You like offense? You like runs? Well, this week was for you! 5.7 runs per game; 17.8 hits per game (!); 6.8 walks per game; and 18 strikeouts per game!
Oh wait - nevermind. Those are the totals for both teams. Playing in San Francisco and Los Angeles seems detrimental to hitting health. The Surgeon General should issue a warning. Maybe the Brewers’ approach has changed on this road trip. Perhaps they are trying to hit it farther since the homers-that-would-be at Miller Park are flyouts on the left coast.
But 3-3 is about as much as I hoped for in those two cities, and the team has to be getting toughened up for the stretch run...amiright?
Where would the Cincinnati Reds be with the Brewers’ pitching staff?
TOP PITCHING STORY: Corey Knebel has been absolutely lights out. He has saved every win the past two weeks, including three this week (natch). Since the All-Star break Knebel has saved fifteen of the Brewers’ seventeen wins. He has allowed just one run since the break. That’s good, folks. Really good.
His strikeouts are down a bit...only 27 in 18.1 innings (well, I guess that’s acceptable). If he takes that next step in command and control, he could be one of the elite closers in all of baseball next year.
Honorable Mention: And it is very honorable indeed. Zach Davies had the two start week this time around, and didn’t allow an earned run in 13 innings. Opponents hit .184 against him, and his WHIP was 0.85 on the week. Of course, the way the Brewers are hitting, he went 1-1 (two unearned runs in his first start were too much to overcome).
Which leads us to:
TOP HITTING STORY: Wanna know why the Brewers aren’t scoring (besides good pitching by the Giants and Dodgers, and playing in national parks)? Because Ryan Braun and Eric Thames combined to go 3 for 40 this week. They scored once. They drove in two. They had a double and triple, walked twice, and struck out eleven times. If you want the actual splits, you can figure them out yourself.
Honorable Mention: The Second Basemen! Eric Sogard, Jonathan Villar, and Neil Walker slashed .344/.406/.417 for an OPS of .823. Not that impressive, you say? You haven’t been paying attention to the rest of the team. In any case, the flexibility that this group gives Craig Counsell is fantastic. Unfortunately, I feel Walker may have upped his price a bit...although the Brewers certainly have the money to re-sign him. Maybe he will want to stay in the NL Central and stick it to the Pirates.
IMHO: I’m going back to an old rant. If you have a fast football team you aren’t allowed to widen your playing field. Basketball teams aren’t allowed to raise or lower their baskets. It is criminal that you can hit a ball 441’ and not have a homerun.
You can’t do anything about heavy air, or Rocky Mountain air, or whatever. But San Francisco should not be allowed to have a park where it is twice as difficult to hit as an average park (that may be a bit of an exaggeration). Quirky is one thing (I’m looking at you, Fenway), but absurdly difficult is another.
Maybe the Brewers should take advantage of their team speed and shorten the baselines.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: Kyle pointed out that the player that has drawn the most interest from other teams this season is Domingo Santana. That makes sense; he is young, is controllable, and with the Brewers’ minor league system filled with outfield prospects Milwaukee might be willing to deal him. Many said NO! emphatically.
jaych79 captured the opposite viewpoint succinctly:
If a team wants to overpay then sure.
Otherwise hold tight. I’m not sure how you can just say "no". If what you get back makes you better then why wouldn’t you?
If I offered someone a dollar for 50 cents, they’d be a fool not to take that deal.
David Stearns has a plan, and it is apparent that he won’t deviate from that plan. The Brewers were reportedly involved in talks for Sonny Gray but wouldn’t raise their offer from the Slingin’ Man’s set price. He has a return level for Sunday, and won’t go below it. That is true for every player in the organization.
An observation: Yu Darvish will probably get a contract at over $20 m per year as a free agent this coming off season. His statistics this year are very much like Jimmy Nelson. His previous record is better, but there’s a good chance that the pitcher we are seeing is the one that will be signed. Would you pay $25 m a year for Jimmy? Is Jimmy getting really excited?
After the Brewers stun the Dodgers today by taking the rubber match in LA, they head back to Miller Park for a quick two game set with the Cardinals (after an off day Monday), and then a four game set with the first place Nationals. Miller Park will re-awaken the Brewer bats. I guarantee it.
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference