Two things are true when it comes to this week of Brewers baseball. First, the Brewers scored 15 runs in 6 games (or only 2.5 per game). However, the Crew also managed to pull off a record of 4-2 against the Cardinals and Rays behind solid pitching performances carrying a suddenly anemic looking Milwaukee offense. In addition, the Crew continued to keep pace with the first place Chicago Cubs. Now, with a winnable stretch of games coming up over the next 10 days, the Brewers need to take advantage and make their next move now, or it could be “checkmate” from Chicago before they know it.
With that being said, let’s take a moment to look at the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming series: @ Minnesota (8/7-8/8), vs. Minnesota (8/9-8/10) and vs. Cincinnati (8/11-8/13)
Pitching matchups @ Minnesota: Brent Suter (2-2, 3.04 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (12-7, 3.28 ERA); Matt Garza (5-5, 3.68 ERA) vs. Adalberto Mejia (4-5, 4.30 ERA)
Pitching matchups vs. Minnesota: Bartolo Colon (3-9, 7.32 ERA) vs. Brandon Woodruff (1-0, 0.00 ERA); Kyle Gibson (6-9, 6.03 ERA) vs. Zach Davies (13-5, 4.18 ERA)
Pitching matchups vs. Cincinnati: TBD vs. Jimmy Nelson (9-5, 3.24 ERA); TBD vs. TBD; TBD vs. TBD
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
Winner: Orlando Arcia
The main man, at last, makes his return! Once again, Arcia showed off his incredible defensive skills and effort in Milwaukee’s 2-0 win over Tampa Bay on Friday. After Evan Longoria hit a double down the left field line, everyone and their mother likely thought that the runner from first, Corey Dickerson, was going to score fairly comfortably. However, no one told the Brewers that. After a solid throw from Ryan Braun to start the relay, Arcia unleased the cannon, throwing a halfway to home Dickerson out from over 100 feet away with an absolute strike to Manny Pina to end the inning. He followed that up with a first pitch home run in the 8th inning off of Rays reliever Sergio Romo to help seal a big win for Milwaukee. Oh, and did we mention that all of this came on Arcia’s 23rd birthday?
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Orlando Arcia
For the first time in the week in review, a player has won two awards in the same week. Looking at the performance of Arcia, it’s hard to argue that he doesn’t deserve it. Not only did he have a fantastic 23rd birthday performance, he also had a solid week. While he didn’t start off very well for the week (0-for-4 against the Cardinals on Tuesday), he used the rest of the week to make up for it. He finished 8-for-21 (.380) with two home runs and 3 RBIs in leading the Brewers to the aforementioned 4-2 record. As far as the fans around social media who say he should me moved up in the order go: if Arcia keeps putting performances like this, he could stay in the bottom of the order for as long as he wants.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Brandon Woodruff
August 4th was a long time coming for Mr. Woodruff. Now, for pro players, everyone looks forward to the day where they can put on that uniform and play in a Major League Baseball game. However, Brandon Woodruff had a different experience than most, because this was, effectively, his second debut. On June 13th, the Brewers were playing the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Cardinals. As a result, they were allowed a 26th roster member, which came in handy on this day. Less than half an hour before he was to begin pitching, Woodruff was scratched with a tight hamstring, replaced by current rotation stronghold Brent Suter. So, on Friday, Woodruff gave fans what they had been waiting on for nearly two months. Over 6.1 innings, Woodruff threw 97 pitches while giving up 7 hits and two walks along with six strikeouts. The most impressive of all? No runs allowed. The Brewers would end up winning the game 2-0, putting the icing on top of a debut to remember for the right-hander.
AAA: Colorado Springs
Lewis Brinson (Brewers No. 1 Prospect; MLB.com’s #15 overall): .335, 22 2B, 4 3B, 10 HR, 43 RBI, 11 SB (71 games)
Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .287, 11 2B, 5 HR, 25 RBI, 6 SB (35 games played with CS)
Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 12 Prospect): .310, 19 2B, 9 3B, 17 HR, 69 RBI, 6 SB (85 games with CS)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 3 Prospect; MLB.com’s #79 overall): 4-5, 3.57 ERA, 80.2 IP, 72 K, 31 BB, 1.13 WHIP, .207 Opponent AVG (No starts as of publishing)
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 7 Prospect): 3-3, 2.12 ERA, 59.1 IP, 61 K, 9 BB, 0.88 WHIP, .199 AVG
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect; MLB.com’s #67 overall): .239, 24 2B, 6 HR, 40 RBI, 21 SB at A Adv Carolina
Keston Hiura (Brewers No. 5 Prospect; MLB.com’s #93 overall): .375, 8 2B, 2 3B, 11 RBI, 2 SB at A Wisconsin (18 games)
Lucas Erceg (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .243, 25 2B, 12 HR, 65 RBI at A Adv Carolina
Trey Supak (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): 3-3, 4.78 ERA, 58.1 IP, 50 K, 21 BB, 1.27 WHIP, .240 AVG at Adv A Carolina
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 18 Prospect; No. 19 last week): .269, 36 2B, 11 HR, 53 RBI, 7 SB at A Adv Carolina
Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 25 Prospect; No. 26 last week): .243, 14 2B, 4 HR, 32 RBI, 8 SB at A Wisconsin