Here we go... the “real” playoffs begin tonight, and there’s a lot of blue in these matchups, but not exclusively. The Rockies will drag their road woes on offense into Miller Park to face the NL Central-winning Milwaukee Brewers. The matchup:
Antonio Senzatela (6-6, 4.37 FIP)
Brandon Woodruff (3-0, 3.30 FIP)
Senzatela has started the most games of his career against the Giants (6) and has a 3.35 ERA. Against everyone else, he’s just been okay. However, his first career start was last April 7th against the Milwaukee Brewers. He struck out six in five innings and walked three. Over his last seven starts, he has a 31:11 strikeouts to walk ratio but has allowed 7 home runs on a 4.26 ERA over 38 innings.
The Brewers will be “bullpenning” there game tonight. Woodruff has started four games in 2018 but is primarily a reliever. It didn’t work out for the A’s so well for a variety of reasons, but the Brewers have had a little bit of success in their month-long trial of the strategy heading into the postseason. Remember, though, they spent most of the offseason and the run up to the trade deadline acquiring as much offensive talent.
Their thinking might well have been on point: since teams are going to use a lot more relievers for matchups, swing types, etc., their best counter to that is stacking a roster with a variety of above average hitters. They’re one of the only teams to approach modern strategy this way, and given their financial limitations, they really had to choose between pitching or hitting. I think they did well to come up with a counter strategy and go after the right players who fit it.
I’m a regular visitor here, but Milwaukee has certainly had its share of visitors. The French missionaries and explorers were coming here as early as the late-1600s to trade with the Native Americans.#Rocktober pic.twitter.com/lPiQ0unBKR— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) October 4, 2018
You could’ve finished that tweet with #IWasNotAwareOfThat, Rockies. Don’t come weak with the Wayne’s World quotes.
Mike Foltynewicz (13-10, 3.37 FIP)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 3.00 FIP)
Ryu gets the start here over Kershaw by virtue of being dominant down the stretch. Over his last 7 starts (42.2 IP), he struck out 43, walked 4, allowed 45 hits (5 home runs) and 8 total runs (1.69 ERA). He’s yet to have a scoreless start against the Braves, however, and has a 4.22 ERA in four career starts (21.1 IP). He also hasn’t faced them since 2014, so those career numbers are hardly indicative of what either side is up against.
As a team, the Braves’ season OPS versus LHP was .780. It was .726 against RHP.