MILWAUKEE ago was to be the Game 1 starter in the National League Championship Series.More Brewers coverageBrewers Final Pitch: Chacin dominates mound in Game 3 of NLCSChacin Welington Castillo Jersey , Brewers blank Dodgers to take 2-1 lead in NLCSDespite struggles, No. 23 Badgers still have hope in Big TenStrong winds could be factor for Brewers, Dodgers in NLCS Game 3Photos of the Week: 10/7/18 10/13/18The veteran left-hander had slogged through a frustrating season with the Nationals and was 7-11 with a 4.57 ERA when the Brewers acquired him from Washington just before the deadline to trade for players and have them eligible for postseason play.Article continues below ...At the time, Gonzalez was hoping a change of scenery would do him well and was ready to accept whatever role the Brewers had in mind for him as they chased their first postseason berth in seven years. Instead of being a bit piece, though, Gonzalez played a vital role for Milwaukee, posting a 2.13 ERA in five starts, including five-shutout innings in the regular-season finale that sent the Brewers to a Game 163 showdown with the Cubs for the NL Central title.Its a pretty cool story, Gonzalez admitted Thursday as the Brewers and Dodgers worked out at Miller Park ahead of the series opener. They wanted me to be a part of this.Gonzalez likely wont be out there long. The Brewers have kept their starters outings short all season, choosing to rely on one of the games best bullpens and its been no different in the postseason as no Milwaukee starter has worked more than five innings, including a three-inning stint by Brandon Woodruff as part of a bullpen day in Game 1 of the NLDS against Colorado.Gonzalez was on the roster for that series but didnt see action. Some expected Milwaukee to turn to right-hander Jhoulys Chacin for Game 1, but hell get the nod in Game 3 instead.We just like the matchup, Brewers manager Craig Counsell said of Gonzalez. We like the matchup against their lineup. Its no secret that were going to use our pitching a little different than the traditionalists might like and so for us, the first matchup we liked was Gio on the mound.After avoiding a decisive fifth game against Atlanta, the Dodgers send ace left-hander Clayton Kershaw to the mound for the opener. In 14 career starts against the Brewers, Kershaw is 6-5 with a 2.86 ERA, including a 4-1 record and 1.40 mark in seven career starts at Miller Park.He split his two starts against Milwaukee this season David Ross Jersey , allowing four runs (one earned) over six innings in a 4-2 loss at Miller Park on July 21 then striking out seven while allowing just two runs over six innings in a 21-5 rout at Dodger Stadium on Aug. 2.The Brewers batted .250 (12-for-48) against Kershaw this season, numbers that were inflated by Christian Yelich, who went 4-for-6 with a pair of home runs against Kershaw in 2018 and is 9-for-17 (.529) against him for his career.Hes a really good hitter, Kershaw said. Hes definitely got some hits off me for sure, so I have to try to not let him do that (Friday).Yelich is one of the few for sure players in Craig Counsells lineup, along with fellow outfielders Ryan Braun and Lorenzo Cain as well as first baseman Jesus Aguilar. Beyond that, Counsell has mixed and matched the rest of his lineup depending on matchups all season long and doesnt expect that to change during the NLCS, especially with the Dodgers lefty-heavy rotation.That means Hernan Perez, Orlando Arcia and Jonathan Schoop could see significantly more playing time than they did in the NLCS, with Travis Shaw and Mike Moustakas possibly seeing a little less action than they have the last few weeks.Well have some different lineups in this series, Counsell said. With three pretty solid left-handed starters, its a good chance for our right-handed hitters to do some damage. Steve Blass spent his boyhood afternoons in Connecticut flinging a rubber ball against the side of a half-barn, fantasizing that he was pitching in the majors. Come evening, the 10-year-old would get his radio and tune into a game, delighted when Mel Allens voice crackled from the transistor.When I thought baseball, I thought about Mel Allen, said Blass , now a Pittsburgh Pirates announcer. When I thought Mel Allen, I thought about baseball.More than in any other sport, baseball broadcasters become an inseparable part of the game they describe. Their voices are the backdrop to all those warm summer nights. Their distinctive calls are part of the games lore. Fans visualize the action through their stories and descriptions.Theres definitely an intimate link between the fan and the broadcaster that is much more impactful and prevalent in baseball than in any other major sports, Cincinnati Reds play-by-play man Marty Brennaman said.Both 76, Blass and Brennaman are retiring after the 2019 season, ending long careers in the booth 34 years for Blass, 46 for Brennaman. Throughout the decades, the wins and losses, and the historical moments theyve witnessed and described, theyve also experienced how much fans identify with their voices coming into their homes.Theyre treated like adopted family members, greeted on a first-name basis.Brennaman teamed with former Cincinnati pitcher Joe Nuxhall for 31 years in the booth. Fans tuned into Marty and Joe, a pair of old friends who visited Reds fans nearly every day from March to October.The longer youre around, the more you become part of someones daily life, even approaching being a member of their extended family, Brennaman said. The time I realized what an impact Joe and I made was when we started getting mail addressed to Marty and Joe, Cincinnati, Ohio no address Drew Smyly Jersey , no anything. And it went to the main post office downtown and they had no problem at all figuring out where it was supposed to go.That made me realize whatever we were doing, we were doing right.The game lends itself to those relationships and over the generations has become intertwined with those voices crackling from transistor radios tucked beneath pillows for night games Jack Buck on KMOX in St. Louis, Ernie Harwell with WJR in Detroit, Bob Prince on KDKA in Pittsburgh, Chuck Thompson in Baltimore, Harry Kalas and Richie Ashburn in Philly and the great Harry Caray.Unlike basketball or football or other major sports where the action is nonstop, baseball provides many opportunities for broadcasters to fill with stories and personal anecdotes. They weave in updates about their gardens and their travel experiences and their everyday adventures.They do more than describe a jump shot or a touchdown catch or a goalies save. They share a bit of themselves.Baseball is the hardest sport of all to do well, said Brennaman, who also has done college basketball play-by-play. Basketball and hockey are comparable to winding up a windup toy and turning it on and its nonstop for two hours because of the pace of the game. Youve got so much dead time in baseball that if you cant ad lib cogently and intelligently, you cant do it. If theres a pure art form in play-by-play sports, its broadcasting baseball on radio.That down time also allows color commentators like Blass to bring the sport to life with stories that revive listeners memories.To me, much of the game is about stories, said Blass, who pitched for the Pirates from 1964-74, famously winning Game 7 of the 1971 World Series. I think our game of baseball is unique. It has more stories than any of the other major sports. Baseball lends itself to the stories.The game wouldnt be the same without their stories and signature lines. Their distinctive expressions become part of the games fabric and history, whether its Russ Hodges The Giants win the pennant! or Brennamans This one belongs to the Reds after a win or even Nuxhalls This is the old left-hander rounding third and heading for home sign-off.Hollywood recognizes the vital importance of baseballs voices. Harry Doyle, played by Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker Brandon Morrow Jersey , is an integral part of the movie Major League and has some of the most memorable lines Juuuust a bit outside. Allen and his How about that? are part of the baseball scene in The Naked Gun.Without the voices, its not baseball.Some of the most familiar voices have left in recent years. The Dodgers Vin Scully recognized within the business as one of the best ever retired after the 2016 season, his 67th.The business is changing as well.More and more fans follow games on their computers, mobile devices and television, rather than radio. The novelty of picking up a game on a far-away station, albeit with a little static, is long gone, replaced by easy access to all broadcasts.Its unlikely that many up-and-coming announcers will want to stay with one team so long or do games on a daily basis. The tidal wave of analytics has changed the game and seeped into how its presented. Those calling the action have to be more concerned about reprisals for what they might say on air.I think we are the last of a dying breed, said Brennaman, known for his directness on the air. I quite frankly dont think there are a lot of guys today broadcasting baseball that have a lot of personality. I think you can take one young announcer off one team and plug him into another team and its essentially the same guy.Fans in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh will get to enjoy those familiar voices for one last season. Itll be bittersweet not only for them but other fans as well when they round third and head for home, as Nuxhall would say.I have people tell me, You get me through the summer evenings,' Blass said. Its so flattering. You dont think about it that way all the time. Its much more so than when I was pitching. Now Im in their lives more.Its a wonderful feeling when people come up to me and say, I enjoy you doing the games.'