Around social media, it is an oddly tense time among the Brewers faithful. While the organization spent the weekend celebrating the glory days that were the 1982 AL title and subsequent World Series appearance, some fans argued that the team celebrated “failure”. On the other hand, a Sunday loss to the Philadelphia Phillies and a critical road trip on the horizon has some wondering if this is where the ship finally begins to show some cracks. Is this the product of years of conditioning to heartbreak and disappointment that Brewers fans have primarily endured since 1982, or is it much to do about nothing? For that answer, we shall watch and wait.
For now, though, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming series: @ Pittsburgh (7/17-7/20) and @ Philadelphia (7/21-7/23)
Pitching matchups @ Pittsburgh: Brent Suter (1-1, 2.96 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (3-6, 4.96 ERA); Junior Guerra (1-3, 4.78 ERA) vs. Ivan Nova (9-6, 3.21 ERA); Zach Davies (11-4, 5.08 ERA) vs. Gerrit Cole (7-7, 4.35 ERA); Jimmy Nelson (8-4, 3.27 ERA) vs. Jameson Taillon (5-3, 3.06 ERA)
Pitching matchups @ Philadelphia: TBA vs. Aaron Nola (6-6, 3.54 ERA); TBA vs. Jeremy Hellickson (6-5, 4.44 ERA); TBA vs. TBA
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
Winner: Brett Phillips
Okay, I know this may be a weak reason, but voter fatigue may have played a part in this. That is because, if it weren’t for Phillips, Orlando Arcia would have likely once again won this award. However, Phillips did have himself a pretty great Sunday (despite the loss). Hitting his first career Major League home run, a no-doubter at that, had to be an incredibly special moment for the 23-year-old outfielder. In addition, his trip through the now famous dugout home run gauntlet was one of the best all season, with Phillips responding to Orlando Arcia’s traditional scream with one right back at him. Whether Phillips is involved in any possible deal at the deadline or not, that is one Milwaukee memory he will surely never forget.
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Ryan Braun
It was a small sample size this week, but the show must go on nonetheless. This week, Ryan Braun takes his first Robin Yount award after a week where not only did he go 3-for-10, a solid average, but also capped off one of the best innings of the Brewers’ season so far with a no-doubt grand slam against the Phillies in Friday’s 9-6 victory. With an important road trip ahead, it is important for players such as Braun and fringe All-Star Travis Shaw to truly step up and lead the Brewers in the next 10 outings.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Corey Knebel
“At long last,” I can hear you, yes YOU, the reader exclaiming under your breath, “a repeat winner of the Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat.” Okay, maybe not in those specific terms, but I digress. Once again, the Brewers shutdown closer takes his place atop the Brewers’ pitcher rankings after an impressive showing against Philadelphia. In the series, he recorded two saves on back-to-back nights while striking out 4 batters in two innings, extending his MLB-record streak of consecutive games with a strikeout to 45 to start 2017.
AAA: Colorado Springs
Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .293, 16 2B, 7 3B, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 5 SB
Ryan Cordell (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): .284, 18 2B, 5 3B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 9 SB (currently injured)
Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .239, 4 2B, 2 HR, 12 RBI, 2 SB (16 games played with CS)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 4 Prospect): 3-5, 4.12 ERA, 67.2 IP, 59 K, 31 BB, 1.27 WHIP, .224 Opponent AVG
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 20 Prospect): 3-1, 1.14 ERA, 47.1 IP, 48 K, 6 BB, 0.76 WHIP, .179 AVG
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect): .230, 18 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 18 SB at A Adv Carolina
Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 23 Prospect): .242, 12 2B, 3 HR, 25 RBI, 8 SB at A Wisconsin
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .278, 31 2B, 10 HR, 45 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina
Trey Supak (Brewers No. 29 Prospect): 2-3, 5.48 ERA, 46.0 IP, 40 K, 19 BB, 1.39 WHIP, .254 AVG at Adv A Carolina