The Brewers came into this week holding onto their division lead in the NL Central by the skin of their teeth, with the suddenly red-hot Cubs hot on their trail. After a promising 8-0 winning start against Washington, the Brewers cracked, as the bullpen squandered game 2 and Michael Blazek got scorched for 5 home runs in one inning in a game 3 15-2 blowout. The Crew took that punch in the gut and responded with a hard-fought 2-1 win against the Cubs, who now led by 1.5 games, to bring the standings back to 0.5. However, a couple losses later and it’s now at 2.5 games back for Milwaukee with the trade deadline and St. Louis approaching. Will the Brewers buy, sell, or stay put? Will they bounce back against the Cards? Only time will tell.
With that being said, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming series: vs. St. Louis (8/1-8/3) and @ Tampa Bay (8/4-8/6)
Pitching matchups vs. St. Louis: Carlos Martinez (7-8, 3.52 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (8-5, 3.38 ERA); TBD vs. TBD; Michael Wacha (8-4, 3.71 ERA) vs. TBD
Pitching matchups @ Tampa Bay: TBD vs. TBD; TBD vs. TBD; TBD vs. TBD
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
Winner: Lewis Brinson
Sweet Lew makes his first appearance on the Week In Review awards list, as he picks up the Rollie Fingers Award here. Now, he has definitely not gotten off to the best start at the plate since coming up to the big leagues, as while he has hit 2 home runs, he is hitting just .111. However, where he has really shined in his short time in MLB is in the field. In each of the last two games of the Cubs series, he made a great, clutch catches to prevent Chicago runs from scoring (one on Kyle Schwarber, one on Addison Russell). Catches like the ones that Brinson pulled off are some of the most exciting plays in baseball when they occur, so two in one series is more than enough to earn the phrase “balls to the wall”.
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Travis Shaw
The Mayor of Ding Dong City did it again this week. Coming off of a 6-for-20 week where he clubbed two home runs and added 4 RBIs (bringing his totals on the season to 24 and 74 respectively), Shaw more than deserves this award. While one of his dingers came in the dismantling of the Crew in the nation’s capital, the third baseman has seemingly made it a mission to prove to everyone in the baseball world that he should have been a 2017 All-Star selection. So far in the second half, while the Brewers may be struggling, Shaw has been one of the team’s bright spots.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Zach Davies
When a baby faced Zach Davies arrived on the scene in 2016, he impressed not only Brewers fans, but managers and teams around the league as well. While he was not and has never been a strikeout pitcher (135 Ks in 163.1 IP in 2016), he got guys out and kept them from crossing the plate at a reasonable rate. Now, in 2017, fans have been wondering “where is that Zach Davies?” Well, we saw some of him in Tuesday’s 8-0 victory against the Nationals. Over the course of 114 pitches in 7.2 innings, Davies would strike out 7 Washington batters while only surrendering 3 hits and 3 walks. Even in taking a loss on Sunday, Davies looked solid, adding another 6 strikeouts to his total and giving up 3 earned runs against a powerful and hot-hitting Cubs lineup. Here’s to hoping we see more of 2016 Davies throughout the remainder of 2017.
AAA: Colorado Springs
Brandon Woodruff (Brewers No. 4 Prospect; MLB.com’s #94 overall): 6-5, 4.46 ERA, 72.2 IP, 70 K, 24 BB, 1.33 WHIP, .259 Opponent AVG
Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .297, 11 2B, 4 HR, 22 RBI, 6 SB (29 games played with CS)
Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 12 Prospect): .293, 16 2B, 8 3B, 17 HR, 66 RBI, 6 SB (79 games with CS)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 3 Prospect; MLB.com’s #81 overall): 4-5, 3.57 ERA, 80.2 IP, 72 K, 31 BB, 1.13 WHIP, .207 Opponent AVG
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 7 Prospect): 3-3, 2.32 ERA, 54.1 IP, 54 K, 9 BB, 0.92 WHIP, .206 AVG
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect; MLB.com’s #68 overall): .235, 22 2B, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 20 SB at A Adv Carolina
Keston Hiura (Brewers No. 5 Prospect; MLB.com’s #95 overall): 11 games: .400, 4 2B, 2 3B, 7 RBI at A Wisconsin
Lucas Erceg (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .246, 24 2B, 12 HR, 64 RBI at A Adv Carolina
Trey Supak (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): 2-3, 5.23 ERA, 53.1 IP, 46 K, 21 BB, 1.35 WHIP, .250 AVG at Adv A Carolina
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 18 Prospect; No. 19 last week): .270, 34 2B, 11 HR, 50 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina
Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 25 Prospect; No. 26 last week): .244, 14 2B, 4 HR, 29 RBI, 8 SB at A Wisconsin