Just when everyone thought the Brewers offensive struggles were behind them, they rear their ugly head.
It seems like such a long time ago, but back in April and May of this season, in the pre-Willy Adames era, the Brewers offense struggled. They struggled with runners in scoring position, they struggled to hit home runs, and just generally lacked a spark in their lineup.
Then Adames arrived, provided the spark, and things got better. They were hitting more homers, they were hitting with runners in scoring position, and were coming up in big moments. Milwaukee had one of the most comeback victories in baseball this season.
Now, as the calendar has hit October and it’s do or die time, the Brewers offense once again looks like what it was back in April and May.
Obviously, this is the exact worst time to hit a slump offensively. The Brewers were shutout in Games 2 and 3 of the NLDS and haven’t scored a run in 19 innings. Their only runs of this series came on a Rowdy Tellez homer in the 7th inning of Game 1.
So far in this series, the Brewers are 0-for-16 with runners in scoring position. This harkens back to the struggles they had with RISP back in the beginning of the season.
They’re taking fastballs that are right down the middle, swinging at breaking balls out of the zone, and making either poor contact or no contact at all. These frustrations were the same back in April and May, but subsided as the season went along, because they started hitting.
The Brewers offense clearly needs a spark and someone to get hot.
Who in the Brewers lineup could everyone see come to the plate and feel good about a base hit? Virtually no one is hot offensively right now. Everyone is either cold or lukewarm at best. The best is probably Luis Urias right now, who is the only Brewer to have a wRC+ over 100 since September 15th.
Luis Urias is solid, but he’s not a “carry the offense” kind of hitter, even at his best. Someone needs to spark this offense, and it begins with the top of the order.
Kolten Wong hasn’t hit much in this series, and hasn’t provided a spark. Willy Adames, who has been the spark all season, has gone cold as well. Since returning from the IL, Adames hit just .214 in the final two weeks of the regular season. He has four hits in the series, but hasn’t come up clutch. Yelich, well he’s been cold all season. That’s the first three batters in the order.
Yes, the Braves have a good pitching staff, but not this good. The Brewers are missing opportunities that are right in front of them, and when this team was going good, they were taking advantage of those opportunities.
This offense is going bad right now, and the pressure of an elimination game isn’t going to help them play loose.
They need a spark. They need to get one hit with runners in scoring position. Once they get one, it’s easier to get a second, then a third, and a fourth. Hitting is contagious, and they need to get it, now. There is no more time to waste. Atlanta can win the series on Tuesday.
The pitching has always been the strength of this team. But no matter how good your pitching is, if you don’t score any runs, you can’t win.