As we near Craigtember, the Milwaukee Brewers are in first place in the NL Central and have a magic number that is dwindling by the day as they head into the rest of their three game series at home against the Cincinnati Reds.
Everything seems great right now, but there are no guarantees the Brewers will make the playoffs. Teams have had collapses before. The 2014 Brewers, for example. It still hurts to think about. Yes, this team is a lot better and has the pitching to back it up.
It’s completely fine to be excited and positive, but there is no reason to get too confident until that magic number turns to zero and the confetti goes flying again hopefully inside American Family Field.
Milwaukee still has plenty of milestones to hit, but a lot of them should be positive. After Covid-19 hit the clubhouse and injuries, a lot of players are now back and performing at a high level of play. There was no guarantee they would all return 100%.
Pitcher Adrian Houser was hit the hardest of the players who went on the Covid list, and was still able to have a serviceable start over the weekend for the Crew. Eduardo Escobar and Freddy Peralta’s injuries aren’t anything too serious, which is great sign for the team. Tyrone Taylor will be out for a little while still, but luckily the team has plenty of outfielders. The Brewers should be all hands on deck for the last month of the season, and be able to push for the postseason and another NL Central title.
So what lies ahead from now until the end of the regular season? Here are four major predictions for the remainder of the Brewers season.
1. Christian Yelich Keeps Improving
Before the Reds series started, Yelich is batting .356 with two home runs and 10 RBIs over the last 11 games. In his last nine starts, he has 15 hits. There is no guarantee he will keep getting better each series. But, if he keeps hitting the ball as hard as he is and more home runs are produced, teams should be even more afraid of the Brewers heading into the postseason.
The game on Saturday, August 21st should be remembered as a Brewers classic. Milwaukee didn’t just win the game 9-6 over the Washington Nationals, they had so many moments to remember that wasn’t just Christian Yelich. In the 5th inning, Omar Narvaez popped it up near the Brewers dugout in foul territory. They made the catch, but both the first baseman and catcher were near the play. Kolten Wong then tagged up and ran all the way open with no one covering the base. An amazing heads-up base-running play.
And sure, it wasn’t all about Yelich. It was mostly about him, though. In the bottom of the first and already down a run, Christian came to the plate and hit a 414 foot home run to center to tie up the score. It was his first since July 18th. He also singled in the 5th, which brought Lorenzo Cain home for another RBI on the day.
Then in the 8th, Yelich came to the plate with bases loaded. He proceeded to hit a 454 grand slam bomb into center once again. It gave the Brewers the lead, and basically sealed the victory. It was an amazing moment, and one I could watch on repeat over and over. Even Giannis was excited.
In the first game against the Reds on August 24th, Yelich went 1-3, but also had a crucial sac fly in the seventh to bring the game within one run. The Brewers would go onto win 7-4 after picking apart the Reds bullpen. Christian’s batting average now .248 and has 40 RBIs on the season.