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Why The Brewers Pulled Their SP After 5 Pitches vs. The Dodgers

A general view of Dodger Stadium.

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15: Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws to the plate during the fifth inning against Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day.(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Game 5 of the 2018 National League Championship Series between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Los Angeles Dodgers started in really interesting fashion this evening. The Brewers pulled their starting pitcher after just one batter.

The Brewers started the game with left-hander Wade Miley on the mound. He faced just one hitter, throwing five pitches.

Milwaukee turned to its bullpen after the first batter, bringing in Brandon Woodruff, a right-hander.

The Brewers then announced shortly after the decision that Miley would be starting Game 6. This was their plan all along.

So, why did Milwaukee do this? The Brewers' manager, Craig Counsell, almost certainly did it so Los Angeles' manager, Dave Roberts, would load his starting lineup with his right-handed batters, assuming they would be facing a left-handed starting pitcher. Counsell got Roberts to do this and then brought in his right-handed reliever almost immediately. This has been done before. "Did Craig Counsell just take a page from Bucky Harris in the 1924 World Series? Harris started righty Curly Ogden for one out in Game 7 to mess up John McGraw's lineup, then went to George Modridge," tweeted one MLB guru.

It certainly feels like that's what happened.

Miley will now start in Game 6 in Milwaukee.

Game 5 of the NLCS, meanwhile, is on FOX Sports 1.