Joe Thatcher designated for assignment by the Astros

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Left-hander Joe Thatcher, who signed a one-year, $1 million deal with the Astros this offseason, has been designated for assignment and dropped from the 40-man roster.

Thatcher filled a left-handed specialist role for Houston, appearing in 36 games but logging a total of just 19 innings. He had a decent 3.79 ERA, but wasn’t especially effective versus left-handed hitters. Or at least not good enough to warrant devoting a roster spot to that limited role.

Thatcher has a solid track record that includes a 3.43 ERA in nine seasons as a big leaguer, so he should be able to latch on somewhere else down the stretch.

Craig Counsell pulls Wade Miley after one batter

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Brewers manager Craig Counsell took “the opener” to new heights in Game 5 of the NLCS on Wednesday evening. Expecting Wade Miley to pitch a sizable portion of the game, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts stacked the lineup with right-handed hitters behind leadoff batter Cody Bellinger.

Wade Miley walked Bellinger to start the game. Counsell promptly walked to the mound and called for right-hander Brandon Woodruff, removing Miley from the game after just one batter and five pitches, as was the plan. Woodruff will face almost exclusively right-handers down the Dodgers’ lineup with the exceptions of Max Muncy and Clayton Kershaw.

Miley will now start Game 6. Or will he?