Brewcap: Brewers Celebrate 82′ With Strong Weekend
This weekend in Milwaukee was a celebration of the 1982 AL Champion Milwaukee Brewers. If I had a working computer and figured out how to be functional, I may have dropped a hot take about Brewers needing something else to celebrate. I get that 82′ means a lot to people and players, yet, they still lost to St. Louis Cardinals in World Series. That said, 2017 Brewers had themselves a pretty good weekend even if Sunday did not finish the way they wanted continuing their hold on first place.
Players of the weekend
Ryan Braun – Don’t look now, but Ryan Braun might be getting on a heater. I don’t want to say that’s official, but Braun looks like a different player this weekend. First, we had the big grand slam on Friday night then we saw him play all three games plus steal a base on Sunday. These are signs that Braun is back to full strength, and if he were to get hot for the next three weeks, look out.
Jimmy Nelson – Another home start, another strong Jimmy Nelson performance. Sure, he gave up the lead to known Brewers killer Odubel Herrera with a homer in the seventh, yet Nelson did the damn thing again on the mound. He finished with nine strikeouts allowing only three hits. Nelson’s ERA is down to 3.27 and continuing to strikeout batters at a strong rate. The last time Nelson didn’t strikeout at least five batters was a June 13th start against St. Louis. Currently, he’s 4-3 at home with a 2.39 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 71 innings pitched.
Brett Phillips – You have to give some love to young Brett Phillips finding a way to change the game on Sunday with a pinch-hit two-run home run in the fifth inning giving Milwaukee the lead momentarily. Phillips gets his first big moment as a major leaguer. He brings an infectious personality to the baseball team.
Jonathan Villar – Another player like Braun that could be warming up is Jonathan Villar. He had a solid weekend going with four hits, three stolen bases and a couple runs scored. Villar is still striking out too much as a leadoff hitter yet there are signs he may be coming back to life a little bit.
Positive takeaway – Break didn’t effect the mojo: One of the big things about the 82 team was their chemistry, and it’s become a direct tie to what Brewers have this year. The All-Star Break didn’t change their swagger at all. Brewers looked like the same team they were before the break.
Negative takeaway – Bullpen isn’t fully finished: Brewers bullpen has been better in the last month than it’s been all season. That said, Rob Scahill and Tyler Webb showed some flaws at the front end of their bullpen. Could it be some rust? Perhaps, but it also could be that they’re both not very good. Brewers need to be diligent about using different pieces who are doing well in Triple A like Wei-Chung Wang and Michael Blazek.
Next up – Brewers have a four-game set in Pittsburgh starting tomorrow. Buccos are probably the one team that’s gave Crew the most trouble this season. Brent Suter goes for Milwaukee who has been great thus far, but you worry about him against a good lefty hitting team like Pittsburgh. Chad Kuhl goes for Pittsburgh who dominated Brewers earlier this season yet has been putrid against lefties this season.