The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs each pulled some games out of their...er, each won some games late in up and down weeks, and it ended with the Brewers losing a half game in the standings to sit a full game back going into today’s series finale against the Colorado Rockies.
Losing a game 21-5 tends to skew your numbers for a weekly review; the Crew had a 4-3 record while being outscored by 11 runs on the week. And Friday night’s 5-3 walk-off win on Eric Thames’ homer quickly had us forgetting that Thursday 21-5 loss to the Dodgers - although I apparently haven’t forgotten it since I’ve already referenced it twice.
TOP PITCHING STORY: Never really want to go all negative on you, but have you noticed that Matt Albers has been really bad since his return from a Disabled List stint? And before the DL time, too. This week, Craig Counsell tried to get Albers some appearances to get his stuff back. The velocity is there on his fastball, but the movement and location? Not so much.
Albers appeared in four games this week, and was only able to complete 1.2 innings, posting a 54.00 ERA. He gave up 10 runs (all earned) on 10 hits, which included an astounding 4 home runs. He had a 7.20 WHIP. You will give up many, many runs if you allow seven base runners every inning. He couldn’t give the Brewers multiple innings in the 21-5 loss (okay, three mentions), and he couldn’t close down Saturday’s game after entering with an 8-2 lead, allowing two runs while only getting one out and serving up another tater. On the plus side, his poor showing allowed Josh Hader to get a one-out save.
Honorable Mention: That win Saturday night was notched by Rockies killer Freddy Peralta, who’s debut against the Rox has been well documented. For the week, Freddy had two starts and allowed only five hits in ten innings. He’s walked six, which is alarming, but struck out fourteen. He allowed just three earnies and was 1-0.
TOP HITTING STORY: Playing time is supposed to be drying up for Hernan Perez with the acquisitions of Mike Moustakas and Jonathan Schoop, but not so fast, my friend. Hernan got into six of the seven games and had thirteen plate appearances, including a walk. With a triple and two home runs, LBR had a slash line of .417/.462/1.083 for a gaudy OPS of 1.545. Depth is a wonderful thing.
Honorable Mention: Probably should remain first, but you know, two weeks in a row is my limit (not really...I’d give it to Yeli every week, but Hernan’s numbers are really good). An 0-5 game brought Christian’s numbers down, but he still OPS’d 1.192 and had four doubles and two homers, scoring nine more times. He’s a run scorer...you have no concept.
IMHO: Maybe I’m just too close to Friday night’s game and am suffering from recency bias, but that 5-3 walk-off win on Thames’ homer off of Wade Davis might just be looked upon as the catalyst of a great Brewers’ season. Coming on the heals of that Wednesday debacle (okay, four mentions), a tough loss like that would have had at least us fans grumbling, and the team could have been frustrated - they made three moves to shore up the 25 man roster and then play some horrible baseball before losing with just three hits. It certainly lifted my spirits, and then the Crew came out and put up six in the first inning on Saturday night.
And here’s that Thames blast again:
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: The deadline acquisition of Jonathan Schoop had us scratching our heads a bit, but also salivating at the line-up that Craig Counsell could run out there every day. The slow (er, glacial) start by Schoop had Chicken Littles looking up for falling sky, and nathan.janc interjected a more moderate view of the situation:
People are overreacting
He just got here, new scenery, plopped right into the middle of the lineup against one of our longest stretches of games we have against all playoff caliber teams. He has hardly had time to adjust yet. Yes we know Moose did fine, but everyone is different.
Guy is a youngish all star level player. Gotta give him more than 12 at bats. He has to start feeling like part of the team here.
Give it some time. Haven’t really even had an off day.
I gotta admit, I’ve been looking up a bit too.
One more week before the Brewers and Cubs will meet again. After finishing up with the Rockies today, the Brewers finally get an off day Monday before the San Diego Padres come calling to Miller Park. Then it’s down to Atlanta for some sweltering August weather (I suspect) and three with the Boston-Milwaukee-Atlanta Braves.
Deep breaths...I need to remember to take deep breaths. There are still almost 50 games left in the Championship Season before playoffs begin. Have I mentioned that it would be advantageous to win the division?
Statistics courtesy of Baseball-Reference