As expected when he was forced to leave Game 4 in the 2nd inning, Gio Gonzalez’s ankle injury is expected to keep him out for awhile. That, combined with the 13-inning marathon the game ended up to be, is leading the Brewers to make a roster move before Game 5.
Given the team’s need for length in the bullpen after using Freddy Peralta and Junior Guerra for multiple innings on Tuesday night (and Wednesday morning), it made sense that either Zach Davies or Chase Anderson would be the pick to replace Gonzalez.
Anderson hasn’t pitched in a game in nearly a month, though — his last appearance was on September 18th in a 3-1 loss to Cincinnati — while Davies at least made a couple of (short) starts more recently than that.
How sharp Davies will be after such a long layoff is a fair question, especially considering his career trend of starting seasons slowly before getting a feel for his command in the middle of a season. After not pitching competitively since September 28th, it’s possible Davies only makes an appearance if a game is well out of hand or if there’s another game that heads deep into extra innings. Wade Miley is making his Game 5 start on short rest, but Brandon Woodruff should be fully rested to take up to 3 innings if need be.
If you’re into small sample sizes from different seasons, Davies did make 2 starts against the Dodgers last year, holding them scoreless over 13 innings. Those Dodger teams didn’t include the likes of Max Muncy or Manny Machado, though, so that’s probably best taken with a grain of salt.
MLB rules dictate that any player that’s replaced on a playoff roster once the series begins is ruled ineligible for the next round, so this means Gonzalez would miss the World Series if the Brewers win two more games. That’s likely a moot point, anyway, since it sounds like Gonzalez’s injury is serious enough that it likely would have kept him out of the Fall Classic.