Ever since the 2022 MLB trade deadline, the Milwaukee Brewers needed a spark.
After this year’s trade deadline came and went, both Brewers fans and some of their players were left wondering what had just happened. Once the team started playing games again, the funk created by the deadline moves seemed at times like it would never go away.
Milwaukee played seven series between the trade deadline and last weekend’s series against the Cubs. They lost five of those series, tied one (a four-gamer at home against the Dodgers), and won one (a small two-gamer at home against the Rays). In doing so, they saw the Cardinals’ NL Central lead increase and Wild Card chances become all but certain.
Then came last weekend’s home series against the Cubs. It started with a loss on Friday where the Crew once again saw an early lead slip away. So, before Saturday’s game, the Brewers made a roster move to bring up one of their young, talented prospects.
Fans had been hoping that the Brewers might be calling up one of their prospects, what with September call ups being right around the corner, but there were others who it seemed might get that call first, not that Mitchell didn’t deserve it.
After missing some time toward the end of 2021 and earlier in 2022, Mitchell had gotten himself back on track. He earned a promotion to Triple-A Nashville in early August and was hitting .342 with a .901 OPS in 20 games for the Sounds prior to last weekend. Then on Saturday, he was heading to Milwaukee to join the Brewers roster for the first time in his career.
In his first few games with the Milwaukee Brewers, Garrett Mitchell has provided a timely spark for a team that needed it.
Mitchell didn’t end up starting in his first day as a big leaguer, but there was definitely a buzz among the fan base that day. And who knows if that buzz made its way to the clubhouse, but the Brewers had themselves quite a game regardless, hitting three homers en route to a 7-0 shutout of Chicago in the second game of the series.
Mitchell would end up making his major league debut that game after entering as a defensive replacement in the top of the 8th inning. His first career start, though, would come in Sunday’s series finale, and that is when he got to show Brewers fans how he could provide a spark at the plate.
The Cubs jumped out to an early lead in that game before the Brewers scored a run to make it 2-1 after three innings. The Crew started threatening again in the bottom of the following inning and with two on and one out, Mitchell came to the plate for his second at bat of the day. He ended it with his first career hit, first career RBIs, and a 3-2 Brewers lead.
Mitchell would score his first career run on the next play when Christian Yelich clubbed the second pitch of the at bat to center for a two-run homer. Chicago would threaten late, but the day would end with a series-winning 9-7 win for Milwaukee.
On Monday, the Brewers decided to keep the good vibes going and gave Mitchell a second straight start in the series opener against the Pirates. He would make an impact early, this time on the basepaths after reaching on a walk in the 3rd. After breaking to steal second base, Pittsburgh thought they had Mitchell picked off. His elite speed, however, would have other ideas.
Mitchell would score later in the inning, giving Milwaukee an early lead. Unfortunately, new Brewers killer Oneil Cruz would have his own say in the game, later hitting a three-run bomb to take the lead back for Pittsburgh. By the bottom of the 8th, the Crew found themselves facing a 5-3 deficit.
Things didn’t start great for the Brewers as they started the frame with a couple outs. Catcher Omar Narvaez was then able to draw a walk to bring Mitchell, who was 0-for-2 with a walk at that point, up to the plate. Could a rookie in his third career game possibly come through with a game-tying homer in that spot?
In this case, he sure could.
The Pirates would fail to do any damage in the 9th, setting up a dramatic, walkoff homer by Keston Hiura to end things and give Milwaukee their first three-game win streak since July. Would they have still pulled it off without Mitchell’s clutch play, though? Who knows.
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All we know is that the Brewers and their fans could’ve used some sort of spark after a largely rough month of August. It feels as though Mitchell has provided exactly that and hopefully continues to do so all the way to a fifth straight playoff berth for the Crew.