MILWAUKEE — One pitching duel down, and a heck of a pitching matchup on deck.
After Charlie Morton and Corbin Burnes set the tone in a postseason thriller in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Friday, Game 2 brings another premium matchup between Braves left-hander Max Fried and Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff on Saturday. The Brewers will be aiming to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series, while the Braves will be trying to steal a game before the series shifts to Atlanta on Monday.
“They’re always one pitch away from taking the ball out of the yard,” Woodruff said. “I feel like that’s the way our [Brewers] teams have been in the past, and that’s a dangerous thing.”
When is the game and how can I watch it
Game 2 starts at 5 p.m. ET/4 CT on Saturday at American Family Field and will be televised on TBS. It is also available to stream on MLB.TV with authentication.
What are the starting lineups?
Braves: This will mark the first time the Braves have faced Woodruff since he surrendered three runs over 5 1/3 innings on July 31 at Truist Park. Ozzie Albies doubled and Dansby Swanson homered that night off Woodruff.
1. Jorge Soler, RF
2. Freddie Freeman, 1B
3. Ozzie Albies, 2B
4. Austin Riley, 3B
5. Adam Duvall, CF
6. Eddie Rosario, LF
7. Travis d’Arnaud, C
8. Dansby Swanson, SS
9. Max Fried, SP
Brewers: The Brewers were a modest 20-19 during the regular season in games started by left-handers. Midseason acquisition Eduardo Escobar, who had never played first base before coming to Milwaukee from Arizona, has become the Brewers’ go-to guy at the position against lefties. This allows Luis Urías — coming off 23 home runs — to get his first start.
1. Kolten Wong, 2B
2. Willy Adames, SS
3. Eduardo Escobar, 1B
4. Avisaíl García, RF
5. Christian Yelich, LF
6. Luis Urías, 3B
7. Lorenzo Cain, CF
8. Manny Piña, C
9. Brandon Woodruff, RHP
Who are the starting pitchers?
Braves: Fried (14-7, 3.04 ERA) produced a MLB-best 1.74 ERA after the All-Star break. The lefty will lean on the experience he gained while pitching in each of the past three postseasons. In his first of four playoff starts last year, Fried tossed seven scoreless innings against the Reds in the NL Wild Card Series.
“Over the last couple of years, you realize that [playoff games] are a little bit more intense,” Fried said. “If you execute your pitches and do everything you did in the regular season, it should translate.”
Brewers: Woodruff (9-10, 2.56 ERA) comes in well-rested, having thrown 63 pitches on Sept. 28 against the Cardinals before foregoing what would have been an even shorter outing in the Brewers’ final regular-season series in favor of rest. He figures it’s the longest he has gone without pitching in his career (excluding injuries), but he said he’s not worried about rust.
“It was the right time to take a little bit of a breather, try to reset and recharge a little bit and just get ready for a good, long run,” Woodruff said. “It was nothing health-wise. It was just one of those where I tried to get a little bit of a boost, I guess, from a long year. … You’ve been doing this for so long that — and by no means have I mastered anything — but I’m not going to completely forget how to go up there and toe the rubber and get a feel.”
How will the bullpens line up after the starter?
Braves: Right-hander Jacob Webb and left-hander A.J. Minter have often been used to bridge the gap to the seventh inning. Lefty Tyler Matzek has been given a chance to handle a majority of the high-leverage situations in the seventh or eighth innings. Luke Jackson has been the primary setup man for closer Will Smith.
Brewers: Coming into the series, the question was how the Brewers would bridge the gap from their starters to closer Josh Hader without the services of Devin Williams, the setup man who broke his right hand after punching a wall on Sept. 26. The answer in Game 1 was with another starter, Adrian Houser, who preserved a lead over two innings in front of Hader. That effort leaves plenty of options for Brewers manager Craig Counsell in Game 2, including veteran Brad Boxberger, fellow right-hander Jake Cousins or left-hander Aaron Ashby, who warmed up during Game 1 but didn’t pitch. Counsell could also use Freddy Peralta if he doesn’t intend to use the right-hander to start Game 3. Like Ashby, Peralta warmed up during Game 1, but he didn’t get into the game.
Are there any relievers who are unavailable?
Braves: Including potential Game 4 opener Huascar Ynoa, the Braves will have all nine of their relievers available.
Brewers: Thanks to Houser, all of the Brewers’ potential relievers are available. Hader threw 20 pitches while logging the save.
Any injuries of note?
Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr.’s torn right ACL was one of the many injuries the Braves had to deal with this year. However, they have not been burdened by any significant injuries since the All-Star break.
Brewers: Brent Suter’s previously undisclosed rib-cage injury complicated the Brewers’ relief plans to some degree as the series began, but his is the only new issue so far.
Who is hot and who is not?
Braves: Freeman hit .330 with a .911 OPS over his final 28 regular-season games, going back to Sept. 1. Riley hit .362 with four homers and a 1.052 OPS over his final 14 games. Soler homered four times over his final 12 games.
Brewers: Rowdy Tellez, who hit a two-run homer in Game 1, has been swinging a potent bat since returning from a right knee injury. Including his two-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Nashville, he is 5-for-15 with four extra-base hits in his past five games.
Anything else fans might want to know?
On Friday, Pederson became the 34th player with at least 10 career postseason home runs. He’s one of nine players with that many since 2016. … Including his outing in Game 1, Hader has delivered 22 consecutive scoreless appearances for the Brewers. … The Braves are 1-9 with nine straight losses in series after losing Game 1 of the NLDS. The lone win came when they rallied in 1999 against the Astros.