The Milwaukee Brewers head into the playoffs Wednesday night, not exactly at full strength.
It’s not just Christian Yelich’s bat. Milwaukee (29-31) also is in desperation mode on the mound against the LA Dodgers (43-17).
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Manager Craig Counsell will go with Brent Suter, after the sudden loss of Corbin Burnes to an oblique strain.
The 31st-round pick in 2012 out of Harvard hasn’t gotten more than 12 outs or thrown more than 59 pitches in a game this season. But that is what the 31-year-old did his last time out, throwing four scoreless innings against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Now, he gets the No. 1 team in baseball.
“We’re on Plan B,” Counsell said of Suter, “but it’s a good Plan B.”
The Brewers will likely use multiple relievers tonight — Devin Williams and Josh Hader are two of MLB’s best — in hopes Brandon Woodruff can go deep Thursday in Game 2.
“We’re gonna need contributions from relievers beyond those two guys,” Counsell said. “That’s absolutely important. It’s obviously more important in a day like tomorrow.”
And, if there was ever a good time for the bat to come to life, now would be it for Yelich, who’s been hovering around the 200-mark at the plate all season (.205 currently).
The 28-year-old only has one three-hit game all season, and sits at 12 home runs — the New York Yankees’ first baseman Luke Voit leads the MLB with 22.
The Brewers are going to Yelich’s bat, and quite a few teammates’ bats, as well, if they’re going to upset the Dodgers in the first round of the playoffs.
Only one player, Daniel Vogelbach, is hitting over .300 (.326). Keston Hirua leads the team with 13 home runs, but is batting just .212.
Perhaps Ryan Braun, at .233 with eight home runs, has one last playoff run in him.