The first series of the 2022 season is complete, with the Brewers going 1-2 against their division rival Chicago Cubs. While three games is nowhere near enough to make any definitive judgements about the season, there are several players who deserve to be highlighted for their performance in this edition of Studs and Duds.
One series is in the book, and there were several standout performances. Here are the Brewers studs and duds of the first series.
Stud: Andrew McCutchen
Signed to be the primary designated hitter for the Brewers, McCutchen started his tenure in Milwaukee by doing just that, recording a single and double on Opening Day, and a single while batting leadoff
McCutchen also was the target of Cubs retaliation, getting hit in the 8th inning, when the Cubs were up 9-0, which led to a brouhaha. While he did not reach base on Sunday, his veteran leadership and contributions earlier in the series land him on the studs list.
Double Dud: Pitching Control
The Brewers experienced two uncharacteristic starts from their co-aces. All three games started with a walk. Brandon Woodruff hit multiple batters and gave up the most runs he’s allowed since May of 2018.
The cold weather in Chicago seemed to have a negative influence on the pitchers, as neither looked like the Cy Young winner or contender that both of them are. Brandon Woodruff went as far as to say that his performance Saturday was “[S]ome of the worst locating I’ve done that I can remember.”
The control issues were not exclusive to the starters. New Brewer Jose Ureña’s debut was marred by poor control as 12 of the first 13 pitches he threw were balls. Jake Cousins had issues controlling his slider, and one of his wild pitches allowed the Cubs to remain in the game on Sunday.
Stud: Rowdy Tellez
Tellez played two games, putting up three hits including a home run to give the Brewers the lead on Sunday. As it stands, Tellez appears to be the primary first baseman in a L-R Platoon with Keston Hiura. In a small sample size, Tellez appears primed to remain a contributor in the Brewers lineup this season.
Being the lead guy in a platoon, it’s important for the Brewers that Tellez gets off to a good start, and so far, he’s done just that.
Next, the Brewers are on to Baltimore for three games, before coming home to open the season against the Cardinals on Thursday. Hopefully the strong performances of the studs will continue, while the pitching corrects itself.