Update 11:25 am MT: Here are today's lineups.
The Rockies and Brewers take the field for Game 2 of the National League Division Series on Friday afternoon in the second game of a postseason quadruple-header. The Rockies will try to even the series after dropping the first game 3-2 in ten innings on Thursday.
Time: 4:15 p.m. ET (2:15 p.m. MT)
Location: Miller Park, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
TV: FS1, FOX Deportes
Radio: KOA 850 AM/94.1 FM; KNDV 1150 AM (Spanish) (in Colorado), stream on MLB At Bat app
How they got here
The Rockies offense spent eight innings napping in Game 1 only to come back with two in the top of the ninth against super-closer Jeremy Jeffress to tie it. Alas, a walk and a single in the bottom of the 10th doomed them and the Brewers have a 1-0 series lead in the NLDS.
Don’t let that overshadow the pitching on both sides, though. Antonio Senzatela and five Rockies relievers were able to limit the Brewers to seven hits, including the two-run bomb off the bat of Christian Yelich in the bottom of the third that gave the Brewers the lead. Meanwhile, manager Craig Counsell’s bullpen game worked wonders for the Brewers; four pitchers combined to hold the Rockies to one hit over eight innings before Jeffress came in and allowed three straight hits, an error, and a sac fly to allow the Rockies to tie it.
The excellent pitching in Game 1 makes my prediction from yesterday seem rather silly. The question for today will be, after using their best relievers to piece together the game yesterday, who will be available today.
Tyler Anderson gets the call today for the Rockies to make his 33rd start of 2018. He’s 7-9 with a 4.55 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 in 176 innings this year. He’s done enough to keep the Rockies in the game in the month of September but looked dominant on Sunday, throwing 7 2⁄3 shutout innings with four hits and five strikeouts against the Nationals en route to a 12-0 victory. He’s faced four times as many rightes as lefties this season but those lefties are .283/.338/.490 against him in 157 plate appearances, compared to just .234/.304/.437 for righties. In his last start against the Brewers on August 4, he allowed seven runs in just four innings.
Old friend Jhoulys Chacin takes the mound for the Brewers, just three days after throwing 5 2⁄3 innings in the NL Central Tiebreaker game on Monday. Chacin has been Milwaukee’s best starting pitcher in 2018, posting a 15-8 record with a 3.50 ERA over 191 2⁄3 innings. However, since he is on short rest, Chacin may not make be expected to make it through the Rockies lineup more than twice, perhaps even once, before ceding to the bullpen.
Chacin allowed a wOBA of .234 against righties this season compared to .338 wOBA for lefties, so we might see Bud Black start Tony Wolters behind the plate. Otherwise, it’s likely we see the same lineup from Thursday.
Longtime Purple Row readers know this by now but don’t be fooled by the announcers’ proclamations of a “prolific” Rockies offense that finished second in runs scored in 2018. The Rockies were 22nd in baseball with a non-pitcher wRC+ of 94, and it showed at times yesterday. If they don’t want to go down 0-2 heading back to Denver, the Rockies will have to find a way to score more than two runs.
The Brewers, meanwhile, were able to squeeze out seven hits and seven walks from the Rockies pitching staff on Thursday, getting traffic on the bases in seven of the ten innings, leaving 10 on base over the course of the game. The Rockies will need to either figure out how to limit traffic or continue stranding it in order to keep a good offense (non-pitcher 104 wRC+) down.
As soon as lineups are posted online this post will be updated with the tweets at the bottom.
The Rockies played most of Game 1 from behind, meaning their top relievers (Scott Oberg, Seunghwan Oh, Wad Davis) will likely be fully available on Friday. Adam Ottavino, who gave up the game-winning hit on Thursday, threw 30 pitches in the process and would probably have very little availability, if any. Lefties Chris Rusin and Harrison Musgrave threw 23 and 22 pitches, respectively, and are also both unlikely to be available.
Despite throwing a “bullpen day” Thursday, the Brewers are probably in good shape heading into Friday’s game. Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes are both likely out for Thursday after throwing 48 pitches and 26 pitches to get the Brewers through the first five innings. It will be interesting to see how Counsell manages the workload of Corey Knebel (25 pitches in Game 1) and Josh Hader (20). Closer Jeremy Jeffress struggled in his inning on the mound, allowing the Rockies to tie the game (he missed the tiebreaker game with an undisclosed illness). How much Counsell has to lean on these guys will depend on how far into the game Chacin can take them.
This isn’t a “do-or-die” game like the Rockies faced on Tuesday, but a a loss would put them on the brink of elimination and so Friday’s game is incredibly important. Tyler Anderson will need to maintain his string of good starts (just four runs allowed in his last 19 2⁄3 innings over three starts) and Chacin will go as long as possible. Whoever blinks first could hold that advantage through the end of the game.