Last night, 26-year-old prospect, Adrian Houser, made his first career start. Houser is a bruising 6’4” 235 pounds with a sinking fastball and a nasty 12-6 curve. Currently, he is Milwaukee’s 15th ranked prospect in their farm system and 5th ranked pitcher. Houser was acquired by the Brewers back in 2015 when Milwaukee traded Carlos Gomez and Mike Fiers to the Astros. Houser has pitched in the bigs before but never started a game. Before last night he appeared in 15.2 innings for the Brewers and recorded a 2.87 ERA. He has been unstoppable in AAA so far this year. He’s started 3 games, pitched 16.1 innings, struck out 18 and has an ERA of 1.10. Batters in AAA are only hitting .172 against him. With the struggles of Corbin Burnes and Houser’s dominance in Triple-A, it was time for a call up.
Houser started his outing against 2018 NL MVP candidate Matt Carpenter and walked him on 5 pitches. Paul “Goldy” Goldschmidt was up second and Houser gave up a dinky little infield single. With 2 on and no outs, Paul DeJong struck out on three pitches and it looked like Houser got his confidence. The next batter grounded into a double play and Houser was able to successfully get out of the first inning. After 1 inning it looked like Houser settled in and ready to make work of the Cardinals. To start his second inning, the Brewers’ starter gave up a single against the shift to Jose Martinez. For the second consecutive inning, the leadoff man got on base. Yadier Molina followed by lining out to Christian Yelich in right field. The next batter, Dexter Fowler, was able to get a single and advance to second but not before Ryan Braun threw Jose Martinez out at third. 2 outs. Then, Kolten Wong went first pitch swinging and hit a single to right that scored Fowler. Finally, Adrian Houser got the opposing pitcher out to end the inning. After two innings the Cardinals were up by 1 but Houser was making the right pitches and hitting his spots. The Cardinals weren’t hitting the ball hard, they just hit the ball in the gaps. Houser started the third against the top of the order and retired the first two before giving up a double. The double didn’t amount to anything because Houser was able to get the next batter to ground out. After another lackluster top half inning for the Brewer offense, Houser opened up his half of the fourth by giving up another opposite field single to Jose Martinez. This single proved problematic because after Houser struck out Yadier Molina, Dexter Fowler rocked a fastball for a 2-run home run. Up to that point, Houser had not missed his locations but it only takes one for hitters to capitalize. The next two batters grounded out and the fourth inning ended with Milwaukee down, 3-0. Milwaukee tied the game in the top of the fifth thanks to home runs by Ryan Braun and Hernan Perez but Houser didn’t do much to thank them by giving up 2 runs in the bottom half. These runs led to Craig Counsell’s decision to pull Houser in the middle of the fifth.
Adrian Houser’s Final Stats
PC- 78 IP- 4.0 H- 9 ER- 5 SO- 3 BB- 1
My Thoughts On Houser’s Start
Adrian Houser pitched with poise and presence but struggled to get consecutive outs. Anywhere catcher, Yasmani Grandal set up, Houser hit. He did miss a couple times and that’s where the home runs came from. Besides the two long balls, nobody hit the ball extremely hard against Houser which is a good sign moving forward. His final stats won’t blow anyone away but after watching Houser’s first career start, he deserves a couple more chances. He has potential and if he could take a few pitches back, his numbers would have been outstanding.