The Milwaukee Brewers have generally kept their pitching plan under wraps during the postseason. It took until after Game 3 to learn of the starting pitcher for Game 4.
It’s not often we know who the Game 5 starting pitcher will be prior to learning who the Game 4 starter is, but that’s what happened. It was announced earlier on Monday that Wade Miley would start Game 5 for the Milwaukee Brewers. But the Game 4 starter was still a mystery.
After Game 3 concluded, that mystery was no more.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) October 16, 2018
Gio Gonzalez In Game 4
The Brewers starter from Game 1 will get the ball to start Game 4. Gonzalez only allowed one run in that start, which has actually been the only run the starting pitchers have given up all postseason. But Gio only pitched two innings in that game before being removed in favor of Brandon Woodruff.
While normally having only three days in between games might be considered “short rest”, considering how Gonzalez only threw 32 pitches, it was more of a bullpen session than a real start. He should be good to go as deep into the game as he can.
Another Bullpen Game?
Game 1 ended up being basically a bullpen game with a series of “out-getters” instead of a starter going as long as he can and the bullpen taking over late. Considering how that game turned out to be a victory, that could be the same blueprint for Game 4.
Considering how the Dodgers set their platoon matchups, it’s much more favorable to have Gonzalez start on the mound and force Los Angeles to play their right handed bats. Then, after two or three innings, Counsell could once again go to Brandon Woodruff or someone like Freddy Peralta or Junior Guerra to handle the middle innings.
By forcing the lineup to game-plan for a left handed pitcher and then bring in a righty for a big chunk of the game, Counsell can force Dodgers manager Dave Roberts to sit some of his better hitters like Max Muncy and Joc Pederson at the start and then bring them off the bench later.
The great thing with starting Gonzalez is that he’s a veteran arm that knows his stuff and has been in the playoffs before. He didn’t pitch poorly in Game 1, and his experience should once again pay dividends.
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The Milwaukee Brewers have a 2-1 series lead and keeping momentum on their side in this series is huge. They need Gonzalez to do his job and keep the Crew in the game and give them a chance to win. That’s all they can ask.