Los Angeles Dodgers: Key decision points in Game Seven

MILWAUKEE, WI - Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches the awards ceremony in the clubhouse after winning the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Dodgers defeated the Brewers 5-1 in Game 7 of the NLCS. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WI - Yasiel Puig #66 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches the awards ceremony in the clubhouse after winning the National League Championship Series against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on Saturday, October 20, 2018. The Dodgers defeated the Brewers 5-1 in Game 7 of the NLCS. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Los Angeles showed better plate discipline, recording only five outs on pitches outside the strike zone and collecting two hits on wayward offerings…one of them being Puig’s three-run homer.

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But the Dodgers true key lay in Roberts’ use of his bullpen, notably in his decision not to go to it until he had to. That moment came in the fifth when, with two out and Lorenzo Cain at second – Roberts called left-hander Julio Urias to deal with Christian Yelich. That was the ball Yelich plastered toward the gap in left-center that made a defensive hero of Taylor.

But having nursed nearly five full innings from Buehler – and soon to be holding a four-run lead – Roberts faced less pressure while possessing more leeway in the use of his reserves. That wiggle room allowed him for the most to bypass his middle relief corps, needing  just that single out from Urias and 1.2 innings from Ryan Madson. Instead, Roberts was able to apply his aces where they could actually shut the door. Closer Kenley Jansen pitched in the seventh and eighth, and starter Clayton Kershaw, mopped up the ninth.

Puig making postseason history. dark. Next

Their work made easier by the Milwaukee hitters’ anxiety attacks, Jansen and Kershaw combined to retire all seven hitters they faced without incident.