What has gone right this year:

In a good year, a baseball team has to have somethings go right beyond expectations. These are the things that have gone exceptionally right for this Brewers team that I did not expect to happen:

1. Wade Miley I know all his advanced metrics may not support his ability to sustain his level of performance; but I didn't even expect him to meet his advanced metrics level of performance. I thought he would be this year's resigning of Gallardo. I definitively didn't expect him to be an extremely effective early inning out-getter.

2. Wild Kratz Attack: This seemed quite a bit like throwing mud at the wall and hoping something would stick when they traded for him. For the last two years, I have felt that the Brewers catching position going into the season was really in trouble. I have been wrong. In 2018, the back up catcher had totally flamed out so they gave Wild Kratz a chance to take a few games and see what he does. He does well.

3. Keeping Broxton and Santana on the roster for the whole year. I thought at least one of them would be gone for some low level prospect. Both accepted demotions and have come back to help in meaningful ways in September and October.

4. Use of the minor league club to stash or improve players: Players that saw time in the minors in 2018 included Broxton, Santana, Arcia, Kebel, Davies and almost every other reliever not named Hader of Jeffers. This level of revolving door and performance based demotions could be havoc on a team but the Brewers players haven't seemed to mind.

Then there are things that occurred that didn't really surprise me but have been even better than I anticipated:

1. Cain and Yellich performances: I can't say that I anticipated an MVP year for Yellich; but I did think there would be a substantial increase in power from getting out of Miami. And I did think that together Cain and Yellich would transform this line up into a group of professional hitters that could stretch pitchers and get on base much better than last year.

2. The bullpen: Hader, Jeffers and Knebel were going to be shut them down good and there were some other good pieces in play as well.

3. Chacin success: If you looked at his performance the first two times through a line up, you could tell he could have success on a team that was willing to go to the pen early. At times he has over performed by going deeper in a game but generally his success has happened through managed expectations.

4. Aggressiveness at the trade deadlines: This team had a lot of players within one or two years of the majors that were going to create some strain on the 40 man roster this upcoming off season. If there was the potential to add value, even short term value, it made sense to move some of them.