stars past Strikers|
|How Serena gave up 5-1 lead – the key moments of loss to Pliskova|
|Pliskova enjoys ´best comeback´ after stunning Serena|
|Serena not blaming ankle injury for Australian Open loss|
|Mavericks capitalise on Clippers´ turnovers, pick up win in Smith´s return|
|Pliskova saves four match points to stun Serena with comeback win|
|Anthony ´can only make´ a team better, says Iverson|
|Henry more worried about Monaco´s future than his own|
|Osaka powers past Svitolina in Melbourne|
|Harden on Anthony trade: It kind of sucks that it didn´t work out|