The Brewers have announced their decision on who will get the ball to begin tonight’s game in Busch Stadium. Lefty Dan Jennings will go for the Crew, and it’s likely a true ‘opener’. He’ll face Matt Carpenter to lead off the game, and I guess the Brewers will play it by ear from there.
Tonight’s initial out getter in St. Louis will be Dan Jennings. It will be his first Major League start after 381 career relief appearances. pic.twitter.com/5PDu60lrpF— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 24, 2018
Chase Anderson, originally slated to start today’s game, has not been particularly effective in the first innings of his starts. He’s worked 30 first innings, with an ERA of 6.30 and an OPS allowed of .833. He has served up eight homers in those first innings. (The Brewers have retired two of the three attempted base stealers in his first innings. Perhaps opponents should stay put and wait for the homer). Chase’s first inning will remain his first inning, regardless of whether it is the game’s first inning, but it’s possible that entering a game in the second (or later) will help settle him down.
Jennings’ ERA for the second half is a respectable 2.70. However, his xFIP is at 4.94. For the month of September he has allowed six hits in twelve at-bats. He has been more effective on the season against left-handed hitters, with an OPS allowed of .575 against them vs. .927 against righties.
I see no way that Jennings goes beyond one inning, and that Anderson will be the next in. It would also seem prudent to have somebody up in the pen to start the game (Brandon Woodruff comes to mind) in case things start off poorly.
This feels risky to me, but so is starting Chase. It doesn’t feel as extreme as starting Mark Kotsay in center during the playoffs, but changes like this at such a late stage of the season are unusual. So is firing your manager with a few weeks to go, too. Hopefully this will work.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference