It feels like the Brewers are a .500 team right now. (Checks week’s results - yup, 3-3). And the composite score was 21-21. Losing two of three to the Cardinals isn’t optimal at this point, and if St. Louis holds on for their win today they’ll lead Milwaukee by 4.5 games, and the Cubs by 2.5. At this point in the Wild Card standings, the Phillies are 1.5 games back of Chicago (NL) for the second spot, a half game up on the Crew. The Nationals lead the Wild Card, four up on the baby bears, and six on Milwaukee, and look to be kind of good right now.
TOP HITTING STORY: Mike Moustakas hit only .214 this week. The bum! But wait! There’s more! His OPS was 1.350, as he drew five walks in nineteen plate appearances, and had a double and three dingers. His OBP was .421, and he drove in five runs. He only struck out twice.
Whither Moose in 2020? If the Brewers had anybody that looked like a major league third baseman in the system, I’d bid him a fond farewell. I don’t think the Crew will be in the running for Anthony Rendon, so perhaps Moose calls will echo through Miller Park again next year.
Honorable Mention: A below average week for Keston Hiura, but he still slashed .250/.333/.500, OPS .833 in 27 plate appearances. Three doubles, a homer, and five ribbies for #kestdaddy.
Just for fun: Hiura’s partial season stats project to: 42 doubles, 5 triples, 35 longballs, with 95 runs scored and 93 RBI. He’ll steal 19 bases in 25 attempts, and be hit by 14 pitches. There will be 49 walks, and 197 Ks. Perhaps he’ll bump up the walks and get the strikeouts a bit more under control. Just through natural progression, though. Don’t change a thing.
TOP PITCHING STORY: As one JJ (Jeremy Jeffress) fades as the season fades, and winds up on the IL, JJ2 (Jay Jackson) is showing that he can be effective in high pressure moments. At this point, he has to be considered a returnee next year. This week he pitched in three of the six games, going 3.1 innings while allowing just one hit with no walks. Six strikeouts. He hits 95 on the fastball and has a very good slider. Fingers crossed that it continues.
Honorable Mention: Jordan Lyles’ lone start this week probably deserves the top spot, but since the reward to the player is nil, I’m sure he won’t mind. Six no-hit, shutout innings Friday night against the D’Backs, with two walks and five punchouts. Brewer scouts and/or metrics made a good call in this late season acquisition. Too bad the Crew lost Woody for such an extended period of time. But then, Slingin’ David Stearns probably wouldn’t have traded for Lyles if he hadn’t. Lyles can come back, too.
IMHO: It feels like the Brewers’ best chance for a playoff spot is the second wild card spot, and I think going 20-12 over the final 32 will get there. Provided the Crew takes care of the Cubs in the remaining seven match-ups with the north siders. 5-2 should do it. Now, if they can take the remaining six contests with the Cards, too...well, there’s at least 11 of the 20 wins, if nothing else.
I’m not expecting this, though. Too many holes in the pitching staff. But hey, stranger things have happened.
COMMENT OF THE WEEK:
Jhoulys Chacin’s time as a Brewer came to a close this week, and the Curse of the Opening Day Starter continues, as detailed in Kyle’s report on the DFA’ing of last year’s ace. How will this help the bullpen, an astute observer asked...and aaronetc explained:
Not having Chacin make any more starts helps the bullpen’s workload
At the same time, Ben Gamel went down to AAA San Antonio to get some at bats heading into the stretch run, and Cory Spangenburg took Chacin’s place on the 40 man roster, joining the club as another utility player/platoon with Arcia.
Wisconsin’s motto is (used to be?) Forward!. So lets forget the past and enjoy the coming hot streak from the Crew. It starts this week with six rather crucial games with the two teams ahead of them in the NL Central. St. Louis comes to Miller Park for three, and after the off day Thursday it’s off to Wrigley for three more. I’d say five or six wins are obligatory. We’ll know a lot more about how seriously to take things the rest of the way when I next muse on sundry things.
I wonder if Rock got any blow-back from FSW about the Shaggin Wagon joke? (As Craig Counsell pointed out, Bill, it’s the Mystery Machine, but I figure they’ll change that now.) I haven’t laughed out loud that hard during a Brewers’ broadcast that I can remember.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs and MLB