Sunday’s regular season finale for the Milwaukee Brewers is a must-game if the team still hopes to have a chance at winning a second-straight National League Central title. Saturday’s calamitous extra-inning loss in Colorado means that the Brewers will begin the final day of the 2019 season one game back of the St. Louis Cardinals, After the gut-wrenching defeat, Craig Counsell announced that Adrian Houser would toe the slab first for Milwaukee in the concluding contest at Coors Field.
Adrian Houser is starting for the Brewers tomorrow.— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) September 29, 2019
Houser has developed into a mid-rotation contributor for the Brewers as a 26 year old rookie this season, starting 17 games among 34 appearances while posting a 3.86 ERA (87 ERA-) in 107.1 innings and averaging 9.39 K/9 versus 3.02 BB/9. Houser has seemingly limped home with a 5.31 ERA in 20.1 frames this month, however his advanced metrics during the small sample paint a different story. He’s struck out 25 batters, walked six, and yielded only two home runs, leading to an excellent 3.08 FIP for September. He’s been saddled with a paltry 60.3% strand rate and an elevated .327 BABIP that have affected his bottom-line run prevention numbers in a negative way.
Lorenzo Cain isn’t sure of his status for Sunday’s finale. Thats not like him to say.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 29, 2019
Also of note is Lorenzo Cain suggesting to the media that he’s not sure of his status for tomorrow’s game. Cain is well-known for doing what he can to tolerate and play through almost any injury, but after leaving Satuday’s game with a sprained ankle in the ninth inning, in addition his other physical ailments, he wouldn’t say for sure whether he’d be able to play on Sunday or not. He’s hit well in September in continues to be a game-changer on defense, but now both he and Ryan Braun (and not to mention, Christian Yelich) might not be able to go in tomorrow’s must-win game.
For what it's worth, the Cardinals will start Jack Flaherty on Sunday against Derek Holland of the Cubs. The Brewers need to win and also need Chicago beat St. Louis to force a game 163.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs