Brewers manager Craig Counsell made his first “move” of the NLCS, pulling starter Gio Gonzalez after two innings in favor of right-hander Brandon Woodruff. With the pitcher’s spot due up first in the bottom of the third inning. one might have expected Counsell to allow Gonzalez to pitch the third before departing.
Woodruff retired the Dodgers in order in the top of the third and then took his turn at the plate to lead off against Kershaw. Woodruff did have a homer in the regular season, and he made Counsell’s move look absolutely brilliant by hammering a 2-2 pitch for a home run to right-center.
Woodruff’s blast served to unravel Kershaw, who allowed a single to Lorenzo Cain and a walk to Christian Yelich. After Ryan Braun fouled out, catcher Yasmani Grandal’s second passed ball of the game moved the runners up. Jesus Aguilar was awarded first base on catcher’s interference when his bat hit Grandal’s mitt, loading the bases. Hernan Perez followed with a sacrifice fly to center, and Grandal missed the throw to home, allowing Yelich and Aguilar to move up. Kershaw finally got out of the inning by striking out Mike Moustakas.