Well, this is getting interesting.
In a year of up-and-down weeks, the Brewers likely had their most up-and-down week this past week against a pair of division foes. First up was the Reds, the team who currently resides in the cellar of the NL Central. The Brewers proceeded to get swept in what may have been their ugliest series all year. Then came a three-game set at Wrigley Field against the division leading Chicago Cubs. The Brewers did not get swept this time around. In fact, they gave the Cubs a taste of the same medicine they had tasted just days earlier, handing the team from the North Side a sweep and pulling within just two games of the Cubs in the tight race for the division.
Now, let’s take a look at the week ahead for the Crew.
The Week Ahead
Upcoming series: vs. Pittsburgh (9/11-9/13) and @ Miami (9/15-9/17)
Pitching probables vs. Pittsburgh: Steven Brault (0-0, 5.79 ERA) vs. Brandon Woodruff (1-1, 1.52 ERA); Gerrit Cole (11-9, 3.93 ERA) vs. Brent Suter (2-2, 3.55 ERA); Tyler Glasnow (2-6, 7.45 ERA) vs. Chase Anderson (9-3, 2.93 ERA)
Pitching probables @ Miami: TBD vs. Adam Conley (6-7, 5.23 ERA; TBD vs. Odrisamer Despaigne (0-3, 4.38 ERA); TBD vs. TBD
Rollie Fingers Award for First-Team All-Swagger (player that went out “balls to the wall”)
No one specific person will get this award this week, as the team as a whole showed a lot of swagger, specifically in knocking off the Cubs in Chicago. Going into a series where they needed at least a series win, they came through with a rather convincing sweep, in the process showing their rivals to the south that they are in no position to go away anytime soon.
The Robin Yount Award for Pure and Utter Dominance (Most Dominant Player)
Winner: Hernan Perez
Over the past few weeks, the Brewers offense has been called several things by the Milwaukee faithful on social media, including “anemic”, “pathetic” and “garbage”. However, a certain game this week changed that (at least for now). On Saturday, the Brewers dropped 15 runs on the Cubs on their way to a 15-2 victory to take game two and provide the catalyst for their eventual series sweep. A big part of that game was Hernan Perez, who drove in 5 runs, including a 2-run shot which wrapped around the foul pole. Even outside of that one specific great performance, the Crew’s utility man had a solid series in general, going 2-for-3 in his other appearance on Sunday.
The Ben Sheets Award for Best Heat (Best Pitcher)
Winner: Anthony Swarzak/Corey Knebel
Okay, I really couldn’t decide between these two as to who deserved this award more. Because of this, at the end of the day, I decided that they both deserved it. The Crew’s shutdown 8th/9th inning combo had a great series against Chicago, combining for 4 innings pitched and 8 strikeouts without walking a single Cubs batter.
Swarzak: 2 holds (19, 20), 2 IP, 4 K
Knebel: 2 saves (33, 34), 2 IP, 2 H, 4 K
If the Brewers are going to be able to make their way back from the depths into a playoff spot, the pitching staff is going to be key, as is the back end of the bullpen.
AAA: Colorado Springs
Lewis Brinson (Brewers No. 1 Prospect; MLB.com’s #13 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): .272, 15 2B, 6 HR, 33 RBI, 7 SB (58 games played with CS)
Lucas Erceg (Brewers No. 10 Prospect): .400, 2 2B, 2 RBI (3 games)
Brett Phillips (Brewers No. 12 Prospect): .305, 23 2B, 10 3B, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 9 SB (105 games with CS)
AA: Biloxi Shuckers
Luis Ortiz (Brewers No. 3 Prospect; MLB.com’s #75 overall): 4-7, 4.01 ERA, 94.1 IP, 79 K, 37 BB, 1.23 WHIP, .227 Opponent AVG
Corbin Burnes (Brewers No. 7 Prospect): 3-3, 2.10 ERA, 85.2 IP, 84 K, 20 BB, 1.00 WHIP, .212 AVG
Jake Gatewood (Brewers No. 18 Prospect): .239, 4 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 3 SB (23 games)
A: Carolina Mudcats/Wisconsin Timber Rattlers
Corey Ray (Brewers No. 2 Prospect; MLB.com’s #63 overall): .238, 29 2B, 7 HR, 48 RBI, 24 SB at A Adv Carolina (106 games)
Keston Hiura (Brewers No. 5 Prospect; MLB.com’s #88 overall): .333, 11 2B, 2 3B, 15 RBI, 2 SB at A Wisconsin (27 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): .251, 16 2B, 4 HR, 36 RBI, 10 SB at A Wisconsin (104 games)