The toughest part of the season thus far for the Brewers has come and gone and, all told, things went pretty well. The Crew escaped Colorado, San Francisco and Los Angeles with a 5-4 record. There was some good (series win over Dodgers, pitching looked good) but also some bad (series loss to San Fran, falling victim to AT&T Park and Dodger Stadium dimensions). However, the road ahead gets no easier. The Crew’s reward? An always tough Cardinals squad that remains just 2.5 back of Milwaukee’s second spot despite recent struggles, as well as the NL East-leading Washington Nationals. If the Brewers can close in further on Chicago over the next six games, perhaps some scoreboard watching would be in order? We shall see.
For now, though, let’s catch a look at the week ahead.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming series: vs. St. Louis (8/29-8/30) and vs. Washington (8/31-9/3)
Pitching probables vs. St. Louis: Luke Weaver (2-1, 2.31 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (6-7, 4.67 ERA); Carlos Martinez (10-9, 3.48 ERA) vs. Chase Anderson (7-3, 2.87 ERA)
Pitching probables vs. Washington: Gio Gonzalez (13-5, 2.40 ERA) vs. Zach Davies (15-7, 3.91 ERA); Tanner Roark (11-8, 4.63 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (10-6, 3.75 ERA); TBD vs. Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.62 ERA); Max Scherzer (13-5, 2.21 ERA) vs. Matt Garza (6-8, 4.77 ERA)
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
Winner: Hernan Perez
With a west coast trip brings some California swagger. Add to that all the pageantry that came with the inaugural Player’s Weekend, and you have several candidates for this award. However, Hernan “Pan Blanco” Perez takes home this award this week. He hit the most important home runs in some time for the Brewers with a third inning solo shot off of Yu Darvish that helped propel the Brewers to the series win, the first team do accomplish such a feat over the Dodgers since June 5-7 when Washington took the Brooklyn transplants down.
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Domingo Santana
So, with no one really jumping off the page this week in terms of dominance, I went with the person who performed the best in the team’s wins, even though he did perform pretty well in one of their losses too. That man is Domingo Santana (yeah, it was a somewhat boring week). Hopefully, the Crew can return to their offensive ways in this coming week and make the next award winner much more dominant.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Corey Knebel
Well, should we really consider renaming this award? Put me down as a maybe, but Knebel has certainly found himself in this spot a lot, as he does here. The Crew’s main man in the ‘pen had plenty of opportunity this week, as he notched saves 27, 28 and 29 as well as racking up 5 strikeouts in just 3 innings pitched, including a pair in both outings against the league’s best in Los Angeles. A man who has sometimes looked more like a reincarnation of K-Rod and his “15 minutes of terror”, this week showed a Knebel who seems to have found his footing again and can be a reliable part of the Brewers’ playoff hopes.
AAA: Colorado Springs
Lewis Brinson (Brewers No. 1 Prospect; MLB.com’s #15 overall): .331, 22 2B, 4 3B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 11 SB (76 games) Currently out with hamstring injury
Mauricio Dubon (Brewers No. 9 Prospect): .273, 14 2B, 5 HR, 28 RBI, 7 SB (51 games played with CS)
Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 12 Prospect): .309, 23 2B, 10 3B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 9 SB (103 games with CS)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 3 Prospect; MLB.com’s #78 overall): 4-7, 3.99 ERA, 90.1 IP, 78 K, 33 BB, 1.20 WHIP, .226 Opponent AVG
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 7 Prospect): 3-3, 2.18 ERA, 82.2 IP, 82 K, 17 BB, 0.97 WHIP, .209 AVG
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 18 Prospect): .275, 4 2B, 2 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI, 2 SB (17 games)
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect; MLB.com’s #66 overall): .242, 28 2B, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 24 SB at A Adv Carolina (106 games)
Keston Hiura (Brewers No. 5 Prospect; MLB.com’s #91 overall): .347, 9 2B, 2 3B, 15 RBI, 2 SB at A Wisconsin (24 games) Currently on 7-day DL
Lucas Erceg (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .257, 32 2B, 14 HR, 77 RBI at A Adv Carolina (124 games)
Trey Supak (Brewers No. 16 Prospect): 3-4, 4.60 ERA, 72.1 IP, 57 K, 28 BB, 1.29 WHIP, .241 AVG at Adv A Carolina
Mario Feliciano (Brewers No. 25 Prospect): .252, 16 2B, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 9 SB at A Wisconsin (101 games)