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Sunday Sundries: Milwaukee Brewers Week 20 in Review

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A bad week, but not a total dumpster fire

Colorado Rockies v Milwaukee Brewers
Mike Moustakas is earning his keep
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Brewers played some bad baseball this week.

Mostly, the Brewers pitched poorly - but they also allowed three unearned runs in their six games. I guess you could say a 2-4 record (and almost a 3-3 record) when you are outscored 40-26 is a pretty good result, but it isn’t good enough. Not if you want to join four other teams in the playoffs.

But the Brewers closed the week just two back of the Chicago Cubs and still hold the top Wild Card spot, a game up on the Atlanta Braves and two up on the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, so while the trend is disturbing, the Crew is still treading water. Time to start some strong swimming again.

Milwaukee Brewers v Los Angeles Dodgers
JJ’s still doing the job
Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

TOP PITCHING STORY: Yikes. We’ll go with the entire pitching staff here. They worked 55 innings and walked 30 (this is not optimal), allowing 63 hits (neither is this) for a WHIP of 1.63. Of those 15 or so baserunners every 9 innings, 6 or so of them scoreda little more. Ten homers were served up. When you look at this line, a two win week seems like a pretty good performance.

Honorable Mention: Only two Brewer pitchers escaped the week without allowing an earned run. Jeremy Jeffress looked at least somewhat like his previous incarnation, going three innings without a run on two hits and a walk given up. He struck out five. Yay, good pitching! Adrian Houser had a 2.2 inning mop up appearance without allowing a run, so kudos to him, too.

San Diego Padres v Milwaukee Brewers
Ladies and gents, hizzonner the Mayor
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

TOP HITTING STORY: How were the Brewers going to incorporate Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop into the lineup and still get Travis Shaw enough PT to keep Shaw (and the Milwaukee offense) productive? Well, Moose had twenty at bats last week and had seven hits, five of which were for extra bases (three doubles, two homers). He scored four times, drove home six, and slashed .350/.391/.800 for an OPS of 1.191. That’ll work.

Honorable Mention: That Shaw guy slashed .350/.333/.650, an OPS of .983. Travis also had two homers, and scored three times while driving in three. Plus, The Mayor stole a base on the back end of a double steal.

Even Schoop had a big two RBI double that (almost) won a game that the bullpen ultimately coughed up. The additions haven’t been the issue. Pitching has been.

IMHO: So, do we still expect the Milwaukee Brewers to be a playoff team in 2018? While I’m not as sure of that as I was, say, a month ago, I still am convinced that the Crew has another hot streak in them that will at the minimum distance themselves from the Wild Card pack and challenge the Cubs right down to the wire. It feels like they need to take six of the remaining eight games against the Cubs, minimum, to catch them. That will start with two games this midweek in Wrigley Field. Those games will have a playoff feel, at least for us fans. I suspect the team keeps a more even keel than we do.

COMMENT OF THE WEEK: It was a Corey Knebel meltdown in a loss to the Padres (blowing a 4-2 ninth inning lead in an 8-4 loss) that was the nadir of the week. Corey worked to four batters, walking the first three and allowing an infield hit. Jaymes explored Knebel’s struggles this season in an excellent piece, and there weren’t a lot of comments defending last season’s All Star closer. Brett Thompson and RAIYT1972 took a less dire view of the situation.

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You know what? I love that song too.

The Brewers have a chance for a series win on another dreaded day game (and Sunday game, to boot), then on to Wrigley before finishing up the road trip with three in St. Louis. There aren’t too many meaningless games left of the 41 remaining on the schedule (just so you know, the number 41 is shared in Milwaukee history by Junior Guerra and a very fine Braves third baseman, Eddie Mathews. Why that occurred to me I couldn’t tell you). Maybe the Brewers will clinch the division and render those games 161 and 162 meaningless. One can only hope.

REMEMBER! DON”T PANIC!