This post is to follow up on yesterday’s LCS preview, which did not include information about the Milwaukee Brewers’ starting pitching lineup for the NLCS, as it had not been announced until today.
Game 1: Gio González – 4.21 ERA
Postseason Stats: 0-0; 4.78 ERA; 26.1 IP; 1.481 WHIP; 8.9 SO9; 1.37 SO/W (6 G)
The Brewers acquired González from the Washington Nationals late in the season to bolster their already-weak starting rotation that had been depleted due to injury. He was part of the back end of the Washington rotation and his prior postseason experience comes from Washington’s recent appearances in the National League Division Series. In my opinion, this move is very similar to using an “opener” since it’s unlikely Crew manager Craig Counsell will be looking for too many innings out of González and will go to his trusted bullpen arms once a situation arises that calls for using a pinch-hitter.
Game 2: Wade Miley – 2.57 ERA
Postseason Stats: 0-0; 0.00 ERA; 4.2 IP; 0.857 WHIP; 3.9 SO9; 2.00 SO/W (1 G)
Miley has been Milwaukee’s best-performing SP this year in terms of ERA. He only pitched 80.2 innings for the Crew during the regular season and was limited to 4.2 innings during the Division Series against Colorado. I would also not expect him to go any longer than 5 innings during his start.
Game 3: Jhoulys Chacín – 3.50 ERA
Postseason Stats: 1-0; 0.00 ERA; 5.0 IP; 1.200 WHIP; 5.4 SO9; 1.00 SO/W (1 G)
Chacín does not have an under-3 ERA like Miley, but he has been the SP favored by Counsell in big games this season, as he was the starter in Milwaukee’s Central Division championship Game 163 tiebreaker against the Chicago Cubs. He and Miley were the only traditional SPs to appear for Milwaukee in the Division Series, and he is the likeliest candidate out of all Milwaukee starters to be able to go deep in the game, as he had 192.2 IP for the Crew during the regular season.
The decision to use González especially signals that Counsell and the Brewers will be relying heavily on the bullpen to carry them through this series, as they did throughout the regular season. I still favor LA in this series since their pitching staff is stronger as a whole, and heavy reliance on the bullpen is likely to backfire sooner or later (also, fuck the Brewers).
Game 1 of the NLCS between the Dodgers and Brewers begins at 8:09 PM ET tonight. Starters: Clayton Kershaw – LAD; Gio González – MIL (see above).