The Milwaukee Brewers and Houston Astros made quick work off their opponents, as they swept their way into their respective League Championship Series. Both teams are four wins away from facing off against each other in the 2018 World Series. Let’s take a look at how they were able to perform so well in the NL/ALDS.
The Brew Crew won their division for the first time since 2011 and matched up with the Wild Card Colorado Rockies. Colorado’s offense went stagnant and Milwaukee took advantage as they won 3-2, 4-0 and 6-0. Led by one of the best bullpens, Milwaukee was able to dominate the Rockies, only struggling late in game one.
The three-headed monster made up of Corey Knebel, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress held the Rockies to two runs over 8.2 innings. The three combined for one save, 12 strikeouts and six hits. Jeffress had the only hiccup as he blew the save in game one after giving up two runs. He was able to redeem himself as he saved game two. Hader and Knebel have been stingy as can be as the two combined for zero hits and one walk allowed.
Milwaukee’s trade acquisitions proved themselves in the NLDS as they played key roles in toppling the Rockies. Mike Moustakas who was traded from the Royals had a walk-off single in game one. Joakim Soria, traded from the White Sox, gave up zero runs, one hit, walked one and struck out 5 over 2.2 innings. He also was the winning pitcher in game one.
Milwaukee’s weak point is their starting rotation so they used their bullpen for game one. Starters Jhoulys Chacin and Wade Miley pitched games two and three and combined for zero runs allowed. If the Brew Crew’s starters can go five to six innings and hand the bullpen the lead, they might win their first ever World Series.
MVP candidate Christian Yelich, went 2-8 with six walks. He also hit a two-run homer in game one and went on to score in every game.
The Brewers await the winner of the LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves.
Houston is coming off winning the 2017 World Series, which was the franchise’s first ever title. This year Houston has put together another strong campaign as they won 103 games and the AL West. They matched up with the AL Central winner Cleveland Indians and swept them. Houston looked impressive as they won 7-2, 3-1 and 11-3.
Starters, Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole and Dallas Keuchel combined for two wins, 21 strikeouts and only gave up five earned runs. Verlander who pitched Game 1, had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. Gerrit Cole, who was an off-season trade acquisition from Pittsburgh, went seven innings and struck out 12 in game two. Keuchel was steady and limited the Indians to only two runs through five innings. Houston’s pitchers were able to hold Indians MVP candidate Jose Ramirez hit-less as he went 0-11 with one walk and five strikeouts. This was a big reason why the Indians were barely able to score.
Cleveland has an impressive pitching staff but they did not have an answer for Houston’s stacked lineup. George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman were especially superb as they were able to jump-start the offense. The three combined for 15 hits, nine RBIs, 13 runs scored and six home runs. Two time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber pitched game one for the Indians and couldn’t even go five innings. He gave up a home run a piece to the trio.
Houston now awaits the winner of the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Feature Image From Out of Write Field.