Milwaukee Brewers: The Brew Crew Is Back, Baby!
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers have been in a skid since the All Star Break. The 5 1/2 game lead the Crew had built up over the Cubs had vanished. The Brewers had fallen back to third place behind Chicago and the surging Cardinals. They looked to be finished and this run of success was over. But not so fast.
After a sweep by the Minnesota Twins, the team veterans called that team meeting on August 10th. Before that meeting, the last time the Brewers offense scored more than four runs was July 26th.
Immediately following that meeting, the powerless Brewers offense exploded for ten runs against Cincinnati. The game ended in a loss, but it was a start. Then they pulled out a gritty 6-5 win in extra innings and won again on Sunday, scoring seven runs. After a sweep of the Pirates, the Milwaukee Brewers are on a four-game winning streak. They’ve won four of five since the team meeting and have scored six or more runs in four of those five contests.
Is this team back to playing like they were in the first half?
You bet they are. Looking at the past few games, the players are having fun like they were before. They’re feeding off of each other’s energy and it shows on the field.
The five homers in the finale of the Pirates series shows enough to believe the Brewers are back to form. They hit a lot of long balls and their pitching is good enough to pull out victories. The way they’ve been able to continue to fight late into games and continue to add runs is why they’ve been so successful.
On Tuesday night, the Keon Broxton homer in the seventh inning gave the bullpen an additional insurance run that they haven’t gotten in awhile. Think back to the Tampa Bay series. Think back to the Cubs series. The Brewers got runs early, but couldn’t add on and increase their lead. That meant the pitching staff couldn’t afford to make a single mistake. But during this streak they’ve been able to pile on the runs and it’s led to their success.
What’s next for the Milwaukee Brewers?
A ten day road trip out west to Colorado, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The Dodgers will be the toughest as they are the hottest team in baseball. However, Colorado is a solid team as well. If the season ended today, the Rockies would be in the Wild Card play-in game. The Brewers are four and a half games out of the Wild Card.
But with that bad news, here’s some good news. Chase Anderson will return in Colorado and is feeling great. If he can return to pitching the way he was pre-injury, it gives Milwaukee a pair of legitimate options at the top of the rotation. Also, Stephen Vogt will be returning in Colorado as well, improving the catching situation. Vogt performed extremely well at the plate prior to his injury and his bat will be a huge improvement over Andrew Susac.
The team is reaching full strength just as the offense is back into the swing of things. The pitching has made up for the lack of offense, but now they shouldn’t have the need to go pitch-for-pitch with their opponents.
The Milwaukee Brewers are about to peak at the right time. Peaking in July is way too early, we’ve seen that for ourselves. But if they can get hot in late August through September, that’s the perfect time to go on a run into the playoffs. The Dodgers, who the Brewers will play from August 25-27, got too hot too early. There’s still a month and a half to go and they could run out of gas before the playoffs start.
We’ve been enjoying this surprising wave of success all season. Although there have been a couple major bumps in the road of late but that happens to every team. The road to the playoffs is never smooth, but if the Milwaukee Brewers can make it through this road trip and remain hot, they can win this division.
The team meeting last week has led to resounding success so far. It looks like this team is looking like their old selves. And if they are, you better fasten your seatbelts, keep your tray tables up and seat backs in the full upright position because we will be in for one wild ride to end this season.
Next: What Does Stephen Vogt's Return Mean To The Brewers?
The six game losing streak is a thing of the past and there’s no more need to dwell on it. That was a different team. Now the real Milwaukee Brewers are back and they are here to stay.