Milwaukee Brewers: Comparing 2017 to past playoff runs
The 2011 Milwaukee Brewers season gave birth to the original beast mode.
Yeah, I said it. Marshawn Lynch is beast mode Jr. at best.
The excitement over the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers began in December when the team did the improbable. With a move that shocked everyone, the Brewers acquired a true ace pitcher with multiple years of control with the addition of Zack Greinke from the Kansas City Royals.
This team became a legitimate threat the moment general manager Doug Melvin dealt Alcides Escobar, Lorenzo Cain, Jake Odorizzi and Jeremy Jeffress for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. Without question, the price was steep for Grienke. However, he proved to be exactly what that team needed.
That was the moment the Brewers made it clear that 2011 was going to be different. The organization tasted the postseason in 2008 for the first time in 26 years, but clearly wanted more. The 2011 team was arguably the best collection of talent the Crew have assembled since the early ’80’s.
Also that December, the Crew sent troubled prospect Brett Lawrie to the Toronto Blue Jays for pitcher Shaun Marcum. The opportunity was there for that Brewers team, and Melvin seized the moment.
Peak Ryan Braun and the prodigious power of Prince Fielder were the foundation of that team. Sprinkle in a little Nyjer Morgan, acquired from Washington that March, and that 2011 Milwaukee Brewers team was as exciting as any in recent memory.
Every clubhouse needs that boost, and “T-Plush” provided it for the Brewers. Much like the gaunlet this season with the Crew, beast mode provided that camaraderie within the clubhouse.
Melvin continued to add during the season, and made a deal in July with the New York Mets for Francisco Rodriguez. In 31 games, Rodriguez was 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA. He walked 10, while striking out 33 over 29 innings. “K-Rod” would go on to pay huge dividends for more than just the next few months.
The Brewers went 36-17 down the stretch to win the NL Central by six games over the St. Louis Cardinals. Furthermore, the 96 wins in 2011 are still the most wins in a single season in franchise history.
Milwaukee won their first playoff series in 29 years against the Arizona Diamndbacks. Unfortunately, they would go on to lose to the Cardinals in the NLCS.
Though they feel two wins short of their first National League pennant in 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers improved upon the 2008 season.