The Milwaukee Brewers are heading to Colorado down by just one game in the NL Central standings. They will now spend the next 10 days out west. The road trip includes three games at Colorado, three in San Francisco, and then three against the Dodgers.
This road trip will be huge for the Brewers in their push for the postseason. Their ability to either survive or crumble in this stretch will determine where the rest of their season is going. There are still plenty of games to go this season, but the end is near. A team like the Milwaukee Brewers needs to stay competitive to fend off the more experienced Cubs and Cardinals.
How does the road trip shape up?
First up is the leader in the NL Wild Card standings, the Colorado Rockies. The Brewers and Rockies met back in the opening series of the year at Miller Park. The Rockies took three out of four.
Now, the suddenly hot Brewers offense heads to the extremely hitter friendly Coors field. Big run production is expected, but facing the Rockies offense in the same environment is difficult. However, the Brewers will be getting a huge boost in the pitching department with Chase Anderson coming off the DL to start on Sunday.
In addition to Anderson, catcher Stephen Vogt will also be coming off the D.L. in the series against Colorado. These two coming back will give this team a big boost going into the tough road trip. They can almost be considered mid-season acquisitions, similar to Neil Walker.
After Colorado, the Milwaukee Brewers face the struggling San Francisco Giants, who are in last place in the N.L. West. The Brewers are 2-2 against the Giants this season. The Giants may be in last place, but they still have talent on their roster. Also, the Brewers have never had a ton of success at AT&T Park.
However, if things go as planned, the Brewers will avoid having to face ace pitcher Madison Bumgarner. This is a plus because Bumgarner is one of the league’s best, and his injury early in the season was one of the big reasons for the Giants’ struggles.
Finally, the Brewers end the road trip with three at Dodger Stadium, which will be anything but easy. The Dodgers are the best team in baseball right now by a wide margin, and they are showing no signs of letting up.
One aspect that can’t be overlooked is the series against the Dodgers back in June. The Brewers bullpen blew two leads in the ninth inning. Issues in the bullpen caused the Brewers to win just one win in a series they should have swept. Also, Clayton Kershaw was pitching in a game the Brewers should have won. He will not be a problem this time around since he is on the disabled list.
However, both teams are much different than they were back in June. The Brewers added Anthony Swarzak, Jeremy Jeffress, and Neil Walker, while the Dodgers picked up a larger haul in Tony Cingrani, Tony Watson and Yu Darvish. It will be important to see how the Brewers will handle an established playoff team looking for a championship.
This road trip for the Brewers could possibly determine whether they stay in the race for the rest of the year, or fall back into third or fourth in the division. The amount of games left is shrinking. There isn’t enough time for the Brewers to come back if they take a big step backwards on this road trip.
A successful road trip against two playoff-positioned teams can give this team the true confidence that they can beat anybody, and that they can make the playoffs. But a losing record could lead to questions about if this team can handle it. If the Milwaukee Brewers are able to somehow find a spark on this trip, they’ll be in a solid position for the NL-Central heavy September schedule.