3-and-3 weeks the rest of the way will get the Milwaukee Brewers to 88 wins or so. That might be good enough for the playoffs, but five winning weeks or so will get them to 93 wins and if that’s not good enough, so be it. The Brewers sit at 42-28, leading the Cubs by a half game, just like they did at the start of the week. The Cardinals are five back.
But two out of three wins in the series against the Cubs is encouraging, and solid pitching will help the team win another 50 games or so. I hope.
TOP PITCHING STORY: Pitchers not named Boone Logan and Matt Albers were really good for the Brewers last week. In 52.2 innings they carried an ERA of 1.37 and a WHIP of 1.07. Jacob Barnes made his presence felt with three scoreless appearances spread across 3.1 innings; it’s nice to add another effective arm in the ‘pen. Of course, Jacob is perhaps the most up-and-down pitcher on the roster. We’ll ride it out as long as he can keep it up.
BTW, pitchers named Boone Logan and Matt Albers worked 2.1 innings, with a 27.00 ERA and 5.57 WHIP. Eight hits allowed, four walks, a hit batter, and two homers allowed. Albers is on the DL, but Logan is still in the ‘pen. Who knows for how much longer.
Honorable Mention: Chase Anderson had a great start against the Cubs (Seven shutout innings, only one hit, two walks, six strikeouts). Just the fact that he beat the Cubs 1-0 is enough to celebrate. But a tremendous start by a struggling Chase (relatively speaking) is even better news.
TOP HITTING STORY: Lorenzo Cain has been a great influence on the Brewers’ offense. Maybe this is just an average week for him - .360/.407/.560 for OPS of .967. He clubbed two doubles, a homer, scored five runs, drove in another four (he hit third twice), and swiped two bags. Plus more good defense. What a fun player to have on our Milwaukee nine. Oh, and he did this:
Honorable Mention: Second base is looking better lately, and last week Hernan Perez was the main contributor (with some time at third thrown in). He played in all six games, starting three, and hit .409/.409/.786 with two doubles, a home run, and a steal. Nicely done, LBR!
IMHO: It’s a good thing Jonathan Villar and Hernan are playing well. Keston Hiura is really looking like the real deal as a hitter for AA Biloxi, after earning a promotion from the high-A Carolina Mudcats. He has actually gotten better since his promotion (SSS, of course), but his combined slash for 288 plate appearances this season is .333/.392/.533. An OPS of .925 looks nice on his resume, and so far he’s got 22 doubles, 3 triples, and 8 homers. He had two errors in the field for Biloxi, but none with the Mudcats. It is worth noting that he has started 28 of 65 games so far this season at second base, but he has made 13 starts at the keystone in 15 games since getting promoted to Biloxi.
I’m not going out on a limb here - Keston Hiura can simply hit. He has raked at every stop he’s made so far. He’s a major league talent playing in AA ball. I can’t wait for his arrival, whether it’s later this year or next season.
Please don’t trade him, David Stearns.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: The Mets have fallen on hard times, so the press is assuming that they should start trading their good players. Their best player is right-handed pitcher Jacob deGrom. And he’s really, really good. So of course, Milwaukee is mentioned as a potential suitor.
Naturally, Hiura would be necessarily included in this hypothetical deal. Some folks are OK with that - deGrom is kinda awesome. stempke gives a fine argument:
I wouldn’t like it, but I’d be okay with it too
Aces don’t grow on trees. Especially Aces with 2 years of team control beyond this one. If DeGrom is unwilling to sign an extension, they would still be in a position to trade him down the road and recoup some of those prospects.
I don’t want to give a potentially special player for a rental like Machado. And while Realmuto is not a rental, catchers are unpredictable. They can go from being great offensive players to falling off a cliff due to all the nagging injuries they acquire.
It’s not the mountain ahead of you that wears you down, it’s the pebble in your shoe. ~ Muhammad Ali
Have I mentioned that I don’t want Keston Hiura traded? Not for anybody.
Milwaukee goes for a series win today, then travels to Pittsburgh for a quick three-game road trip. The St. Louis Cardinals come to Miller Park over next weekend for a big four-game set. That’ll be seven straight divisional games. I have a sneaking suspicion that we are going to be looking at each week as crucial.
Have a great week everybody, and happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there!
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference