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Sunday Sundries: Milwaukee Brewers Week 11 In Review

A week of not so many ‘What-Ifs’

Milwaukee Brewers v St Louis Cardinals
That hair might just be distracting
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

I went to the American Players Theatre production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” last night (premier of their new stage!) and it was awesome. But I couldn’t get this image out of my mind, and it wasn’t until the show ended that I finally realized what it was about Oberon (played by Gavin Lawrence) that so caught my attention:

Is Eric Thames Oberon?

I FINALLY have my nickname for Eric Thames! He’s been a tough one, but henceforth he shall be known as Oberon!

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Eric Thames...or Oberon?
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

The photo comes from a preview in Madison Magazine, and if you have a chance to go watch the production it is amazing. So...on to more basebally things:

The Brewers went 4-3 (again) but this time only played five close games. And they won four! I guess there are ‘what-ifs’, but they could have resulted in losses instead of wins. The week leaves the Brewers up 2½ games on the Cubs. Getting outscored 44-33 and winning more games that you lose is rather impressive.

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images
San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Manny Pineapple
Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images

TOP HITTING STORY: I guess we have a theme today! Eric Thames had two late inning game-winning homers - one against the Cardinals! - and slashed .320/.393/.880 (OPS of 1.273) with four homers and eight RBI for the week. For the most part this season Thames has provided early game power and early leads. The two wall scraping, game winning homers this week sure were a great way to enter the list of memorable Brewer homers - and at 20, we have a bargain potential 40 plus homer guy on the roster.

Honorable Mention: Manny Pina’s eighth inning homer on Friday night against the Padres erased a one run deficit and set the stage for Thames’ second game winner. For the week Manny Pineapple was at .417/.462/.750 with an OPS of 1.212. It would seem that Manny is slowly becoming the predominant catcher in the Brewers’ time-share behind the plate.

Chicago Cubs v Milwaukee Brewers
There goes another one!
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

TOP PITCHING STORY: Josh Hader spent his first full week in the majors and worked 2.1 innings in two appearances. He walked two but didn’t allow a hit, and had a scoreless week despite not striking out a batter. Goodness knows how much the Brewers will value an effective left-handed reliever.

Honorable Mention: In seven games, the Brewers allowed 17 (seventeen!) homeruns. Carlos Torres gave up 3 in his 3.2 innings of work, but he obviously wasn’t the only guy serving balls up on a platter. OMG, they gave up SIX to the Padres Saturday night.

IMHO: Speaking of bullpens, we have discussed ad nauseum how much it would help the Brewers to have another reliable arm (or three) in the pen. We know that it is unlikely that the Brewers will remain in contention all season - the Cubs are much better than their record, while the Brewers are most likely at best what we have seen so far. Which is a really fun team with some flaws.

Brewers’ GM David Stearns has shown that he has parameters for trades and player acquisitions, and is loathe to deviate from them. It has been largely a successful strategy, and I have full trust in his stewardship of the roster. That said, I’m not getting any younger, and a season with a chance excites me and I really want to see the team win this division now that there might be a window for that eventuality.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK: Speaking of player procurement, JP gave us a review of last off-season’s trade with the Boston Red Sox that sent Tyler Thornburg to Boston, returning (among others) starting third baseman Travis Shaw. Johnny Jumpshot points out some details of the deal that have benefited Milwaukee:

That's why I bristle with the "early stages of a rebuild" talk

The trades they have made are so good, the major league roster looks pretty strong to me. They don’t have to sit around and wait for Lucas Erceg to develop. When the minor leaguers are ready, they can join the fun.

Plus, you can bump up the payroll a little next year and sign a couple relievers.

Posted by Johnny Jumpshot on Jun 16, 2017 | 2:55 PM

We don’t want Johnny to have to bristle, now do we?

The Brewers finish up with the San Diego series this afternoon, then welcome division rival Pittsburgh to Miller Park for four weekday games. Then it’s off to new Sun Trust Park in Atlanta for a weekend series with the Braves. The Brewers are not playing top contending teams this week. It sure would be nice to see some solid baseball that resulted in a solid won-lost record this week. But no pressure, guys!

BTW, Happy Fathers’ Day!

And Go Oberon!

Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference