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#1 26-10-2018 03:14:24

Date d'inscription: 04-07-2018
Messages: 280

The Rays have blazed a new trail in starting pitcher usage by using a

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Build an early lead David Ross Jersey , get five good innings out of the starter and bring in the bullpen.The Milwaukee Brewers used that formula to win 11 straight games going into the NL Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.Clayton Kershaw could be the ace that finally puts a stop to the streak.The three-time NL Cy Young Award winner will start for Los Angeles in Game 1 on Friday night at Miller Park.“We know we’re not going to get a ton of opportunities” against Kershaw and Dodgers starting pitching, outfielder Ryan Braun said. “So we’ve talked about the importance of cashing in on the opportunities we do get.”Once the Brewers take a lead, they’re hard to beat. Good luck getting to their lights-out bullpen.Milwaukee’s 3.47 ERA in relief was second in the NL only to the Chicago Cubs. The bullpen went 2-0 with a save and a 1.17 ERA in the three-game Division Series sweep Colorado.Corey Knebel can come in as soon as the fifth, usually lights-out left-hander Josh Hader in just about situation and Jeremy Jeffress in the late innings. All three relievers are capable of closing.Knebel and Hader are making their postseason debuts, while Jeffress’ playoff experience before this year was limited to just one inning in 2016 with Texas.“I thought it was going to be a lot different,” Knebel said Thursday of the playoffs. “The first time I came in, I felt the same surprisingly. … Hey’s it’s just another game. That’s all it is. You just want to keep playing ball.”The spotlight probably won’t faze the Dodgers, who are in a third straight NLCS for the first time in franchise history. The strategy at the plate doesn’t change, either, just because Milwaukee’s relievers are so good.Knebel, Hader and Jeffress, along with righty Joakim Soria, appeared in all three games against Colorado spread out over four days.The NLCS is best-of-seven, with the first four games over five days, so bullpen usage could differ.“When you’re talking about a seven-game series,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “having those guys go to their ‘pen and taxing them and beating the starter, there’s still a lot of value in that.”Chasing the starter will require building an early lead that might require the Brewers to dip into his bullpen earlier or more often than planned.“If they go bullpen game Steve Cishek Jersey , like they did against the Rockies, it’s a seven-game set,” Dodgers infielder Max Muncy said. “It’s more games you’re putting stress on the bullpen.”Other notes and things to watch:UNFINISHED BUSINESSPressure in the NLCS? Maybe not for the Dodgers, who lost Game 7 of the World Series to the Houston Astros a year ago. Now that’s pressure.“We want to finish off what we didn’t finish off last year. That’s been their focus since after that Game 7,” Roberts said. “We’re in a position right now where we can give ourselves an opportunity to get back there.”MVP WATCHOutfielder Christian Yelich, making his postseason debut, hit .250 with a homer and two RBIs with two steals in the NLDS. The smooth-hitting left-hander went on a tear in the second half, hitting .367 after the All-Star break with 25 homers to help lift the Brewers to the NL Central crown.When the series shifts to Dodger Stadium next week, the southern California native will be playing in a park where he used to watch games as a child .START IT UPNo bullpen day to open up the series for the Brewers. Milwaukee is going with left-hander Gio Gonzalez to oppose Kershaw in Game 1 on Friday night. For Gonzalez, it has been quite a rebound since being acquired in a deal with the Washington Nationals, going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA in five starts with Milwaukee.“So to sit here, and I’m pitching Game 1 of the second round, I think it’s remarkable, pretty incredible,” Gonzalez said, “and hopefully I get to tell my kids about this one day.”An 11-year veteran, Gonzalez is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six career starts against the Dodgers.CY KERSHAWOne of the toughest left-handers in baseball, Kershaw (9-5 Drew Smyly Jersey , 2.73) hasn’t been quite as good in his career in the NLCS. He is 2-4 with a 4.65 ERA in five career starts in this round.BACK WHERE IT STARTEDThe NLCS will begin in the park where All-Star Manny Machado made his Dodgers’ debut. After Machado was acquired at the All-Star break from the Orioles, the Dodgers opened up the second half of the season at Miller Park.Machado has hit .273 with 13 homers and 42 RBIs in 66 games with the Dodgers.“It made it a lot easier knowing I was just another piece to this ballclub,” Machado said. “This ballclub could have made it just as easily without me.” CLEVELAND — Entering the game Friday night, both the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays had just 29 games left in the regular season, but had yet to play each other.The teams finally got together on Friday and the Indians won 3-0. After the game, the Indians acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Toronto Blue Jays.On Saturday night, the Indians and Rays will meet for the second time this season, at Progressive Field. Although they hadn’t played each other until Friday, that doesn’t mean they aren’t aware of one another.Article continues below ...“They are in the (American League) East. That’s a good division, and they’ve held their own,”Indians manager Terry Francona said of the Rays. “They are doing it in an unconventional way. It’s unconventional now, but they’re not doing it with smoke and mirrors.”The Rays have blazed a new trail in starting pitcher usage by using a relief pitcher to start many of their games, and having a true starting pitcher take over in the second or third inning.“They’ve got a lot of good arms, and (manager Kevin) Cash and his staff have done a really good job of getting their guys to buy in,” Francona said.Cash, who played for Francona when he managed Boston, and coached on his staff in Cleveland before being hired to manage the Rays, remains very close to Francona … ren-jersey , and the two buddies will send two impressive young pitchers to the mound on Saturday.For the Rays, it’s left-hander Blake Snell, who has become a strong Cy Young Award candidate, which means he, not a reliever, will pitch the first inning — and as many innings thereafter as he can handle.Snell (16-5, 2.05), is second in the AL wins and ERA, and his opponents’ batting average of .179 also ranks second. In his last start, Snell shut down Boston’s powerful lineup, beating the Red Sox 9-1 on Aug. 26. He pitched six innings and allowed two runs and just two hits, with eight strikeouts and two walks.Snell’s Cy Young candidacy has been steadily building since midseason, and it’s reflected by his numbers. In his last 16 starts, he is 12-2 with a 1.45 ERA. In his last 10 starts, he is 8-1 with a 1.25 ERA, and in his last five starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.04 ERA.His last start against the Indians came Aug. 10, 2017 Scott Feldman Jersey , a 4-1 Tampa Bay win in which Snell did not figure in the decision, despite holding Cleveland to one run and four hits in 6 1/3 innings. In two career starts against the Indians, Snell is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA.Snell’s mound opponent is rookie right-hander Shane Bieber (8-2, 4.52), a control artist who in 79 2/3 innings has struck out 83 and walked just 15. Bieber’s last start came Aug. 26, a 12-5 victory over Kansas City in which he pitched 5 1/3 innings, allowing four runs and six hits, with seven strikeouts and no walks.Bieber, who has never faced the Rays, has had less success in the second half of his rookie season than the first half. In his first seven starts, he was 5-1 with a 3.53 ERA. In his last seven starts, he’s 3-1 with a 5.70 ERA.The Indians added a significant player on Friday, when they acquired Donaldson from the Blue Jays in exchange for a player to be named at a later date. Donaldson has been on the disabled list since May 29 due to a left calf strain. He began a rehab assignment in Class-A Dunedin on Tuesday, appearing in two games.Donaldson is a three-time All-Star who was the American League MVP in 2015.

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