The Milwaukee Brewers have opted to go with Eric Lauer as their starting pitcher for Game 4 of the NLDS over staff ace Corbin Burnes on short rest. Here’s why that is a smart decision by Craig Counsell.
So far, the NLDS hasn’t gone completely to plan for the Brewers. Game 1 was good, with Burnes going six shutout innings and the offense doing just enough, with a two run homer by Rowdy Tellez, to get the victory. A 1-0 series lead and things are looking good.
But, the offense has struggled in the two games since. The Brewers haven’t scored in their last 19 innings and were completely shut out in Games 2 and 3. Now, they’re in a 2-1 series hole, and the Braves can win the series in Game 4. The Brewers want and need to bring this series back to Milwaukee.
So, in a must win game, why wouldn’t the Brewers go with their best starting pitcher, Corbin Burnes? Why go with Eric Lauer instead?
Eric Lauer has earned this opportunity. He turned himself into a valuable starter down the stretch, posting a 2.60 ERA in the second half of the season. That’s right, a 2.60 ERA. He limited opponents to just a .193/.255/.314 slash line post-All Star Break. In terms of results, he’s right there on par with what Corbin Burnes did.
Lauer was Top 10 in MLB in second half ERA and top 5…