Brewers News

Milwaukee Brewers: Did Brandon Woodruff’s secret start work?

Matthew Dewoskin
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 17: Brandon Woodruff #53 of the Milwaukee Brewers delivers a pitch in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Five of the National League Championship Series at Dodger Stadium on October 17, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) /
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The Milwaukee Brewers only let ‘starter’ Wade Miley face on batter before calling on Brandon Woodruff to take over. The Brewers lost the game, but did the strategy work?

The Milwaukee Brewers fell 5-2 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, and now face a 3-to-2 deficit in the best of seven series.

The Brewers surprised most fans when they announced that Wade Miley would take the mound on short rest for Game 5. Miley started the game, but he only stuck around long enough to surrender a lead off walk to Cody Bellinger. Brandon Woodruff took over, and worked into the sixth inning.

How did Woodruff pitch?

Really well! The Milwaukee Brewers lost the game, but it wasn’t because of Woodruff’s efforts.

Woodruff worked 5 1/3 innings, and allowed three runs, two earned, on five hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. He threw 70 pitches with 47 going for strikes. He ended up stuck with the loss, but that was more on the offense than Woodruff.

He gobbled up innings, mixed his pitches well, and managed to record five outs via the ground ball, and zero flyouts. He managed to generate a pair of double plays that kept the game close.

Why not announce Woodruff as the starter?


Because he didn’t start, and they didn’t have to? This was a bit of gamesmanship on the part of Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell. The Brewers tried this strategy in the final week of the season with Dan Jennings, and it paid off then. This wasn’t exactly the best sportsmanship, but neither was Manny Machado kicking Jesus Aguilar.

Did the strategy really work?

Well, the Milwaukee Brewers lost, but it wasn’t because of Woodruff. It’s hard for a team to win a playoff game when they only score two runs. Woodruff kept the team in the game, and kept the rest of the bullpen in their chairs until the sixth inning. The strategy on the mound worked, even if it didn’t result in a victory.

The Brewers head into Game 6, and they were able to give Josh Hader, Jeremy Jeffress, and Corey Knebel a day off. They’d rather have the win, but an extra day of rest could really help in Game 6.

Next. What happened to the Brewers' offense in Game 5?. dark

Miley is scheduled to start Game 6 in Milwaukee on Friday. Will he work only one batter again, or will the Milwaukee Brewers allow him to work deeper? Will they announce him as the starter for Game 7 if they win, and he only works one batter again? The only way to find out is to tune in on Friday at 7:39 PM CST to find out.

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