The Milwaukee Brewers went all-in for Game 1 of the NLCS to earn an advantage over the Los Angeles Dodgers
Because of the strategy utilized by manager Craig Counsell, Game 2 presents a different set of challenges as the Brewers take on another tough Dodgers starter and have to alter their bullpen approach.
Even though the Dodgers' comeback attempt was unsuccessful Friday, it showed they're able to hit Milwaukee's relievers, which is something few teams have been able to brag about in 2018.
In Game 2, the Brewers will be looking to extend their winning streak to 13 games, which dates back to September 23.
Game 2: Saturday, October 13 at Milwaukee (4:09 p.m., Fox)
Game 3: Monday, October 15 at Los Angeles (7:39 p.m., FS1)
Game 4: Tuesday, October 16 at Los Angeles (9:09 p.m., FS1)
Game 5: Wednesday, October 17 at Los Angeles (5:05 p.m., FS1)*
Game 6: Friday, October 19 at Milwaukee (8:39 p.m., FS1)*
Game 7: Saturday, October 20 at Milwaukee (9:09 p.m., FS1)*
Game 2 Odds (via OddsShark)
Los Angeles (-122; Bet $122 to win $100)
Milwaukee (+102; Bet $102 to win $100)
Milwaukee Has Trouble Navigating Bullpen Situation
You could tell how much winning Game 1 meant to Counsell, as he maxed out his bullpen by using Josh Hader for three innings.
Since Hader threw the most pitches of any Milwaukee player, it's hard to justify having him come back for Game 2 in an extended role.
That means the Brewers will have to rely on Jeremy Jeffress and Joakim Soria to get to Corey Knebel, who might have to throw two innings Saturday.
In order to take some pressure off the bullpen, starter Wade Miley needs to go at least four or five innings, that way Counsell can throw Jeffress, Soria and Knebel consecutively.
However, if the Dodgers do damage at the plate in the early innings, Counsell will have a tough decision to make.
If that occurs, Counsell might be forced to go to Hader, who is now at a disadvantage because all of the Los Angeles starters faced him once Friday.
Although Knebel earned the save in the ninth inning, he was far from perfect, as Chris Taylor drove in Joc Pederson on an RBI triple off the Milwaukee closer.
The Brewers haven't been exposed by the Dodgers' lineup, but they haven't been perfect, and if the Dodgers continue to make progress against the relievers, it could turn into a difficult series for the NL Central champion.
Dodgers' Confidence At Plate Leads To Road Win in Game 2
You can't sugarcoat a postseason loss, but the Dodgers picked up a slight advantage by rallying back within one run of the Brewers.
The four runs scored in the eighth and ninth innings showed the Dodgers they are more than capable of putting Milwaukee's bullpen under pressure.
Even Hader, who has been deemed untouchable, conceded a pair of hits during his three-inning stint on the bump.
The late Game 1 rally combined with Hyun-Jin Ryu starting Game 2 should put the Dodgers in position to steal a game in Milwaukee before heading home.
The 31-year-old Ryu was fantastic in Game 1 of the NLDS, as he gave up four hits in seven shutout innings.
With Ryu thriving against the Milwaukee lineup, the Dodgers' bats will go to work, with Manny Machado leading the charge.
Machado recorded two hits and drove in three runs out of the cleanup spot in Game 1, and if Chris Taylor gets on base like he did Friday, there will be plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position.
The key for the Dodgers to unlock their full potential at the plate is Justin Turner, who went 0-for-5 in the series opener.
Turner hit .357 in the NLDS win over the Atlanta Braves and recorded 12 RBI, 12 hits and three home runs in the NLDS and NLCS a year ago.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90
Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference