HOUSTON -- Chase Anderson, set to be the Opening Day starter on Thursday, came to the Brewers as a fastball-changeup pitcher who had gotten away from throwing his curveball.The coaching staff has encouraged the right-hander to resume throwing the curveball along with an occasional cutter. Anderson, who is also throwing
HOUSTON -- Chase Anderson, set to be the Opening Day starter on Thursday, came to the Brewers as a fastball-changeup pitcher who had gotten away from throwing his curveball.
The coaching staff has encouraged the right-hander to resume throwing the curveball along with an occasional cutter. Anderson, who is also throwing harder, has gone largely from a two-pitch to a four-pitch pitcher -- making a big difference to batters.
"It's a credit to him and to our front office as well," manager Craig Counsell said before Monday's 5-2 loss to the Astros in an exhibition game at Minute Maid Park. "We've all worked together with Chase in trying to figure out where he's at his best, what makes him at his best.
"He's worked hard on developing his curveball and delivery. And added velocity in his delivery. He's a player that's worked hard to get better."
Anderson, who will make his first Opening Day start, will be the fifth pitcher to start the opener for the Brewers in five seasons, joining Yovani Gallardo (2014), Kyle Lohse ('15), Wily Peralta ('16) and Junior Guerra ('17).
Suter on target
With seven strikeouts and no walks over five innings, Brewers starter Brent Suter was putting Astros batters away early in the count, while limiting his number of pitches.
"My cutter was moving a little more than it had been the last couple of outings, so I was going with that a lot," Suter said. "Changeup early felt pretty good, but later it was fading too much. But overall, I felt solid. That's a really good lineup."
Suter allowed only one run and five hits. The left-hander was efficient in throwing 69 pitches, 45 for strikes against a lineup that included George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa. It was a good performance for Suter in his final tuneup before the regular season starts on Thursday.
"Ready to go," Suter said. "Felt I got back on the right track, and ready to get the season going. We're all excited.
"That was their 'A' lineup. You look at that top five, six guys. There's not a breather there. Really not a breather overall. It was a good challenge for me and I'm glad I was able to make my pitches when I had to."
Regular season feel
As Thursday's season opener against the Padres at Petco Park nears, playing two exhibition games in Houston starts to have more of a regular season atmosphere.
"This [Monday] is a very good day for the players," Counsell said. "Because it's different and we're in a big league stadium. So they get excited about today. Can't say the same about tomorrow.
"This is a game you look forward to playing in. Largely your preparation is finished and tomorrow is a shorter day, and you're ready to go. It's a sign that when you get to a big league stadium, you're really close."
Rare road opener
In recent years, the Brewers opened their seasons at Miller Park. The club is opening this season on the road for the first time since 2011, when it played the National League Central-rival Reds in Cincinnati.
It's the first time the Brewers have opened a season series against the Padres.
Right-hander Zach Davies will start at 1:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday as the Brewers close out the two-game exhibition set at Minute Maid Park.
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston.