Dodgers vs. Brewers final score: Kershaw flops, Milwaukee holds on late to win NLCS Game 1

Dodgers vs. Brewers final score

The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-5 in Friday night's Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. The Brewers now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.



Here are some things you should know about Game 1.

Kershaw, Grandal struggle
Clayton Kershaw has arguably been the best pitcher of his generation. Yet the one blemish on his record is a lack of postseason success. He entered Friday with a career 4.08 ERA in the postseason, including a 4.75 mark in 10 Championship Series appearances.

Unfortunately for Kershaw , his latest start didn't help his reputation -- in part because it was the shortest of his postseason career:

Kershaw lasted just three innings while permitting four earned runs on six hits (including a home run) and two walks. He fanned just two batters, inducing one swing-and-miss on his 30 two-strike pitches.

Of course, Kershaw wasn't the only one to blame. His batterymate, Yasmani Grandal, deserves his share, too.

Grandal had a particularly ugly third inning, during which he committed two errors and allowed a passed ball. One of the errors was a catcher's interference call on what looked to be a Jesus Aguilar lineout. Instead, Aguilar was awarded first base. Later, Grandal would allow the runners to advance, and would also have a throw home clank off his glove. Ouch.

Coincidentally, Grandal was just the second catcher to ever have such an inning. The first occurred exactly a year prior, when Matt Wieters committed the same indignity in Game 5 of the NLDS:



All and all, not the most inspiring night from either Kershaw or Grandal. And while they weren't the only Dodgers to fail, their shortcomings were the most noticeable.

Counsell's moves (mostly) pay off
For as cursed as the Dodgers seemed, the opposite was true for the Brewers. Almost every decision by manager Craig Counsell seemed to work out.

Counsell nimbly managed his pitching staff, removing Gio Gonzalez after two innings and rolling with Brandon Woodruff. The move was questionable at the time, since it meant Woodruff would lead off the ensuing inning. Yet even that turned out well, as Woodruff tied the game with a homer -- yes, he homered against Clayton Kershaw:

Counsell would later turn the game over to Josh Hader, the lanky southpaw accustomed to multi-inning assignments. Rather than ask for two innings, Counsell required three. Hader delivered, striking out four and keeping the Dodgers off the board, just as desired.

Along the way, Counsell also made a wise pinch-hitting decision by calling upon Domingo Santana. It was Santana who subsequently broke the game open with a two-run single:

Dodgers vs. Brewers final score: Kershaw flops, Milwaukee holds on late to win NLCS Game 1




Santana didn't have his best year offensively, but he's always produced off the bench. In an admittedly small sample of 59 plate appearances, he's hit .340/.424/.720 for his career. Santana would even steal a base, with the initial out call being overturned through the miracle of instant replay. It was a rare challenge win for the Brewers, who struggle in that department:

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