In a surprising turn of events on Wednesday, Brewers manager Craig Counsell pulled Miley after he walked the Dodgers' leadoff batter, Cody Bellinger, on just five pitches to start the bottom of the first inning. Right-handed reliever Brandon Woodruff then took over on the mound.
This was exactly according to plan for the Brewers, who will start a rested Miley in Game 6 on Friday, Counsell confirmed following Wednesday's game, per Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
Woodruff was the Brewers' choice to take over for the left-handed Miley because he's a right-hander, and the Dodgers had stacked their lineup with righties in anticipation of facing a southpaw. However, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reported during the game that the Dodgers did start a pair of left-handed bats - Bellinger and Max Muncy - because they had some suspicions about Milwaukee's tactic.
Miley's abbreviated outing made him only the second pitcher ever to face just one batter during a postseason start, joining Johnny Cueto (Game 1 of the 2012 NLDS), according to ESPN Stats & Info. Circumstances were different for Cueto, however, as he was pulled from that game due to a back injury.
Miley will now become the first pitcher to start consecutive games in a playoff series since George Earnshaw did so in Games 5 and 6 of the 1930 World Series for the Philadelphia Athletics, per Stats By Stats.
However, the Brewers aren't the first team to try this strategy of deception in the playoffs. Back in 1924, the Washington Senators did the exact same thing in Game 7 of the World Series, tricking the New York Giants into fielding a lefty-heavy lineup against decoy right-handed starter Curly Ogden, who was then removed for lefty George Mogridge after facing two batters. The move was successful for the Senators, who went on to win the game and the 1924 World Series.