It turns out there is way more to the Milwaukee Brewers than just Christian Yelich.
The rest of this Brew Crew can play, too. Especially those guys in that loaded bullpen.
Jhoulys Chacin pitched five sparkling innings on short rest, Mike Moustakas contributed two more big hits and the Brewers blanked the Colorado Rockies 4-0 Friday to take a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
While the sweet-swinging Yelich had a quiet day by his lofty standards, the NL Central champions showed off their supporting cast on the way to their 10th straight win going back to an impressive finish to the regular season. Erik Kratz had two hits and two RBIs, and Milwaukee's bullpen closed the door after Chacin delivered in his playoff debut.
"It's been the story of the last six weeks for us for sure, really since the trade deadline, is we've become a team with a lot of depth, and that's how we're going to have to win," manager Craig Counsell said. "They're making an effort to be very, very cautious with Yelich. It's pretty clear. So guys behind him are going to have opportunities."
Game 3 is Sunday at Coors Field. Another win, and Milwaukee is into the NL Championship Series for the first time since its previous postseason appearance in 2011.
"The only thing that changes is that we hit first," Moustakas said. "Other than that, it's still baseball. It'll be a little bit of a hostile environment."
The Rockies, who have played in four different cities since Sunday, are hoping a return to more familiar surroundings will help jump-start their dormant lineup.
"We're going home, where we feel really good hitting," shortstop Trevor Story said. "Hopefully we can get it turned around there."
Nolan Arenado had two of Colorado's six hits — just two more than the franchise playoff low set in Thursday's 3-2, 10-inning loss in Game 1. The wild-card Rockies have scored six times in their last four games, and their potent lineup is showing signs of frustration.
Chris Iannetta snapped his bat in half over his right leg after he struck out with a runner on third, no one out and Colorado down 1-0 in the seventh. Arenado threw down his bat and helmet after he struck out swinging in the fifth. Carlos Gonzalez leaned over with his hands on his knees after he lined out in the eighth.
"They've got some quality arms. They've got good stuff," manager Bud Black said. "But with that said, it is a little surprising that we're not generating some runs."
The Rockies had just one hit through eight innings in the series opener before rallying for two runs in the ninth against Jeremy Jeffress. But the All-Star was back to his normal self in Game 2, working around a single in the eighth and ninth for his first save in his third career playoff game.
The excitable right-hander punctuated the win with a big fist pump after retiring David Dahl for the final out.
"It's fun," Jeffress said with 4-year-old daughter Jurnee sitting in his lap. "I'm enjoying every single moment, and that shows."
ASTROS 7, INDIANS 2: It's October and George Springer, Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman are all hitting home runs once again, helping Houston to a postseason win.
A year after launching a World Series-record 15 homers in winning their first championship, the Astros picked up right where they left off, hitting four home runs to power past Cleveland in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.
Martin Maldonado also connected for the Astros, who didn't waste any time displaying the same power that carried them to last year's title.
Much was made about the pitching prowess these teams possess in the days leading up to this game. But it was a bunch of longballs to put the Astros ahead in this best-of-five series.
"As much as I've heard different opinions about our offense, it's pretty long, it's pretty good, it's pretty potent," manager AJ Hinch said. "Case in point today."
Houston's pop backed up a solid start by Justin Verlander, who bested Corey Kluber in a matchup of Cy Young Award-winning aces in the first postseason meeting between these teams.
Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and got his 12th playoff win. He allowed two hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings — the Indians finished with only three hits, all singles.
RED SOX 5, YANKEES 4: Chris Sale struck out eight for his first postseason win, J.D. Martinez hit a three-run homer and Boston sweated out a shaky bullpen to hold off New York in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.
One year after he was pounded by Houston in his playoff debut, Sale took a four-hit shutout into the sixth inning. The Yankees loaded the bases in the sixth and seventh, cutting the deficit to 5-3. Aaron Judge homered off Craig Kimbrel leading off the ninth before the Red Sox closer retired the next three batters, striking out Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit for the save.
Game 2 in the best-of-five series is Saturday night, with Boston starting another pitcher trying to overcome a history of postseason struggles: left-hander David Price is 0-8 as a starter in the playoffs. He'll face Yankees righty Masahiro Tanaka.
In the first playoff matchup between the longtime rivals since 2004, the 108-win Red Sox took a 5-0 lead against Yankees starter J.A. Happ and then white-knuckled it after Sale left with two on and one out in the sixth.
New York, which won 100 regular-season games plus the AL wild-card game against Oakland, got three singles and two walks in the sixth, scoring two before Brandon Workman — the only player on the Red Sox roster with a World Series ring — struck out Gleyber Torres to end the threat.
DODGERS 3, BRAVES 0: Clayton Kershaw tossed eight innings of two-hit ball in the Dodgers' second straight playoff shutout, and Manny Machado slugged a two-run homer as Los Angeles beat Atlanta for a 2-0 lead in their NL Division Series.
The Dodgers used a nearly identical formula to win 6-0 in Game 1 behind Hyun-Jin Ryu, who allowed only four two-out singles over seven innings, and home runs by Joc Pederson, Max Muncy and Enrique Hernandez.
Kershaw was even better. The left-hander struck out three and walked none in remaining unbeaten against Atlanta throughout his illustrious career.
Los Angeles can sweep the best-of-five series in Game 3 on Sunday in Atlanta, where the Baby Braves will be looking to score for the first time this postseason.