The Brewers went 1-2 in both San Diego and Phoenix for a disappointing post-trade deadline week. Some very good hitting was undermined by some poor pitching, but the loss of Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith has hurt less than the loss of Jonathan Lucroy.
Granted, the shift in bullpen roles will leave the pen weaker as the season goes along, but starting pitching didn’t keep the Crew in a few games. Poor starts from Junior Guerra and Jimmy Nelson made three games very tough to win. But the Brewers suffer when they need to rest Maldy; Manny Pina is hitting .500 in his first week, but his defense will be a big letdown from the Lucroy/Maldonado duo.
The week saw the introduction of Orlando Arcia at short, and his first week says to me that he isn’t over-matched at the plate, and he is incredibly smooth fielding at short.
TOP HITTING STORY: Jonathan Villar was perhaps the best lead-off hitter in Brewer history this week. He slashed .473/.613/.783; 1.396 OPS; he walked 8 times and only struckout 4 times. He stole 5 bases without getting caught (well, he got picked off once, but, you know...Villar gonna Villar). He has had some issues throwing from third, but his arm is strong and I am guessing it is a matter of repetitions. Four doubles and a homer; the left side of the infield looks set for a few years.
Honorable Mention: Keon Broxton set a Brewer rookie record for hits in a game with 5 against the D’Backs Saturday night. He walked once, too, as the Brewers pounded out 19 hits and 15 runs. For the week Keon slashed .462/.563/.769. Broxton walked 3 times, stole two bases without getting caught, and looked as smooth in center as Arcia did at short. Broxton is giving the young outfield prospects something to think about and work towards in the outfield...finally.
(Special Mention: Ryan Braun hit 4 homers this week.)
TOP PITCHING STORY: I’ll combine the Honorable Mention into the top story. Corey Knebel and Tyler Thornburg combined to pitch 5 perfect innings this week, striking out 6, with a save. That makes the deals that sent the back-end guys away easier to take...so far.
IMHO: I’m looking forward to Lewis Brinson coming up in September, but he might need to play in right as Keon Broxton has looked like a good to very good major leaguer right now. He looks comfortable at the plate and in center. Of course, Brinson could be in left...
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: I know something about my favorite player...I lost them all in 1965 when I was thirteen and the Braves moved to Atlanta. That trauma explains a lot about me, doesn’t it? So, sorry, I’ll be back to the top REAL commenters next week, but I’m linking to JP’s story on the trade of his favorite Brewer, Jonathan Lucroy.
If you didn't read it before, may I suggest that you read it now. You can re-read it, if you like.
Back to Miller Park for the Brewers and Reds this week - tomorrow night will be only my second live this year. Tickets are cheap on the secondary market, folks!