Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Island of Misfit Toys vs. the Wild Card Race

Right now, the Wild Card race in the NL is wrapped up by the two middle teams in the NL West, essentially as consolation prizes for not being able to catch the Dodgers. The D-Backs and Rockies are good enough right now to still be holding onto both spots, even if they're bobbing back and forth between second and third. They're also ahead of the entirety of the NL Central, which...honestly says more about that division than it does about them.

Right now the Cubs are ahead of the NL Central, and 2.5 games ahead of the Milwaukee Brewers. The Brewers are also 3 games away from catching the D-Backs and Rockies, closer than anybody else, even (and especially) their divisional rivals the St. Louis Puppy-Slaughterers Cardinals.

So what I'm saying, Lloyd, is there's a chance.

The Brewers have been able to accumulate more unwanted, un-thought-of players that have surprisingly gotten hot than anyone else this year. Before this year, all they had was Ryan Braun. That was it. Now they've built a full lineup and rotation, on the bones of a youth movement that was building quietly, and a ton of younger players that other teams didn't want. Now, Travis Shaw, Eric Sogard, Eric Thames, Chase Anderson and Hernan Perez, guys that rosters everywhere basically counted out, are leading this team to a playoff run. I don't know how, but it's happening.

Zach Davies this season has flirted with ace status. Chase Anderson, when healthy, has MORE THAN flirted with ace status. Jimmy Nelson's improving on a decent rookie year. Matt Garza's revitalizing his career in its supposed final moments. Corey Knebel's pulled the closer's job out from absolutely nowhere, and has an All Star nod to boot. None of this was there last year. None of this was remotely active. The fact that everything's gotten insanely hot this year proves that something dangerous might be happening.

I remember back in April, when the Brewers got hot, we were all going 'oh, this must be because of Eric Thames'. It really isn't. The team's just got really good. Thames was a passing craze that died down in May, and he's striking out more than he's homering right now. This team is for real, and when they come to attack the Cubs, D-Backs and Rockies, that fact will be certain.

Coming Tomorrow- I was worried when he was around .210 near April, but now he's caught up to the rest of his team and is cementing his status as one of the best young infielders in the game. (Take that, Dansby Swanson!)

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