The Los Angeles Dodgers moved into a Major League World Series victory after defeating the Milwaukee Brewers 5-2 in game five of the National League Championship Series.
Milwaukee got creative to start the game with his pitching staff, but a brilliant start to a future Hall of Fame member at Clayton Kershaw led the Dodgers to victory on Wednesday.
The Dodgers lead the NLCS 3-2 before Game Six in Milwaukee on Friday.
The most unlikely of heroes
Austin Barnes was probably the last person Dodgers fans thought would help his team win a postseason game. The backup receiver hit .205 with four homers and 14 RBIs for the season and was one-for-seven in the playoffs that make it to game five.
But when Barnes reached the plate with Chris Taylor at third base and one out at the In the fourth inning, the utility came when he hit a single in the middle to tie the game. Barnes broke the Dodgers' 0 for seven runs with a runner in third and less than two outs in the NLCS while improving the team's batting average to .300 in the playoffs.
And again, Barnes was literally the least likely person to come through that situation. Barnes hit .111 with runners in scoring position for the season, which was the last MLB among players with 50 or more at-bats (319 qualifiers).
Counsell seemed like a genius, until he did not
The Brewers' manager was really playing chess when everyone else played the ladies on Wednesday. Craig Counsell allowed starter Wade Miley to throw a hitter (a walk to Cody Bellinger) before he eliminated him for Brandon Woodruff without outs in the first inning.
But Counsell could not have predicted the effect that movement would have later on in the game. Barnes, who was in the lineup instead of Yasmani Grandal, drove in the tie race. Max Muncy, who was in the lineup because Los Angeles really had no other choice, drove in the approval race. Joc Pederson, who replaced Freese after a at-bat, also recorded a base hit.