The Milwaukee Brewers are one win away from the MLB National League Championship Series after blanking the Colorado Rockies 4-0.
Milwaukee shut out Colorado in game two to take a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series on Friday.
The Brewers and Rockies were locked in a 1-0 battle until the eighth inning, when Mike Moustakas plated a big run with an RBI single and Erik Kratz plated two with a Texas Leaguer, which made the score 4-0 and insurmountable for Colorado.
Jeremy Jeffress got a bit of redemption too, as he closed out the game allowing just one hit in the ninth.
Expect the unexpected
Who would have thought the NLDS between the Brewers and the Rockies would be the lowest scoring series of the first round of the playoffs?
Someone who understands these two teams, that is who.
All joking aside, it really is a surprise these two teams have been embroiled in low-scoring, highly strategic pitchers' duels. The Rockies and Brewers were seventh and 12th in runs, fourth and eighth in home runs and fifth and ninth in slugging percentage, respectively. Add that to Miller Park being perceived as one of the more hitter-friendly ballparks in MLB and one would think this would be a series with a lot of runs scored.
However, look to the Rockies and you will see why it is not.
Colorado are a much better pitching team this year than in past seasons with a starting rotation that has high ground-ball pitchers and a bullpen with serious power arms. While Milwaukee do not have that rotation which puts fear in the hearts of opponents, they do have a seriously good, high-strikeout bullpen and a better rotation than some might think.
It is not as stark as some would like to make it, but the first two games of this series have been played in Milwaukee so the run scoring might not be quite as high as when the series heads to Coors Field on Sunday.
Either way, these games have been low scoring and close and that may have caught some people off guard.
Chacin: MLB's best free agent starting pitcher signing?
No, he is not.
That title will go to Miles Mikolas of the St Louis Cardinals, who was dominant in his first year back in the United States. However, Jhoulys Chacin has a legitimate argument to be the second best after going 15-8 with a 3.50 ERA in 35 starts and 192.6 innings pitched in the regular season.
He also has had the best postseason of any free agent starting pitcher as he tossed five shutout innings on Friday and (while this was not the postseason, but it contributed to it) he also tossed 5.6 innings of one-run ball in the playoff for the Central Division and helped the Brewers win said division for the first time since 2011.
Plus, he has given up just five hits in his last 15 innings to go with two runs. That is flat-out fantastic.
Chacin may not have been MLB's best free agent starting pitcher signing, but he has been absolutely vital to the Brewers' success this season.
Better than the Dodgers?
No, we are not saying anyone are better than the Los Angeles Dodgers, but what we are asking is, could this year's Brewers bullpen be better than the Dodgers of last season?
Los Angeles' bullpen last year featured a fantastic Kenley Jansen, a newfound dominant set-up man in Brandon Morrow, two solid lefties in Tony Cingrani and Tony Watson and Kenta Maeda, who slipped to the pen for the postseason alone. The Dodgers' bullpen finished the season third in WAR (7.6), fourth in ERA (3.38), fourth in FIP (3.55), third in K/9 (10.24) as well as at or near the top in a slew of other categories.
This year's Brewers finished fourth in WAR (7.1), fifth in ERA (3.47), third in ground-ball rate (46.8) and third in K/9 (10.28).
They feature fireballers Corey Knebel and Josh Hader along with more veteran guys like Joakim Soria and Jeffress, who make up for their diminished velocity with their savvy on the mound.
It is hard not to see comparisons between the two teams from this year to last year, and it is easy to see how Milwaukee could employ their bullpen similarly to how the Dodgers did last season on the way to the World Series as Los Angeles never let a single pitcher get past the seventh inning and only allowed two to get into the sixth.
This may be the formula to get the Brewers to the Fall Classic.
|Walton salutes LeBron after he surpasses Chamberlain|
|Rondo to miss ´a few weeks´ with broken hand|
|WATCH: The baskets that moved LeBron James up the all-time NBA scoring list|
|LeBron moves into fifth on scoring list, 76ers fall in Butler´s debut|
|LeBron James into top five NBA scorers: Five quotes from league legends on his greatness|
|LeBron passes Chamberlain for fifth on all-time scoring list|
|Butler: 76ers need time to gel|
|Raptors fans give former coach Casey standing ovation in return|
|Betances wants Yankees to sign Machado|
|Rays´ Snell, Mets´ deGrom win Cy Young Awards|
|Dinwiddie to debut Stan Lee-inspired shoes against Heat|
|Iberostar Tenerife and Segafredo Virtus Bologna stay perfect in BCL|
|Red Sox give manager Cora contract extension through at least 2021|
|Warriors´ Curry will not play during three-game road trip|
|TJ Watt hopes to win NFL sacks race with brother JJ|
|Steelers´ Roethlisberger texted Bell but ´didn’t hear back´|
|Durant keeps details of Green spat ´in-house´ but envisages resolution|
|Warriors drop Hawks as Green serves suspension|
|Former NBA star McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire|
|Celtics´ Smart: We have to look at ourselves in the mirror|
|Melvin, Snitker win manager of the year awards|
|Warriors´ Green suspended for Hawks clash|
|Ludwigsburg stun high-flying Murcia in BCL|
|Rams v Chiefs moved to LA due to Mexico City field conditions|
|Bell fails to report to Steelers, will sit out rest of season|
|LeVert avoids need for surgery, should return this season|
|All I ever wanted to do is win, says Sixers signing Butler|
|Hue Jackson joins Bengals staff as ´special assistant´|
|It´s just team spirit - Livingston not worried by Durant-Green exchange|
|Nets offer support to LeVert following serious leg injury|
|Anthony Davis leads Pelicans, Clippers hold off Warriors in OT|
|Giants too good for 49ers in crunch time|
|Thibodeau discusses Butler trade: We thought this was the best deal for us|
|Acuna, Ohtani win rookie of the year awards|
|LeBron James on Lakers’ early season struggles: ‘I almost cracked’|
|Rams WR Kupp out for season with torn ACL|
|Jimmy Butler trade: 76ers acquire Timberwolves star in blockbuster deal|
|Saints sign Marshall following Bryant injury|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Brees leapfrogs Favre on all-time list for touchdown passes|
|Jones fastest in NFL to reach 10,000 receiving yards|
|Mahomes breaks Chiefs´ single-season TD record|
|Embiid and Simmons excited at Butler arrival|
|The Sunday Seven - 7 Key Opta facts for NFL Week 10|
|LeBron James among Lakers to be affected by Sacramento smoke|
|Spurs top struggling Rockets, Harden|
|Shanahan discusses Giants-49ers matchup amid possible postponement|
|76ers ´agree Jimmy Butler trade´ with Timberwolves|
|76ers unsure over rookie Smith´s return following allergy issue|
|Embiid: They call me ´Clutch´ for a reason|
|Butler: Timberwolves in ´big-time hole´ and can´t take criticism|
|Hayward expected boos on Jazz return|
|Celtics forward Gordon Hayward booed on return to Utah|
|Embiid saves 76ers in overtime to down Hornets|
|Long-time Twins star Mauer announces retirement|
|Lakers guard Ball tweaks ankle in practice, may miss game against Kings|
|Gronkowski, Michel ´questionable´ for Pats|
|Warriors coach Kerr encouraged by Curry MRI results|
|Irving praises Celtics´ resiliency in stunning comeback|
|Panthers safety Reid puzzled by ejection|
|Curry set for MRI as Kerr bemoans Warriors complacency|
|Thunder cruise to win over Rockets, Anthony struggles in return to OKC|
|Roethlisberger helps Steelers thrash Panthers|
|Pierce thinks Duke could beat Cavaliers|