The Brewers still don’t know who they’ll be playing in the NLDS, but they have settled on their Game 1 starter.
According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke confirmed this afternoon that Yovani Gallardo will start the series opener.
Gallardo was scratched from Wednesday’s scheduled start, but threw a couple of simulated innings as part of a workout today in order to stay sharp.
How the rest of the rotation takes shape depends upon whether the Brewers will be able to wrap up home-field advantage for the first round. They currently hold a one-game lead over the Diamondbacks. If the Brewers are able to clinch home-field advantage tonight, Zack Greinke will only throw a couple of innings tomorrow, which sets him up to start Game 2 and Shaun Marcum to start Game 3. If they need a win tomorrow, Greinke will pitch as normal and be held back for Game 3. Randy Wolf will be the fourth starter until both scenarios.
The Arizona Fall League competition came to a close on Saturday, concluding with the Peoria Javelinas’ 8-2 win over the Mesa Solar Sox for the championship title. No one stood out more than Braves’ no. 1 prospect Ronald Acuna, who took home honors as the AFL MVP after slashing .325/.414/.639 with a league-leading seven home runs and second-best 1.053 OPS in 83 at-bats.
At just 19 years old, Acuna is the youngest prospect to receive the award. He made his presence felt even before he suited up for the AFL, earning promotions to the Braves’ Double-A Mississippi and Triple-A Gwinnett and batting a remarkable .325/.374/.522 with 21 home runs across three levels in 2017.
Acuna was also a major factor in the Javelinas’ win on Saturday, but he wasn’t the first to make some noise. The Solar Sox got to right-hander T.J. Zeuch in the first inning, leading off with three singles and a run-scoring sac fly to get a 2-0 edge over the Javelinas. It was the only lead they’d get all afternoon and it lasted just two innings. Luis Urias snapped the shutout with a sac fly in the bottom of the second inning, and the Javelinas took the lead with a game-tying RBI single from Acuna and two-run base hit from Braves’ no. 16 prospect Alex Jackson in the third.
From then on, it was smooth sailing for Peoria. Andrew Case, Andres Munoz and Art Warren combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, while the offense tacked on another handful of runs with Acuna’s fourth-inning two-RBI single and Michael Chavis’ eighth-inning triple. With runners at the corners and one out, the Solar Sox lifted right-hander Dakota Bacus for fellow righty Nolan Blackwood. Even he was flummoxed by Acuna, however, who grabbed hold of the first pitch he saw and returned another sac fly to center field for the Javelinas’ eighth and final run of the game.
Only 131 days left until Opening Day, folks.