In the first game of the series in Seattle, seven of the ten starters for the Brewers had played for the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox at some point this season. This wasn’t an anomaly; this was (and will be) the norm for the Brewers post trade deadline, 2016. So the story isn’t really that they lost six of seven to the Cubs and Mariners - it’s that they won one.
It took some innovative play in the top of the ninth on Sunday from the Seattle defense to get the win for the Brewers, but the Crew also hit two homers in that inning...and had three for the game versus none for the Mariners.
TOP HITTING STORY: Keon Broxton will certainly be given every opportunity to start in the outfield next year, and probably in center, at least as the season opens. Continuing his very hot hitting since his umpteenth call-up from the Sky Sox, Keon slashed .348/.444/.739 for the past week. His OPS of 1.184 is very impressive when you consider the quality of pitching that he was facing. He had three homers on the week and stole 3 more bases without getting caught. He did strike out 9 times, which is too high, but guess what, folks, his OPS for the season is up to .808. That is amazing given his struggles during the first half of the season. Kudos to the Brewers for sticking with him.
Honorable Mention: In a week this bad, I can go off the grid: Congrats, Domingo Santana, for finally getting back into Major League games. It wasn’t that much...seven at bats, two hits, and a walk...but having him in the line-up sure makes it look better than it has since he left, more or less, in May.
TOP PITCHING STORY: The Cubs and Mariners can hit. Very well. But these numbers are scary: the Brewers’ starting pitchers finished the week with 28.2 innings in their seven starts - just over four innings per outing. They allowed 45 hits, walked 12, struck out only 16, and served up seven homers. ERA of 9.10; WHIP of 1.99. Losing six of seven isn’t hard to understand when you see this.
Honorable Mention: I find it very unfair that we can’t award Tyler Thornburg both a win and a save for yesterday’s outing. For the week, Tyler worked three shutout innings. The bullpen hasn’t been as good since the trades of Will Smith and Jeremy Jeffress, but it isn’t because of Thornburg.
IMHO: It is beginning to look to me that the development of the Brewers’ young players is going to produce major league quality in position players well ahead of major league quality on the mound. It will be interesting to see if David Stearns uses some of his assets to trade for pitching if the line-up is competing on a big league level in, say, 2018, while the starting pitching could still look more or less like this year. It is getting harder to imagine that any of the guys in the rotation now will be there in 2018 and beyond. Junior Guerra has a shot, but who knows how he will hold up over the next couple of years. Maybe Zach Davies...but you have to pitch well enough against the good teams, too.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: A breakdown of the first 70% of the season was submitted by James.
LouisEly took issue with the inclusion of Martin Maldonado as a disappointment for the Brewers this year:
Dishonorable mention - Martin Maldonado???
There are 58 catchers with at least 100 PA’s this season – roughly two per team. Maldonado ranks 31st in OPS and 32nd in WAR according to ESPN.com. Statistically that puts him as one of the best backups in the league. Despite his lack of playing time, he’s 29th in # of caught stealing, and among the 33 catchers who have caught at least 10 players stealing he ranks 18th in CS%; among catchers who have caught at least 250 innings he ranks 21st in CS%. Among catchers who have caught at least 250 innings this year, Maldy ranks 19th in total fielding runs above average according to B-R.com.
Offensively and defensively combined, Maldy is somewhere in the "bottom 10 starting quality to top 2 or 3 backup quality" catchers in the league. If you think Maldy is bad, then you don’t know how bad catching is across the league.