Macro-Brew: Phillies outclass Milwaukee


Two series worth of Macro-Brew recaps, and we’ve got two sweeps going against Milwaukee. Too much more of this and Doug Melvin will be giving me some Suppan-esque funds to kill the blog series.

Unlike the Atlanta set, where the Crew showed off their ineptitude, I’d have to say that more than anything the Brewers simply seemed out-classed by the team of Brotherly Love.

Let me restate that I will be using some advanced statistics pretty regularly in this blog, and one of the most useful for recapping what happened (not what WILL happen) is WPA, or Win Probability Added. Here is a link to a FanGraphs post that gives a brief rundown of what it is and has links to much more material.

Anyway, back to the Phillies series…

Top Shelf (Star of the Series): Prince Fielder (.260 WPA)

Unlike the Atlanta series, the TS winner truly earned it, as Prince was 6-for-12 against Philly, going 2-for-4 in all three games. He belted dingers in both Friday and Saturday’s game, to give him six homers and lift his slash line up to .268/.380/.422. It might be unfair to say that he might have busted out of his “slump” since he was still an above-average performer for the team, but maybe the Phillies series will mark where he kicks his production back up to more typical Prince levels.

Prince had the biggest WPA hits of the game for the Crew each of the last two games, with his homer on Satruday earning a huge .126 mark and his eighth-inning single on Sunday earning .122 on the strength of a 3.06 leverage index at the time (meaning the PA was three times more important than an average one).

On the Rail (Schmoe of the Series): Randy Wolf (-.391 WPA), Ryan Braun (-.175 WPA)

The Bullpen wasn’t very good this weekend, but it was certainly improved over their performance against the ATL. This time around, the Brewers had a multitude of culprits, from a lack of offense on Sunday and no timely hitting earlier in the series,  some unproductive bullpen work from Claudio Vargas and a lousy start from Randy Wolf led to a sweep that was well deserved.

Wolf’s Friday start of 6 ER in five innings of work with two walks and seven hits was far and away the lowest Brewer WPA of the series, but since it was only one game, and the Brewers had more than enough culprits in the sweep, superstar Ryan Braun deserved some negative recognition for a three-game set that saw him go 2-for -12 for the series. Thankfully for the Brewers, that is almost certainly just an aberration, as Braun only struck out once on the weekend.

Let’s take a look at the three Win Expectancy charts from the series, courtesy of FanGraphs:

Unlike the Braves set, the Brewers were able to extend games a little deeper and keep the outcome in doubt. However, with division foe Cincinnati starting up tonight, the Crew  needs altogether more well-rounded performances if it hopes to pick up some wins.

Then again, Cincinnati is no Philadelphia as well, so maybe Dusty Baker could hand over a pity win (unwittingly, of course. Almost charmingly so, really). We all know the Brewers could use one. I’ll post a series preview later this evening, hopefully.

Until then, Slainte!