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Brandon Woodruff makes first appearance since July 21

Brandon Woodruff

In his first start off of the injury list, Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Brandon Woodruff made the start for the Brew Crew against the San Diego Padres on Sept. 17. On a limited pitch count due to needing to work back into game speed, Woodruff went only two innings, spanning 37 pitches in his return.

Having dealt with an oblique injury, Woodruff’s return to the Brewers’ ball club could not have come at a better time, as the team has won 12 of their 15 games played in September, a showing of support even with the season-ending injury to superstar outfielder Christian Yelich. Similar to last season when the team went on a torrid pace in September to eventually win the National League Central division crown, the Brewers are back at it, trying to make their return to the playoffs a very special one.

Woodruff was this team’s ace this season, as he turned in a very solid 2018 postseason performance and used that to motivate him for his 2019 season. As the team understood that they needed to make an upgrade in their rotation, Woodruff became the team’s in-house addition after the front office did not prioritize any free-agent moves to help address any downfalls for the rotation.

Pitching only two innings, Woodruff kept the Friars off the board, only walking one batter and striking out four. He did not allow a hit and threw 23 strikes of his 37 pitches, giving way to left-hander Gio Gonzalez to continue on in the game.

As a bonus to help Woodruff build up strength in his arm, he is scheduled in the run through the rotation to pitch a total of three times before the regular season is slated to be over, which is a great tool with the minor-league season already completed. If he is able to come out of these starts healthy, then he can hopefully be a key cog that can be counted on for five innings at a minimum if the team were to make that final jump into the playoffs.

His return from the injury list helps this team in many ways, as they are now able to get even more creative with how they use their staff. Manager Craig Counsell, who seems to be one of the more creative minds in the game when it comes to pitching staff usage, now has Woodruff, albeit in a limited role, to use as well, which should scare the other NL playoff competitors who are still fighting for a post-season spot.