Put nicely, it was a forgettable week on the diamond for the Milwaukee Brewers. The team entered last Monday’s game against the Phillies needing just one win to put Craig Counsell into a tie with Phil Garner for most wins as a manager in Brewers history.
Well, it took until Sunday to reach that mark. The team was swept at home by the Phillies and lost the first two games to a horrid Washington Nationals team. It seemed like everything that could go wrong did just that throughout the week, as Josh Hader allowed his first regular-season runs in nearly a year (and blew a save), Corbin Burnes didn’t have his best stuff and every other starter not named Jason Alexander got hit hard.
The Brewers are a team that prides itself on great pitching, a great bullpen, good defense and just enough offense to get by. Not one of those facets was working, as the team was outscored 43-18 during the 1-5 week. The losing streak was finally ended at eight with Sunday’s 4-1 win at Washington to avoid being swept. The streak sent the team back into second place in the NL Central, though, and now has them in a neck-and-neck battle with the Cardinals.
Here is the review of a poor week of Milwaukee Brewers baseball:
Current Standing: 34-28 (2nd in NL Central, 0.5 games back of St. Louis)
The Good: Jason Alexander had another strong showing
The Brewers have gone 1-2 in Jason Alexander’s first three career starts. The sub-par record hasn’t been a result of any of his shortcomings, though, as the 29-year-old rookie has thrown 16.2 innings thus far and allowed only 4 earned runs.
Two of those starts came this week. Alexander first held a dominant Phillies lineup to only 1 run through 5 innings during Tuesday’s 3-2 loss (the Josh Hader blown save game).
He followed that performance up by scattering 7 hits over 4 2/3 innings to help the Brewers get their first win in 9 tries.
Alexander’s final line for the week: 2 starts, 0-0 record, 9.2 innings, 14 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 1.97 WHIP, 1.86 ERA.
During a week where the Brewers gave up a total of 43 runs in six games, they actually only allowed 4 runs in the two started by Alexander. It sounds crazy to say, but he was the only real stable force in what usually is a dominant rotation. With Brandon Woodruff still on the mend, Alexander will likely get a few more starts as the weeks go by, something he’s undoubtedly earned.
Some other good to note: Counsell moved Christian Yelich up to the leadoff spot this week and he hit the hell out of the baseball. He isn’t ‘back,’ but there were some really encouraging signs.
The Bad: Everything else.
I don’t know how much needs to be said. The team went 0-5 and was outscored 43-18.
But here are some poor performances to note:
Hader’s blown save on Monday (his first regular-season runs allowed since late July 2021)
Aaron Ashby allowed 6 runs in 4 2/3 innings, Burnes only went 4 1/3 innings, Eric Lauer was tagged for 8 runs in 5 innings and Adrian Houser allowed 5 runs thru 6 innings
Willy Adames hit .150 with a .690 OPS, Jace Pederson and Hunter Renfroe both hit .125 with OPS’ below .500 and Lorenzo Cain isn’t producing like an MLB player
Sunday’s win should do a lot towards getting the team back on the right track, but it was probably the worst week the Brewers have had in years. Here’s to the start of another week.
Brewers lost 7 of 9 in May last year and five straight in both June and September in 95-win season. I realize that's not altogether reassuring, because that team's struggles carried over into the playoffs. Just a perspective.