Heading into the final weekend of the regular season, Craig Counsell had only announced one starter for the series in Colorado — Zach Davies.
A lot of that had to do with Brandon Woodruff’s spot in the rotation coming up on Saturday. Would the Brewers let him pitch another few innings to build up his arm strength? Or, with a possible division title tiebreaker on Monday and/or a wildcard game on Tuesday, would Counsell choose to save him for higher stakes?
It appears the latter might be the case, as Woodruff told reporters he won’t be pitching tomorrow.
Gio Gonzalez starts for the Brewers tomorrow. Brandon Woodruff is being saved for... something. He has an idea but thought it best to let the skipper say what they want to say about the plan.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 27, 2019
We saw Counsell manage a tiebreaker game aggressively last year, so saving his best pitcher for that game — even if it’s just for a few innings — would be in character for him. It’s also possible Woodruff could start the regular season finale if a win that day could force a tiebreaker or clinch a division title.
If a tiebreaker isn’t necessary, there probably isn’t a better option for the Brewers to face off against Max Scherzer, who was announced as Washington’s wildcard game starter, on Tuesday. The Nationals will also have Stephen Strasburg and Patrick Corbin available out of the bullpen for that game. It’s worth noting the Brewers have won games started by both Scherzer and Strasburg this year.