Sunday, September 18, 2022

Wood Work


Could the Yankees be singlehandedly saving the Brewers from missing out on the postseason?

Already this has been a typical 'start strong and fall out of the picture in September' Brewers season, the kind they made famous around 2014. It's not that this Brewers team is bad, but with Yelich only partly as good as he was in 2018, Woodruff and Peralta injured for points, and some one-dimensional power from people like Luis Urias, Keston Huira and Rowdy Tellez, they're just unable to catch the Cardinals, who have so much more working for them right now.

And to this point in the wild card race, the Brewers have been well behind the Padres, Phillies and Braves for a spot, but things might be beginning to change. The Braves are in a series with the Phillies, one that is NOT GOING WELL for Philadelphia [when Matt Vierling has to do all the work, you know you're in trouble], and the Padres have been losing ground recently in division matchups. Currently, the Brewers are 1.5 games behind the Padres, and the Brewers seem to have a bit more momentum than San Diego.

A lot of that is thanks to the Brewers' current series with the Yankees, which has been a smashing success for Milwaukee. Yes, things nearly got out of hand Friday night but rookie Garrett Mitchell sealed it in extras. And last night, any effort by the Yankee lineup was quelled by Brandon Woodruff, who had one of his best starts of the year with 10 Ks in 8 innings. Woodruff took a bit to take off, but he's been strong since getting off the IL, and he's built his record to 11-4 with 162 strikeouts, which is pretty damn good. Yes, Burnes has been the alpha so far [as usual], but Woodruff and Peralta, and Eric Lauer, are putting in solid stuff and preparing for the potential to keep succeeding in postseason play.

The tough thing is that Peralta and Lauer are missing for another week or so, meaning the Brewers will have to start people like Jason Alexander [SERENITY NOW!] and potentially another unnamed starter [if they don't get Peralta or Lauer back who's up? Ethan Small again?]. So that could be a hitch in the playoff push. Also, while this team could outhit New York tonight, they have to play division leaders like the Mets and Cardinals before this season's done with them. Those series' could be a good way to track the Brewers' postseason chances, because if they do well there, it could be a sign of what's to come if the other wild card teams aren't lucky.

Coming Tonight: A charter member of a surprisingly awesome Seattle rotation.

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