Well, kinda sorta for a while. The Brewers went with a strategy called “Bullpenning” where you don’t expect a pitcher to last more than 3 Innings, something that you can only do if you have a bench full of Relievers. In the Regular Season it’s of limited utility (162 games) but in Playoffs it can be quite effective because the only term is short term.
The downside is you risk burning out your Pen since you’ve committed to using 3 to 8 Relivers to sketch together a game. In the past it was used mostly to cover the deficiencies of a club that only had 1 or 2 good pitchers, why concede a game by sending out your 20.00 ERA 3rd guy with the sub .500 record who’s good at chewing up Innings in the Regular Season (he gets them out eventually) when you can loosen up the ‘Pen that’s been sitting while your 8 Inning Aces and your Closer do all the heavy lifting? Today it’s considered a valid tactic (in the context of a game it’s a strategy, in the context of a Series it’s a tactic) and is being used more and nore frequently, much to the dismay of purists.
So the Brewers got the win, even a Home Run from a Reliever, though it was really ugly at the end calling into question the Brewers’ Closers. In more good news they chased Clayton Kershaw in 3 and he won’t be back until Game 4 at the earliest, or better Game 5 on a full 4 dayes rest. On the other hand they lost Josh Hader until Game 3.
ESPN speculates that they will continue to use this system until it breaks down or stops working, buttressed by the statement that the Brewers are making scheduled Game 3 Starter Jhoulys Chacin available in Relief.
If you’re a Dodgers fan, they have a boatload of Aces and a potent Lineup, “As the Dodgers showed during their late comeback in Game 1, they will keep coming after you with waves of depth. They platoon because they can”, so there’s hope yet. Remember the goal is to Split Away and Win at Home.
Today the Brewers will be “Opening” with Wade Miley (L, 5 – 2, 2.57 ERA). He has one appearance so far in the post-Season, pitching 4.2 scoreless Innings in the Division Championship allowing 3 Hits and 1 Walk for an ERA of 0.00. Outside of that he has no Playoff experience. He throws junk, Cutters by preference, Fastballs, Curves, and Changeups for variation. Don’t expect to see him for more than 3 Innings.
The Dodgers send Ace Hyun-Jin Ryu (L, 7 – 3, 1.97 ERA) to the mound. He’s appeared in the post-Season 3 years including this one (previous was 2014 which is too long ago to be relevant) where in the Division Championship he won the one game he started with 7 scoreless Innings allowing 4 Hits.
Of course his ERA is 0.00. He throws junk too (the polite way to put it is, “He has 4 Pitches”), Fastballs and Cutters sure but also Curves and Cnangeups.