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Sunday Sundries: Week 24

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Another winning week against the NL Central

Milwaukee Brewers v Chicago Cubs
Tyler Tames the Cubs
Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

As it now stands, the Brewers hold the tenth pick in the amateur player draft next year. That’s what winning weeks will do to you. But the Brewers have been playing good baseball, and that is fun to watch. They have won two series in a row from MLB’s best team, the Cubs. The week didn’t start well, losing the first two to the Reds, but they won four of the last five, and blew a two run lead in the ninth in the one they lost.

TOP HITTING STORY: Scooter Gennett discovered opposite field power this week. He pulled both of his homers, but had three doubles to left. He had a slash of .450/.500/.900, giving him an OPS of 1.4000. His seven RBI tied for the team lead.

Honorable Mention: I’m gonna go with Ryan Braun. Braunie hit four homers on the week to reach 30 for the sixth time in his career (a Brewer record), and tied Scoot with his seven RBI. (Chris Carter also had seven.)

TOP PITCHING STORY: Tyler Thornburg saved a tough game against the Cubs and won a tough game against the Cubs. (He had a blown save in his win, when a sac fly allowed an inherited runner to score and tied the game in the eighth). But in both games he worked through the heart of the Cubs line-up in the ninth. Sunday, he struck out Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo with the tying runs on base to end the game. This second half could have been very different without Tyler.

Honorable Mention: Before getting shut down, Junior Guerra gave us one more very good start. A win with six shutout innings. Only three hits, but he couldn’t control his slider or split...he did it all with fastballs.

IMHO: I talked earlier about the Brewers starting pitching in the second half here. It seems to me that the improvement in the staff should be reason enough for the Brewers to keep Martin Maldonado. There will be a need for some spots on the 40 man roster, and with three catchers on the roster Maldonado could be at risk for a non-tender this off season. JP makes the case for it here, and convincingly so.

I hope not. I hope to see him catching half the games next year, with the hope that Andrew Susac shows that he can handle the job and ease into it.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK: Yasiel Puig again surfaced as a possible (or probable) trade partner for the Brewers last week. JP summarizes those rumors with this piece.

I am against the acquisition of Puig. The negatives outweigh the possible benefits. A nice summary is provided by Chickensoup:

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I'm just not sure if we actually get a decent return

Puig and McCarthy would be very very light returns for a top 20 hitter on what is still a good contract. Puig in particular only holds value if he both fixes attitude problems and actually performs well next year. McCarthy has had 2 good years in the last 5 because of health.

If the Brewers do this trade (almost cost neutral for 2 years) without getting a very major piece from the Minors (Bellinger, DeLeon, Verdugo) and some other pieces, I would be pretty upset by it. I’m not even sure it would actually help the team to do it. The chance that the 2 known pieces gives them less value in 4 combined years of play time than one year of Braun is actually looking pretty likely right now. It’s a really big gamble with marginal payoff unless we get major compensation in minor league players

Posted by Chickensoup on Sep 14, 2016 | 6:13 PM

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Half of the remaining games are at home! This week, the Brewers will have the Pirates and Reds at Miller Park for two three game series. That will conclude the run of games against the Central, and next week will be the last of this season as the Brewers travel to Arlington to face Jonathon Lucroy and the Rangers before finalizing things in Denver against the Rockies. A 6-6 finish will give the Brewers 74 wins. That will be better than most projected.

Have a good week!