Brewers Week In Review: April 18 — April 24

The Brewers on Sunday Night Baseball means a later version of “Brewers Week In Review.” I’m sure everybody was wondering whether it would still be released — that answer is yes.

Tonight’s finale in Philadelphia capped off a tremendous week for Milwaukee. It feels like three-game sets at home against Pittsburgh will lead to a lot of winning, but going into Philly and taking 2 of 3 from a Phillies team with a lot of firepower seems like a significant positive.

All that winning leaves us plenty to get to, including the newest product of the Brewers’ Pitching Machine, not much “bad” to discuss, more terrific pitching, an offseason addition finding his stride and cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.


Record: 5-1

Current Standing: 10-6 (1st in NL Central)


The Good: An electric week from Eric Lauer.

A lot is always said and written about the top-end of the Brewers’ starting rotation. Corbin Burnes, Brandon Woodruff and Freddy Peralta deserve all the praise they get, as the three are probably the biggest force driving the team’s success. Well, this section isn’t about the “Big 3” this week. It’s about Eric Lauer.

The 26-year-old southpaw started Monday against the Pirates and Sunday night in Philadelphia. His final line: 2 starts, 12 innings, 10 hits, 1 ER, 18 strikeouts, 0.75 ERA. Yes, one of those starts was against a bad Pirates lineup. But the second saw Lauer mow down an impressive Phillies lineup for the first 6 frames of the contest (and strike out 13!!).

One big reason Lauer now sits with a stellar 2.20 ERA through three starts is his cutter has some life that we haven’t seen in years past. As Joe Girardi noted on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast on ESPN, his hitters had to treat the now-93mph pitch like it was 96 or 97…and as was tweeted early in the week, Lauer is just one of 12 left-handed pitchers this year to register a pitch 96mph or above.

This being his second full year in the Brewers’ rotation, it makes sense that we could now be seeing a significant rise in production. His first two seasons in San Diego saw a 4.40 ERA and a WHIP above 1.400. But the Brewers saw something, and their commitment is beginning to pay significant dividends. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Curt Hogg said it well: “America, meet Eric Lauer, the latest product of the Brewers Pitching Machine. Thirteen strikeouts on national TV.”

On the other side of the mound, Hunter Renfroe was the best hitter for the Brewers this week. He finished the seven-day frame with a .300 average, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 6 hits and 1 walk. Renfroe, a slept-on offseason acquisition, could be heating up at a good time for Milwaukee.

Another honorable mention: Brandon Woodruff was dominant on Wednesday going 6 innings and allowing just 1 hit.


The Bad: Aaron Ashby on Friday

There isn’t much “bad” to point out during a week in which the Brewers go 5-1 and outscore opponents 23 to 12. But one of the losses came Friday night against the Phillies where the Brewers had a 2-1 lead entering a bottom of the 8th inning during which Aaron Ashby gave up the lead and the ballgame.

Ashby’s 2 1/3 innings that night were his only of the week. His final line included 5 hits, 3 ER, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.

Also, while semi-unrelated to the Brewers, Angel Hernandez was absolutely horrendous behind the plate on Sunday night. These called third strikes against Omar Narvaez and Andrew McCutchen were only a few of some absolute head-scratchers.

And then there was how the game ended… (I think Kyle Schwarber spoke for everyone watching).




-Hunter Renfroe (.300, 2 HR, 2 doubles, 6 hits and 1 walk)

-Brandon Woodruff (6 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks, 9 strikeouts, 1 win)

-Eric Lauer (2 starts, 12 innings, 10 hits, 1 ER, 2 walks, 18 strikeouts)


Story Of The Week: Playing Pittsburgh means good things.

The NL Central is not a strong division this season by any measure. The Cardinals will be good and the Cubs could be a pesky team, but any time the Brewers take the field against the Pirates or Reds it should mean good things. We saw the Pittsburgh side of that for the first time this week, as the Brewers swept the Pirates out of Milwaukee on the backs of a few good days of hitting and three dominant pitching performances.

One player this will be great for is Christian Yelich. There will be a discussion every time he goes deep about whether the former MVP is “back” to an All-Star-level form (everyone should read this article about Yelich’s year thus far). We saw the first of many of those moments against Pirates pitching this week, as Yelich took Zach Thompson deep for a grand slam during Monday’s 6-1 victory.

Both Woodruff and Corbin Burnes also had great weeks against the poor Pirates lineup, combining for 13 innings across two starts, only 2 total runs on 5 hits allowed and 19 strikeouts. The final score of the series was a whopping 15-5.

There is a lot of talent in the clubhouse in Milwaukee. Playing Pittsburgh should see that talent flourish more than against any other team the Brewers play.


Stat Of The Week: Josh Hader so far this season: 8 games, 8 saves, 8 innings & 0 runs. Opponents are 2-for-26 with 2 walks and 11 strikeouts.


Best Video:


Best Tweets:

-significant signs of life from Eric Lauer.

-Hunter Renfroe gets on the board

-Biggest win of the week at AmFam Field

-The Brewers maybe didn’t need that big-ticket first baseman everyone was talking about

-More people should listen to Ben Kenney (me) about where to find the best cheesesteaks in Philadelphia

-Angel Hernandez was in prime form on Sunday night

-Brewers Pitching Machine continues to churn out studs



Next Week: vs. SF (1), @ PIT (3), vs. CHC (3)