The Brewers seemed poised to charge into the All-Star break with unstoppable momentum. The team had just finished off a 2-game sweep of the Tampa Bay Rays last Wednesday and looked forward to a 10-game stretch with seven games against the Pittsburgh Pirates and three against the Chicago Cubs. Well, that 10-game stretch is now over and the team went 4-6.
Earlier in the year, the Cincinnati Reds and Pirates were called ‘slump busters’ by this column. I may have to rethink that label given these recent developments.
The Brewers first finished last week with a split of the four-game series in Pittsburgh. Fine, I thought, with a presumptive good week to come. Well, that didn’t happen, instead the opposite. Milwaukee dropped two of three at home to the Cubs to start this week (after a memorable July 4th walk-off victory), had a day off, then proceeded to drop two of three over the weekend against Pittsburgh.
That’s a 2-4 week against teams hovering around the .400 win percentage mark. Had it not been for some struggles by St. Louis, the Brewers could’ve easily seen their division lead evaporate.
So, as we head into the final week before the All-Star break, here is your Brewers Week In Review:
Current Standing: 48-39 (1st in NL Central)
The Good: Not much.
Well, Monday was fun I guess? Victor Caratini slammed a walk-off three-run home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to cap off a late-inning, come-from-behind victory for the Crew. It was the most festive moment of the week and is likely the only positive one.
The Crew did start the Pittsburgh series with a victory on Friday. But even that game wasn’t a cakewalk, with Josh Hader allowing a run in the 9th on his way to saving the 4-3 victory.
Some “good” performances from the week to note include Corbin Burnes’ start (7 innings, 3 hits, 10 strikeouts, 0 runs) and Keston Hiura heating up at the plate (16 AB, 6 H, 1 HR, 1 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 3 BB, .375/.625/1.125). The rest of the team on the mound, at the plate and even in the field delivered some forgettable performances.
The good news is the team still leads the NL Central by 2.5 games over the Cardinals and has a few games to enter the All-Star break with momentum. The bad news is it just went 4-6 against the Pirates and Cubs while St. Louis scuffled.
The Bad: Everything.
It wasn’t just one piece of the team not clicking this week. The starting staff and bullpen combined to allow 4.5 runs per game, the defense continues to be a real head-scratcher and the lineup only scratched across 3.66 runs per game against a few not-so-great pitching staffs.
The most notable struggle during the two series was in the field. The team committed four official errors. But that statistic doesn’t count several significant misplays in the outfield and other undocumented mistakes.
None were bigger than how the outfield played Seiya Suzuki’s go-ahead inside-the-park home run during Monday’s victory.
Brewers broadcast calls Seiya Suzuki's 9th-inning, tie-breaking, inside-the-park home run off Josh Hader pic.twitter.com/zA8b26uTTS