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.
12. November 2018
|Mendy suffers knee injury, leaves France squad with Lacazette|
|Zverev beats Cilic in error-strewn London battle|
|Rafinha replaces injured Casemiro in Brazil squad|
|´One-dimensional´ Australia batsmen need work before World Cup - Finch|
|Mancini keen to work with ´incredibly gifted´ Tonali|
|Italian manager of the year Allegri targets long Juve stay|
|Injured Lee departs as Wales prepare squad for Tonga|
|Conte content to wait until June for coaching return|
|Etzebeth set to return, Whiteley a doubt for Scotland Test|
|In-form Verstappen does not need distractions from 2019 challenge|
|FA asks Guardiola to explain Manchester derby referee comments|
|LaLiga MVP Messi hopes the division stays wide open|
|Murray and Henshaw out of All Blacks Test|
|Injured Man Utd duo Pogba and Martial drop out of France squad|
|Modric cannot always be the best - Dalic|
|Very troubling times - LeBron James alarmed by gun violence|
|Bayern confirm Ribery ´altercation´ with reporter|
|Madrid hit by injuries to Nacho and Casemiro|
|Record-breaking Mushfiqur torments Zimbabwe|
|Spartak Moscow appoint Oleg Kononov|
|Rooney predicts ´exciting time´ after being named in MLS Best XI|
|Former England call-up Graham replaces Thomson in Scotland squad|
|Slater and Thurston among Queensland greats to join Maroons staff|
|Rapana set for six months out after shoulder surgery|
|Alves determined to play in the Premier League|
|Rockets GM denies Anthony will be waived|
|Monaco´s plight not Henry´s fault - Silva|
|It´s like the FBI came - River assistant unable to talk to Gallardo during final|
|Norman says Washington home crowds ´just don´t really care´|
|Bucks beat Nuggets to finish gruelling schedule stretch|
|Madrid ´very happy´ with Solari, says Butragueno|
|Titans stun Patriots, Browns upset Falcons|
|Browns´ Chubb relishes record-breaking performance: It definitely is very special|
|MLS Review: Red Bulls, Atlanta to meet in conference finals|
|Neymar wants more from perfect PSG|
|Higuain is feeling a lot of pressure – Gattuso|
|I didn´t insult anyone, says apologetic Higuain|
|Allegri delighted with Juventus response|
|Kyle Busch wins at Phoenix as Harvick, Truex qualify for Championship 4|
|WATCH: Highlights of thrilling Boca-River Copa Libertadores final|
|PSG coach Tuchel demands more despite Monaco thrashing|
|Boca missed too many chances, rues Schelotto|
|Solari remains tight-lipped on Real Madrid future|
|Hamilton not surprised by Verstappen-Ocon collision|
11. November 2018
|Ronaldo fires Juventus to Serie A record|
|Higuain did nothing serious - Ronaldo hopes Milan striker avoids ban|
|Solari completes perfect Real Madrid audition with fourth straight win|
|Verstappen ordered to do public service after Ocon scuffle|
|Nishikori stuns out-of-sorts Federer|
|Fitzgerald overtakes Owens in career receiving yards|
|Monaco 0 Paris Saint-Germain 4: Cavani hat-trick adds to Henry woes|
|Celta Vigo 2 Real Madrid 4: Solari leads Los Blancos to fourth straight win|
|AC Milan 0 Juventus 2: Higuain sent off in horror show|
|Brees leapfrogs Favre on all-time list for touchdown passes|
|Kuchar holds on to seal first title since 2014|
|Nuno proud of Wolves display at Arsenal|
|Jones fastest in NFL to reach 10,000 receiving yards|
|WATCH: Verstappen shoves Ocon after Brazilian Grand Prix collision|
|Boca Juniors 2 River Plate 2: Izquierdoz own goal ensures first leg ends level|
|Australia will be a different ball game, warns Rohit|
|We´re not going to be relegated – Mourinho at ease over United being eighth|
|Mahomes breaks Chiefs´ single-season TD record|
|Toronto Wolfpack name McDermott as head coach|
|Guardiola: Manchester City fought fear in derby triumph|
|Sterling should have avoided showboating - Guardiola|
|Ocon: Verstappen wanted to punch me in post-race altercation|
|Emery confirms Welbeck fractured ankle|
|Hamilton secures double for Mercedes as Ocon denies Verstappen|
|City´s 44 passes lead to Gundogan derby goal|
|Pogba injury threw Manchester United, concedes Mourinho|