Almost. A 4-3 week took Milwaukee to the brink of a Wild Card tie, but the Saturday loss after leading 6-4 in the eighth eliminated the Brewers and they finished one game back of the Colorado Rockies. (It is possible that the Rockies might have been more motivated Saturday night and Sunday if the Brewers’ loss hadn’t clinched the playoff spot for Colorado.)
The final week did put the Brewers firmly into second in the NL Central, two games up on the St. Louis Cardinals but six back of the division champ Cubs. The Crew was shut out twice in the final week. But they ended October undefeated!
TOP HITTING STORY: Eric Thames gutted it out the final week, and had some of his best at bats of the season. In 23 plate appearances he had six walks and six hits, with two doubles. He scored four times. Thames slashed .353/.522/.471 for an OPS of .993. Eric’s start to the season may have given us an over-optimistic view of his abilities, but he still hit 31 homers on the season. And who’s to say - perhaps he can improve next season.
Honorable Mentions: The two Erics. Eric Sogard appeared in six of the games and amassed just nine plate appearances. He had just one hit. But his OBP was .556, as he walked four times. Very leadoff-ish of him. Who knows if Sogard will be a Brewer next year? He is very versatile, and certainly produced at a better rate than we could have expected. Thanks, Eric. Hope to see you next year, and if not, best of luck to you.
TOP PITCHING STORY: Aaron Wilkerson’s first start was not good. His second was stellar. In winning the Brewers’ final game of the season, he worked seven innings, giving up just two hits and one run. He walked none and fanned five. It means that two of his last three starts in the organization saw him go 14 innings with just two hits and one run, including his playoff start for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. He will have a chance to make next season’s rotation in the spring.
Honorable Mention: Chase Anderson will be in the rotation next year. In two starts this week (1-1) he worked 13 1⁄3 innings, allowed 10 hits and four earned runs. He walked two and fanned thirteen. Is this his best week of the season? No. But if he produces like this over the course of a season he will win way more than he loses. And he did produce at that level this season. What would Chase’s numbers look like this year without his injury? Pretty much like he did this week.
IMHO: Sunday Sundries isn’t the most read or commented on thing I write each week, but it is my favorite thing to put together. It gives me perspective on how baseball is a marathon, and allows me to not concentrate on the short term. So thanks to all who do read it, and thanks to BCB for allowing me to write for them and enhance my Brewer experience.
This is going to be a fun offseason, isn’t it? Our raised expectations might mean that next year won’t be quite as much fun, but until the season starts we can all dream of a World Series.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: It turns out that Mat Garza’s Brewer career is most likely over, as the team option for $5 mil doesn’t actually exist. danhoff and bs81 brought contrasting points of view to the subject, and both can actually be correct at the same time:
For $50 million, the Brewers got -0.8 bWAR/5.5 fWAR/0 WARP.
i hope Mark is finished with signing ageing vets for $40 to $50 mill.
That is the case with a lot of free agents in a lot of sports
On some level you have to get a little lucky…I am not against Mark A signing someone they believe will help them win games in the future
Despite the fact that a $5 mil contract for a starter seems reasonable, BCB commenters are generally happy that Garza is unlikely to be back.
As we come to the end of the 2017 season we all owe the whole Brewers’ organization thanks for a much more entertaining season than we were expecting. By the way, there was an offer for a free upgrade to a Platinum BCB membership for predicting this year’s record. Nobody picked 86 wins. Flywik and tomreagan707 picked 87; southern brew had 85. So close. So we at BCB save a boatload of $$$$...those Platinum memberships just drain money from the site!
Sunday Sundries will be back for 2018, and in the meantime I hope to chat with all of you during the offseason in various other articles and comments on the site.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference