The questions have been asked about who the Milwaukee Brewers would have start Game 1 of the NLDS. Now Craig Counsell has answered them.
It’s a good problem to have. The Brewers have a number of quality options to start their first game of the MLB Playoffs, in their best of five series against the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS.
But which direction would they go?
The Brewers have announced that Corbin Burnes will start Game 1 of the NLDS while Brandon Woodruff will start Game 2.
The decisions were made official on Tuesday.
No matter which way the Brewers went with this decision, they would be in good hands. Burnes finished first in the NL in ERA this season while Woodruff finished fourth.
But Burnes has earned this Game 1 start. It’s a sign of trust and a sense of pride for pitchers to get the ball for Game 1 of a postseason series. He’s clearly been the best pitcher on this Brewers staff throughout the season and is deserving of this start. Prior to his final outing of the season against the Dodgers when the Brewers weren’t really trying, the Brewers had won every game Burnes had started since early July.
He will face off against Charlie Morton as the starting pitcher for the Braves in that game.
Brandon Woodruff will have Game 2 and he will be opposite Max Fried of the Braves. Woodruff had an excellent season in his own right, posting a 2.56 ERA in 179.1 IP.
This season, the Brewers haven’t given Woodruff the run support he deserves and that’s led to the Crew losing way more games than they should have with him on the mound. Hopefully as the postseason begins, that trend can change.
Craig Counsell hasn’t announced who would start Game 3 yet, but that’s expected to be Freddy Peralta. He’s the third member of the Brewers Big Three in the rotation and has been ramping back up after a minor shoulder injury in early September.
Both Woodruff and Peralta skipped their final turns in the rotation in the regular season, opting for extra rest. More rest has been a theme for this pitching staff all season, and it’s been a roaring success. Burnes had the same option, but chose to make his final start, which only went two innings.
While there may be some outside concern of rust for Woodruff and Peralta, internally they aren’t concerned at all, which is the most important thing. Athletes know their bodies better than anyone else. But now it’s going to be their time to perform.
Game 1 of the NLDS will be Friday afternoon at American Family Field. The Brewers have big goals, and this is only just the beginning.