Friday, September 8, 2023

Brew Made Who


The Milwaukee Brewers only have one proven ace starting during the weekend series with the New York Yankees, that being Corbin Burnes. Tonight they have Colin Rea, who's been decent but human, and tomorrow they have Wade Miley, who's had a great year but you never know when he's gonna let you down. This is a series they could be in danger of blowing, as while it's easy to outpitch the Yankees, outhitting this current incarnation of them will be trickier. 

The prevailing issue with the Brewers this year has been that, outside of Christian Yelich and William Contreras, there haven't been many terrific hitting performances. It has helped bringing Mark Canha onboard, as he's been excellent, hitting .305 with 19 RBIs in 34 games, and you're getting perks from Sal Frelick as well, but this team has a -74 batting WAR total. The Yankees, comparatively, have a -57 bWAR, but that's lifted by Judge, Torres and Dominguez alone pretty much. Even with Yelich back, the team is mostly defensively-inclined, and while their defense is excellent, they don't exactly win many blowouts.

And yet the pitching has made them a first place team. It's only become clear since the return of Brandon Woodruff, but this pitching staff is still elite even when it's missing a few of the facets that have made it look stronger in the past [namely Eric Lauer and Adrian Houser]. Using Rea and Miley as backing starters has worked, because both eat innings and get the job done without getting lit up too much. Miley's been a nice surprise this year, especially given how short-lived his last opportunity to pitch in Milwaukee was. And then Burnes, Peralta and Woodruff have been doing everything you want them to. Woodruff's been unstoppable since coming back, he's 4-1 on the season with a 2.30 ERA, that's his peak stuff. Peralta's staring down the barrel of his first-ever 200 K season, he deserves it. Burnes is still one of the best pitchers in baseball 2 years after the Cy. Throw in Devin Williams mastering the ninth, Payamps, Milner, Uribe and Wilson impressing in relief and you've got a pitching staff that should scare the shit out of people heading into October.

[Which once again begs the question, what the hell was the point of trading Peter Strzelecki for Andrew Chafin? They were both better where they were.]

The Brewers are now looking at fierce competition coming from behind them, with the Cubs a couple games back from 1st, and will need to look someone formidable during this Yankees series if they want to finish in first. What would also help is if a majority of their lineup could start hitting, but small things first. This could be a sleeper playoff favorite this year, and with the pitching this impressive they may not even have to hit that much anyway.

Coming Tomorrow- Kinda nice how well things have gone for his team since he was called up 2 years ago, right?

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