Led by a key home run from Rowdy Tellez, and a dominant start from Corbin Burnes, the Brewers found themselves up 1-0 in the NLDS.
The Brewers started off the NLDS against the Braves with a 2-1 victory. What are key takeaways going forward?
NLDS Game 1 Takeaway #1: Corbin Burnes is Good
After an uncharacteristic start by Corbin Burnes that saw him start the game with 2 straight walks, he settled in. Burnes ended the day with 6 strikeouts, and only allowing 2 hits. Burnes finished the day with 3 walks, tying a season high for him, but did not allow a run to score, working his way through six shutout innings.
He was aided by great defense backing him up after having runners on the corners with no outs.
Burnes, who had the longest postseason start for Milwaukee since 2011, kept the Brewers in the game as Charlie Morton mowed down the lineup, showing again how important the starting pitching is to the Brewers as they intend to make a deep postseason run.
Whether we see Burnes again this series is yet to be seen, but if he is called upon expect more greatness from him.
NLDS Game 1 Takeaway #2: Pitching Roles are Fluid
Craig Counsell has never been afraid to get unconventional with pitching roles, famously referring to pitchers as “out-getters”. That was on full display today, as Adrian Houser came out of the bullpen to pitch 2 key innings, and Freddy Peralta was warming up in the bullpen in the 7th inning.
Peralta is still expected to make a start in either Game 3 or 4, per Tom Haudricourt, but the Brewers seem to be prioritizing the outs of today rather than the outs of tomorrow. Without Devin Williams, the Brewers turned to Adrian Houser to pitch the 8th inning, and he did well, gave up a home run, but did hold the lead.
If Game 1 is any indicator, the it appears that we may see anyone on the roster coming in to pitch Game 2.
NLDS Game 1 Takeaway #3: Offense Needs to Show Up
The Brewers offense did just enough today. Rowdy Tellez provided all the firepower in the 7th inning when he crushed a ball to right-center. Outside of Tellez the offense looked meh at best. Milwaukee only had 8 baserunners in the entire game, and Charlie Morton made light work of the Brewers through the first 6 innings, striking out 9 batters.
The first 4 batters of the lineup went a combined 1 – 14 with 7 strikeouts, with Avi Garcia adding a HBP and Christian Yelich adding a walk. Going into the series there was an expectation the pitching would carry the team, but the offense is going to have more success and not allow the starting pitching to carve up the lineup to remain competitive.
A win is a win, and at the end of the day the Brewers are one game closer to advancing.
The pitching looked great, and the offense did just enough to get the Brewers over the finish line. Brandon Woodruff is on the mound tomorrow, and the Brewers will look for a repeat in dominance, and take a controlling 2-0 lead in the NLDS.