So far, the Milwaukee Brewers have been surprising even the most realistic fans this season. The team is coming together nicely and barring a few injuries, have been able to stay at or near the top of the standings in the NL Central. However, what will it take to get to the playoffs? With the trading deadline looming and the shutouts mounting, which direction should the team go?
Getting Shutout Might Not Be That Bad
Recently, the Milwaukee Brewers suffered another shutout and the headlines, pointing to that stat exactly, were being flung all over the Internet. But even with almost 70 games complete and nine games with zero runs scored, can the Milwaukee Brewers make the playoffs?
Shutouts are not good and probably should not happen in professional baseball. However, almost every single team suffers at least one per season. According to Baseball-Reference.com, some even still make the playoffs.
Since 1908, four teams have made the playoffs with 10+ shutouts in the FIRST 70 games of the season. In fact, the last team to accomplish this was the Oakland Athletics in 2012.
One Common Denominator For Playoff Teams
Even with the stat I listed above giving fans of the Milwaukee Brewers some hope, there is still something that all playoff teams have in common. Great pitching. Consistent pitching. Regardless of whether or not your team is putting up the goose egg throughout the season, you need to have 3 strong pitchers to make it through the playoffs.
The Milwaukee Brewers have a good team and some good pitching. There are few fans that will argue against that logic, but the consistency is lacking. Jhoulys Chacin and Junior Guerra have been good lately, but Chase Anderson has not performed up to expectations yet this season.
In 2018, where the Brewers weren’t able to score any runs, the pitching staff maintained an ERA of 4.09, pitching 77 innings with 62 strikeouts and just 35 earned runs.
Josh Hader is a force this season, but will it last? It’s tough for pitchers to keep up this level of play over an entire season. But as long as he’s kept fresh, he will hopefully be fine.
The stats are not terrible. However, the NL Central division is tough and there are two teams that have the consistent pitching, the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals. They are likely to leave the Milwaukee Brewers in the dust if they continue to get shutout like this.