Brewers

Brewers: Counsell Made Right Decision Pulling Burnes

Corbin Burnes said it himself after the game. He originally wasn’t going to be allowed to pitch the 8th.

You can be disappointed Burnes didn’t pitch a no hitter complete game. But you can’t be mad. The Milwaukee Brewers are  doing something special right now. Using a single pitcher to achieve a no hitter would have been amazing. But do you know what wouldn’t have been amazing? Corbin Burnes getting hurt.

To be honest, I wanted him to go out there for the 9th. The Brewers hadn’t had a no hitter in over 34 years. That is a long time to wait for one of baseball’s coolest accomplishments. Corbin was at 115 pitches. It was high, but didn’t seem too outrageous, especially since he went out to pitch for the 8th inning. But he was at his career-high, and when they came back from commercial break, it was confirmed Burnes was done.

That footage is something stuck in my brain and will be for some time. Craig Coshun and Bill Schroeder discussing Corbin’s night and everyone surrounding Burnes, with Counsell and the starting pitcher deep in conversation. That is when it hit me; this is Craig’s worst nightmare as a manager. Obviously, a terrible team and record is bad. But imagine being a manager and having to make that decision? It gives me anxiety just thinking about it. It can’t be easy to tell your pitcher he can’t accomplish something amazing on his own. He had to make the right call and not the popular one. That isn’t easy to do all the time.

Why It Was The Right Call

It was the right call to not have Burnes pitch the last inning, but it doesn’t mean people didn’t want it to happen. They are valid for wanting that. I would throw Craig Counsell in as one of those people too. It can’t be easy to walk over to your All-Star pitcher and tell them they can’t complete their last three outs. It has to weigh on your mind. Burnes probably just put himself in first place for this year’s NL Cy Young award. Would have a no hitter padded that probability? Sure. But he was still part of a team no-hitter, and he did most of the work. Burnes still has a record of 10-4 and a 2.25 ERA with 210 punch outs.

Again, he was at a season and career-high 115 pitches. Houser did his complete shutout game last week with 100. Burnes could have done it with only three more pitches technically, but not likely. He had a few higher-pitch innings that cost him the 9th. He was nothing short of brilliant, but a few longer at-bats with some of his strike outs was mostly the reason.

It was also the right call because you need to look ahead. Burnes was told after the 7th inning he was done and had to fight for the 8th. Give it up to the Manager and Coaches for letting him do that. He got to finish it off with a remarkable inning. A strike out, a ground ball and an amazing line drive catch in center field by Lorenzo Cain.

Corbin Burnes (pictured above) is part of a dominant pitching staff that has defined the Brewers this season (Credit: Morry Gash, AP)

What It Could Have Cost

You need to look ahead. The Brewers have a chance to win the World Series this year. What if Burnes takes the mound, completes the game, and then isn’t ready for his next start? That throws the team’s rotation off. Brandon Woodruff has the stomach flu and this week’s pitching rotation is all over the place already. Routines in baseball are important.

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A rotation shake up is the most positive bad thing that might have happened. What if he tears something? Or his achilles suddenly ruptures from overuse. Or his arm goes at a weird angle and we lose him to Tommy John. We keep forgetting that last season was only 60 games. Ok, so no one has really forgotten. There was a short season and every player was completely off rhythm. Starting Pitchers are starting to get burned out. It’s pretty normal any year, but even more so this season. Having a performance like this from Corbin Burnes is a lot more important in Game 6 against the San Francisco Giants or Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS than an early night game in Cleveland when the NL Central is basically wrapped up.

Counsell made a tough, but correct decision. He will probably head home tonight, get ready for bed, and just lay there wondering if Burnes should have gone out there. That is what good managers do. They make the tough, but usually right, decisions to help the team. This team needs Corbin Burnes to win a World Series. This team has  a chance to be special. Complete game no hitters have been done before. Do you know what has never happened before? The Milwaukee Brewers winning the World Series.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – AUGUST 13: Corbin Burnes #39 of the Milwaukee Brewers throws a pitch against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)

Enjoy The Moment

Let’s enjoy this moment. It was still a team no hitter. The Brewers won 3-0 and won another series. They’ve now won four series in a row. The magic number for the NL Central is at seven games. Seven. We should be happy for Corbin Burnes, Omar Narvaez, Josh Hader, Craig Counsell and the entire Milwaukee Brewers team.

No hitters are great. Complete no hitter are better. But doing something a team hasn’t done in 34 years while inching closer to the postseason is even better. Milwaukee is lucky to have Craig Counsell as their manager. Craigtember is alive and well, and we are only a third of the way through it. We are also lucky to have Corbin Burnes.

Make sure to follow me on Twitter @BrewersRaptor and follow us @WiscoHeroics1 for more great content. To read more of our articles and keep up to date on the latest in Wisconsin Sports, click here.

 

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