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What We Learned: Four days to define this season

It doesn’t get much bigger than this weekend, where the Brewers will play the Cubs in a critical series, followed by the trade deadline on Monday. We look at that and more in today’s What We Learned.

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MLB: Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Recent Results

Nationals 8, Brewers 5
Nationals 15, Brewers 2

Brewers News and Notes

The next four days are the most critical days so far this season for the Milwaukee Brewers. These are days that will likely shape how the Brewers approach the rest of the season. As they return to Miller Park following a rough 2-8 road trip, they will face off against the Cubs, who have been on a hot streak and have taken the division lead. By the end of this series, the Brewers will be somewhere between 1.5 games ahead in the division race and 4.5 games back. Right after this series is an off day, which also happens to be the trade deadline. This series could determine what the Brewers decide to do at the deadline. A sweep of the Cubs could make them more willing to buy. Being swept could make them decide to hold instead.

While these games won’t count any differently in the standings, the opportunity to more directly control their position is critical. Only seven games remain between these teams following this series (both in September), and then there’s the Cardinals and Pirates to still contend with. In fact, the Cardinals are at Miller Park to start the month of August, and they can’t be overlooked either.

These games won’t solely win or lose the division for the Brewers. However, they will decide how the Brewers approach the rest of the season.

Links from BCB

Report: Brewers owner Mark Attanasio ‘deferring’ to GM David Stearns in trade talks
Jaymes L, BCB

Milwaukee Brewers have “shown interest” in Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson

Milwaukee Brewers “monitoring” Yu Darvish, per report
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB

Milwaukee Brewers remain engaged with Detroit on possible Kinsler/Wilson deal
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB FanShot

Trade Analysis: Milwaukee Brewers rent Anthony Swarzak for pennant race
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB

Milwaukee Brewers place Matt Garza on the disabled list, recall Lewis Brinson
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB

Michael Blazek to start for Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow in place of Matt Garza
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB FanShot

Milwaukee Brewers option Brett Phillips to AAA
Kyle Lesniewski, BCB FanShot

Series Preview: Chicago Cubs @ Milwaukee Brewers
Jaymes L, BCB

The case for multi-syllabic relief pitchers
Baseball Punditz, BCB FanPost

Looking ahead at 2018 regression and youth movement
Baseball Punditz, BCB FanPost

BCB Tracking Poll - Results for Week 17
aaronetc, BCB FanPost

Links from Other Sites

Super utility: Perez pitches in with scoreless 8th
Adam McCalvy,

Notes: Swarzak looks forward to pitching for contending Brewers
Tom Haudricourt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

How Good is Eric Thames?
Seth Victor, BP Milwaukee

When PECOTA Picked the Brewers
Nicholas Zettel, BP Milwaukee

Travis Shaw: The Brewers MVP
Dylan Svoboda, BP Milwaukee

What History Can Tell Us About the Approaching Trade Deadline
Eno Sarris, FanGraphs

Who are the Brewers getting in Anthony Swarzak?
Justin Schultz, The First Out at Third

Closing Time: Orlando Arcia grows up, Randal Grichuk wakes up
Scott Pianowski, Yahoo Sports

Domingo Santana hits longest homer at Nats Park in Statcast history
Zach Pereles, Big League Stew

Minor League Update

Colorado Springs Sky Sox (AAA) | 63-39

  • Thursday: Tacoma 9, Colorado Springs 16
  • Friday: Tacoma @ Colorado Springs | 8:00 pm
  • Saturday: Colorado Springs @ Las Vegas | 9:05 pm
  • Sunday: Colorado Springs @ Las Vegas | 9:05 pm

Biloxi Shuckers (AA) | 49-53

  • Thursday: Biloxi 1, Pensacola 5
  • Friday: Biloxi @ Pensacola | 6:35 pm
  • Saturday: Biloxi @ Pensacola | 6:35 pm
  • Sunday: Jacksonville @ Biloxi | 5:05 pm

Carolina Mudcats (A+) | 52-50

  • Thursday: Wilmington 2, Carolina 3
  • Friday: Wilmington @ Carolina | 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: Wilmington @ Carolina | 4:00 pm
  • Sunday: Wilmington @ Carolina | 1:00 pm

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (A) | 40-61

  • Thursday: Wisconsin 1, Burlington 4
  • Thursday: Wisconsin 4, Burlington 0
  • Friday: Wisconsin @ Burlington | 6:30 pm
  • Saturday: Wisconsin @ Peoria | 6:30 pm
  • Sunday: Wisconsin @ Peoria | 6:30 pm

DSL Brewers (R) | 20-25

  • Thursday: DSL D-backs2 11, DSL Brewers 1
  • Friday: DSL Phillies White @ DSL Brewers | 9:30 am
  • Saturday: DSL Brewers @ DSL Phillies White | 9:30 am
  • Sunday: Off Day

DSL Indians/Brewers (R) | 17-27

  • Thursday: DSL Indians/Brewers 8, DSL Dodgers2 4
  • Friday: DSL Indians/Brewers @ DSL Cubs1 | 9:30 am
  • Saturday: DSL Cubs1 @ DSL Indians/Brewers | 9:30 am
  • Sunday: Off Day

Helena Brewers (R) | 15-20

  • Thursday: Off Day
  • Friday: Helena @ Missoula | 8:05 pm
  • Saturday: Helena @ Missoula | 7:35 pm
  • Sunday: Helena @ Missoula | 6:05 pm

AZL Brewers (R) | 18-8

  • Thursday: AZL Royals 3, AZL Brewers 5
  • Friday: Off Day
  • Saturday: AZL Dodgers @ AZL Brewers | 9:00 pm
  • Sunday: AZL Brewers @ AZL D-backs | 9:00 pm

Check out our prospect reports for more information on minor league performances.

Milwaukee Brewers Daily Prospect Report: Thursday, July 27

Minor League News and Notes

Daily Prospect Notes: 7/26
Eric Longenhagen, FanGraphs

Erceg stays hot with homer for Carolina
William Boor,

This is It: The Pinnacle of the Farm System (Mid-season Rank)
Jake Covey, Disciples of Uecker

NL Central Update

Thursday’s Games

  • Reds 1, Marlins 4
  • Diamondbacks 4, Cardinals 0
  • Cubs 6, White Sox 3
  • Pirates had the day off.

This Weekend’s Games

Reds @ Marlins

  • Friday: Sal Romano vs. Vance Worley | 6:10 pm
  • Saturday: Tim Adleman vs. Adam Conley | 6:10 pm
  • Sunday: Luis Castillo vs. Dan Straily | 12:10 pm (MLB.TV Free Game)

Diamondbacks @ Cardinals

  • Friday: Robbie Ray vs. Michael Wacha | 7:15 pm
  • Saturday: Zack Greinke vs. Mike Leake | 6:15 pm
  • Sunday: Taijuan Walker vs. Lance Lynn | 1:15 pm

Pirates @ Padres

  • Friday: Chad Kuhl vs. Travis Wood | 9:10 pm
  • Saturday: Ivan Nova vs. Dinelson Lamet | 7:40 pm
  • Sunday: Gerrit Cole vs. Clayton Richard | 3:40 pm

This Weekend’s Games

Cubs @ Brewers

  • Friday: Jose Quintana vs. Brent Suter | 7:10 pm
  • Saturday: Kyle Hendricks vs. Junior Guerra | 6:10 pm
  • Sunday: John Lackey vs. Zach Davies | 1:10 pm