Milwaukee Brewers: Five impact players down the stretch

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 09: Jaime Garcia
MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 09: Jaime Garcia /
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Jacob Barnes

Recently, Jacob Barnes has fallen out of favor with Milwaukee Brewers fans. The question is why? Barnes has been consistent, whether good or bad, all season.

Barnes has been such a reliable option, it’s hard to believe this is only his second season in the Major Leagues for the Brewers. If it’s tough for a veteran like Carlos Torres, imagine what it’s like for a young player just breaking in, especially when the game is on the line.

Barnes has all the “stuff” to make it as a middle reliever. This season, he has shown stretches of dominance. Although, when things go wrong, they usually go off the rails wrong. These are the things that tend to stick in a fan’s mind. Instead of those five game stretches of zeroes every appearance, they remember that one game you gave up the lead in the 8th inning.

The job of a middle-reliever is a thankless job. When they hold a lead, they get no recognition. The only recognition they get, are the three or four days a month they can’t get out of an inning. That has been exactly what Barnes has gone through this season.

Through his first 45 appearances, Barnes had a 3.38 ERA in 42 2/3 innings pitched with 45 strikeouts and only 19 walks. He held opponents to a .201 batting average, while only surrendering four home runs. He showed the ability to get outs when they were needed.

However, games 46-57 haven’t been nearly as kind. From July 22nd to August 15th, Barnes has had an unsightly 6.17 ERA in 11 2/3 innings pitched. He has allowed runners on base at a .411 clip, while surrendering eight earned runs. That has ballooned his ERA to 3.98.

For the season, Barnes has been as reliable an option as the Milwaukee Brewers have had. The bullpen has been stretched to the brink this season, Barnes included, the roster expansion in September should only help. Barnes is a big piece to the puzzle this season, and the Brewers need him to get back into form if they are going to make a playoff push.