The week in review: The Milwaukee Brewers were at home this past week to face the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. The Pirates went to work with wins by scores of 6-3 and 4-1. The Crew salvaged the series with a 3-1 win, and then took game one of the Reds series by a score of 5-4. Cincinnati won the two remaining games to close out the weekend. Going into Monday’s action the Brewers are still in fourth place in the NL Central with a 70-86 record, 29.5 games behind the Chicago Cubs. I predicted a 71-91 record this year. With six games left I hope they win a few more and prove me wrong!
Offensively speaking: Ryan Braun is 5 out his last 16 at bats and Hernan Perez went 6 for 20. Chris Carter had a couple more homers to pad his team leading total, putting him at 38 for the season. He and Braun are tied with 90 RBI’s for the year. Jonathan Villar leads the majors with 59 steals after swiping a bag on Saturday.
Defense! Defense! The Brewers pulled of their second triple play of the season and just the eighth in franchise history. Both came with Zach Davies on the mound.
Pitching in: Wily Peralta had a quality start on Sunday, but unfortunately dug a hole early that the team couldn’t overcome. Chase Anderson picked up a win with 5.2 innings where allowed just a run. There have been plenty of great relief efforts of late, but lefty Brent Suter stands out with 4.1 innings of scoreless relief over the past seven games.
Injuries and roster moves: Ryan Braun and Manny Pina both took some time away from the team at the start of last week to welcome new additions to their families. The Brewers called up Pina’s counterpart from Colorado Springs, Josmil Pinto, just in case Pina didn’t get back to the team as quickly as planned. With Pinto, the Brewers filled their 40 man roster. Pinto had a good season with the Sky Sox, hitting .308 in 82 games. He also has some previous big league experience with the Minnesota Twins.
In an unexpected “final” roster move, the Brewers “called up” pitcher Tim Dillard from the Colorado Springs Sky Sox to join their social media team. Dillard has spent 14 years in the Brewers organization, pitching at both the minor and major league levels. He has made a name for himself beyond the Brew Crew longevity with a hilarious social media presence. Follow him on Twitter with his @DimTillard account and check out his many funny videos. I personally get a kick out of his impression of Harry Carey.
Down on the farm: The Brewers announced the Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year. Brandon Woodruff nabbed the Pitcher prize and infielder Isan Diaz was chosen as the Player of the Year. Woodruff started 2016 at Class A Brevard County and made his way up to Double A Biloxi, posting a 14-9 record with a 2.68 ERA across 158 innings. He struck out 173 batters to lead the Brewers farm system and all minor leaguers. Diaz played the entire season with the Class A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers. He had a .264 batting average with 34 doubles, 20 homers, 75 RBI’s, 72 walks and 11 stolen bases. Hats off to both players!
The week ahead: The Brewers season comes to a close with a three game series starting in Texas tonight. After an off day on Thursday the Brewers finish in Colorado with a three game weekend series. Probable pitchers are Matt Garza, Jimmy (7.15 ERA in his last 10 starts) Nelson, and Chase Anderson. The weekend series is TBD, but we may see Taylor Jungmann get another start to close out the season.
The Magic Number: 2,314,614 is what the Brewers drew for home attendance this year. Not too shabby for a “rebuilding” year, huh? It marks the 11th straight year the team has drawn 2.3 million or more.
Random notes: This past weekend I continued a personal tradition of attending either Fan Appreciation Night and/or the final home game of the season. FAN usually (but not always) falls on the final Saturday home game, but has been moved to a different date if a division rival like the Cubs are in town. I suspect no one wants a Cubs fan to win the bullpen car! But I digress. Yesterday I saw the final home game and did my last march to the concession stand and ate nachos that I will savor all winter. I put some money on the 50/50 raffle like I always do, and stood for a few minutes after the game, lingering one more time in the late afternoon glow of Miller Park. Man, it’s going to be a long Wisconsin winter, but a few hours of baseball on the final weekend really helps me get through!
Until baseball comes back, we Brewers fans have the annual Miller Park clubhouse sale to look forward to in early December. After that it’s the On Deck fan fest event in late January. I mark my calendar with those events as much as I do Thanksgiving and Christmas! I suspect other Brew Crew fans do too!
Brewers fans gave Ryan Braun a rousing ovation in his perhaps final Miller Park at bat on Sunday (see photo below). “I think that people here, at least most of them, recognize there is at least a chance that today is my last home game as a Brewer,” Braun said after the game.
A number of players ditched their at bat walk-up music on Sunday in tribute to Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez. The stadium also observed a moment of silence just prior to the National Anthem in his memory.
Later this week I’ll have a blog post relating to my Brewers (work in progress) historical book. I’m taking a look at original 1970 pitcher Lew Krausse. He managed to post double digit wins for a team that only won 65 games that year, and lost a lot of close ones where he didn’t get much run support. Stay tuned!
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