The Brewers didn’t have things go their way in Game 1, meaning they face elimination in Game 2.
Almost immediately, the Brewers were put in a bad spot on Wednesday night in Game 1. Brent Suter had trouble finding the strike zone and Milwaukee was quickly put in a 3-0 hole.
Luckily, the bullpen was able to right the ship with Eric Yardley and Justin Topa chucking 4.1 IP of scoreless baseball, which gave the offense a chance to make it interesting. Orlando Arcia came through, like he always does in the postseason, and made it a 3-2 game.
It was closer than the first two innings would’ve led anyone to believe, but at the end of the day the Brewers still lost and face elimination in Game 2, and there’s no one else they would rather have on the mound for this game.
Brandon Woodruff On The Mound For Game 2
The Brewers have their best healthy starter pitching for this game. Brandon Woodruff was the Crew’s Opening Day starter this year, he started the Wild Card game in 2019, and was the starter for Game 1 of the 2018 NLCS and the surprise “starter” for Game 5 of that NLCS as well.
Woodruff has a history of pitching in big games. In five postseason games, Woodruff has a 1.65 ERA in 16.1 IP with 23 strikeouts, just three walks, a 0.73 WHIP, and a 12.7 K/9.
He’s no stranger to this kind of pressure.
This is the perfect spot for Woodruff to pitch. If the Brewers had won Game 1, then Woodruff would be here to pitch in a potential clincher, but since they lost Game 1, Woodruff is here to stave off elimination and keep the season alive.
Wake The Brewers Offense Up
Woodruff can pitch as well as he wants, but it won’t matter if the offense doesn’t score enough runs to make a difference.
Orlando Arcia provided a spark against Walker Buehler, but the rest of the offense wasn’t able to push runs across despite seeing traffic on the basepaths throughout the night. They’re going to need to manufacture those runs against Clayton Kershaw.
While Kershaw has far more experience in the postseason, he doesn’t have a great amount of success, with a career 4.43 ERA. In his last two postseason series, Kershaw had an ERA above 7.00, covering the 2019 NLDS and 2018 World Series.
In the 2018 NLCS against the Brewers, Kershaw had a 4.09 ERA in three games, including finishing out Game 7 and getting the win for the Dodgers.
As many fans have joked, perhaps Woodruff should be allowed to hit in the starting lineup, especially against Kershaw. Woodruff famously took Kershaw deep in Game 1 of that 2018 NLCS and is still the last pitcher to hit a home run in the postseason.
It won’t happen, and the odds of a Ryan Braun or Dan Vogelbach hitting a home run in any given at-bat tonight is much higher than Woodruff doing so.
Still, this offense will need to find something and fight like their season depends on it, because it does.
The Brewers are going to try to fight to live another day, and if they succeed, a winner-take-all Game 3 would be on Friday night.