This is the best time of year to be a baseball fan. Independence Day, one of the major holidays that fall within baseball’s calendar, has come and gone. Last night was the All-Star Game, where Corey Knebel represented the Brewers in the mid-summer classic (even though he didn’t pitch, and Shaw should have been there too, just saying). However, there may also not be a better time to be a Brewers fan in recent times than right now. The Brewers sit at 50-41 with a 5.5 game division lead in the NL Central heading into the break, and after yet another solid week, they most definitely deserve it.
With that being said, it’s time for a look at the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming Series: vs. Philadelphia (7/14-7/16)
Pitching matchups vs. Philadelphia: Nick Pivetta (2-4, 4.73 ERA) vs. Zach Davies (10-4, 4.90 ERA); Aaron Nola (6-6, 3.59 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (8-4, 3.30 ERA); Jeremy Hellickson (5-5, 4.49 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (4-4, 3.98 ERA)
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
Winner: Orlando Arcia
Pretty soon, we’re going to have begin calling this the Orlando Arcia award if he keeps this pace up. Once again, the shortstop proved this week to be one of the most exciting players in recent times for the Brewers, as he dazzled both at the plate and on the basepaths. His “now you see me, now you don’t” style rundown escape against the Orioles is one of the best highlights of the entire Brewers first half this year, and that’s counting highlights for a 50-WIN TEAM. Safe to say, it is going to be hard for someone to knock Arica off his perch.
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Jesus Aguilar
Could it truly have been anyone else? The Brewers turned some heads on the national stage following their series win over the Yankees this past weekend, and Jesus Aguilar was a major catalyst of that, as he effectively won one of those games for the Crew. With his 2 home run, 7 RBI performance in Friday’s 9-4 victory at Yankee Stadium, Aguilar got back on track showing the power that many fans saw during Spring Training in Arizona a few months ago. With Eric Thames possibly coming back to form after solid recent performances, how much playing time will Aguilar find for himself during the end-of-season stretch? We’ll have to wait and see.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Brent Suter
For the third consecutive week, we have a new winner of the Ben Sheets award. This time, it’s (relative) newcomer Brent Suter, who produced two very solid starts against consecutive AL East opponents. In Monday’s game against Baltimore, Suter coasted through six innings, allowing just four hits, one walk and a single unearned run while striking out 8 Orioles. He followed that performance up with a second impressive outing, with 5 punchouts and just two earned runs in 6.1 innings against a powerful Yankees lineup. While Corey Knebel was not able to get it done in the latter game to give Suter his second win of the week, the lefty did more than enough to earn this award for the week.
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): .233, 4 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB (currently on temporary inactive list)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 4 Prospect): 3-4, 4.08 ERA, 64.0 IP, 57 K, 26 BB, 1.22 WHIP, .224 Opponent AVG
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 20 Prospect): 2-1, 1.06 ERA, 42.1 IP, 43 K, 6 BB, 0.76 WHIP, .174 AVG
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect): .237, 18 2B, 4 HR, 33 RBI, 18 SB at A Adv Carolina
Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 23 Prospect): .249, 11 2B, 3 HR, 24 RBI, 7 SB at A Wisconsin
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .278, 29 2B, 10 HR, 41 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina
Trey Supak (Brewers No. 29 Prospect): 2-3, 5.65 ERA, 43.0 IP, 38 K, 19 BB, 1.42 WHIP, .255 AVG at Adv A Carolina