Welcome to another episode of As The Cubs Crumble, a huge hit in Milwaukee the last two Septembers. With a 6-1 week your Brewers have blown Chicago right out of wild card contention, now leading the north siders by four games with just six to go. Well, the Cubs have contributed mightily to their own demise, getting swept out of Wrigley Field in a four game set over the weekend against the Cardinals. If you haven’t paid attention, looking at how they lost each game is edifying. This has the unfortunate side effect of keeping the Crew from making up any ground on St. Louis, but there’s still time.
In the process Milwaukee has also now caught the Nationals at the top of the wild card standings, at least kind of. The Nats have two more games left than Milwaukee, so they control their own destiny. If they win out, the Brewers will finish behind them no matter what they do. The flip side of THAT is Washington having to play eight games in seven days. A tie between the two on top gives Milwaukee a home wild card game, due to their taking the season series from the Nationals.
The Brewers took three of four from the Padres at Miller Park to start the week, and then took care of business by sweeping the hapless Pirates in three over the weekend. (The Cubs have a Happ, but it doesn’t seem to be helping.) The only loss was a 2-1 nail biter, and Milwaukee out-scored the Bucs and Friars 38-10, making up some of that run differential that seems to bother folks so much. The Brewers are just lucky, don’t ya know.
TOP PITCHING STORY: The Brewers unleashed a two-headed piggyback monster on the unsuspecting baseball world this week, and Gio and Big Woo dominated all comers with an absolutely lights-out combo meal that left all Brewer fans hungry for more. Given that Woody only worked two innings again today, it seems pretty likely that we’ll see at least one more of these September Specials. Come to think of it, the last two Septembers have been pretty darn special.
The two combined for 10.1 innings of work, allowing just three hits, one walk, and no (zero) runs while fanning 14. Goodness.
Yeah, yeah, I know that Jay Jackson snuck in an inning Sunday between the two. Why let the facts get in the way of a good narrative? And JJ2 fanned all three that he faced. So there’s that.
Honorable Mention: Kyle covered Brent Suter’s amazing contributions coming back from Tommy John surgery, and he has been nothing short of amazing. This week he won one, appeared twice, giving up just one hit in three innings while striking out three. And he speeds the game up, too!
TOP HITTING STORY: We all knew that Travis Shaw would show up at some point in his absolutely dismal 2019 season to help save the Brewers. Didn’t we? Kinda?
In a pinch hitting/late inning role this week, The Mayor got six plate appearances, walked twice, hit a homer, scored three times...holy moly! That’s an OPS of 1.917! Small sample size, you say? Pshaw! (I see what I did there.) I suspect that he won’t be on any postseason rosters, though. Maybe for a wild card game. Seriously, though, congrats to Travis for this past week.
Honorable Mention: Have I mentioned that I’m very excited about Trent Grisham and the prospect of having him leading off a lot next year? Not to mention this postseason, should the Brewers get there.
Grish slashed .278/.458/.611 this past week, scoring four runs and driving in eight with a double, triple, and homer. I guess that means he had a weekly cycle. His five walks and a hit-by-pitch just have me salivating, and I think he can be a real run-scorer. That’s a thing, right? Or do I have no concept?
IMHO: My top preference for the standings after the dust settles this coming week is for the Crew to take the NL Central crown (natch). But if the Cards stay hot and Milwaukee can’t pass them, I’m iffy on wanting a tie and a playoff for the divisional title. A loss there means an elimination game the next day, and even winning two in a row puts you at a disadvantage rest-wise for the divisional round.
Aw, who am I fooling??? I’ll take ANY scenario that has the Milwaukee Brewers in post-season play. I wonder if I’ll doubt them again next September?
COMMENT OF THE WEEK: I know that a lot of us have enjoyed watching the Cubs trevails over the past week, even if we wanted them to win the past two games, and checking out Bleed Cubbie Blue is part of that. JP gives us a reminder:
If you do go over there and comment, please be respectful.
Just a quick reminder that if you do get a ban over there, we may ban you here as well. Everyone here is usually respectful on other sites, so hopefully that won’t happen.
I’ve engaged a few times this week. Earlier, before the Cards series, and it has generally gone well except when good ol’ Al Yellon misinterpreted what I said. Oh, Al.
So I’ll just stay away now. And oh, a reminder, if somebody is throwing a no-hitter against us, do not go on their site and tell them that that is happening. It is apparently an immediately bannable offense.
So that dreaded eighteen game stretch has concluded, and rather successfully if I do say so myself. Now it’s on the road again, and the first stop after an off day Monday is a tough one. Three in Cincinnati, against their tough pitching staff. Then out to Colorado at the scene of last year’s divisional clincher. I’m sure their fans and team would love to give Milwaukee a taste of their own medicine. It looks pretty good for postseason play right now, but it ain’t over ‘til it’s over. Enjoy your week!