If you have been following the Brewers for any time at all, you know that they can be extremely streaky. At the beginning of almost every year there is a point where they go on a tear and make their fans believe that they could be special, then the All-Star break comes along and they crash back down to earth. Somewhere towards the end of the season they get hot again before falling short and then fading away completely.
Brewers fans have relived that roller coaster so many times, yet, every year they still buy in and hope beyond hope that somehow the current season will be different. So far, in 2017, it has been. The Brewers went into the break with a 5.5 game lead, and then start the second half with a 9-6 win over the Phillies by scoring 8 runs in the second inning with the help of Ryan Braun’s team record sixth grand slam. It’s this consistency and explosive offense that has gotten the attention of General Manager, David Stearns and Brewers Owner, Mark Attanasio. They have both agreed that the main goal is to build a team for the future, but that they will start to invest in the “now” as soon as they believe the team is ready to make a run.
It’s obvious that even though the Brewers are having a solid season and are in first place, a lot of that success has to do with the fact that the Cubs and Cardinals are struggling greatly this year. Everyone expected Chicago to run away with the division with St. Louis on their heels and the Brewers and everyone else putting up a valiant effort somewhere behind them. That hasn’t happened at all, and right now, Brewers fans have started to slide back from the edge of their seat and are actually beginning to relax a little bit as their team is flexing a very big muscle for the rest of the league to see.
Zach Davies just won his 11th game and Jimmy Nelson will be going for number 9 tomorrow. Corey Knebel recorded his 15th save, Josh Hader solidified his spot as the dominant left-hander in the bullpen, and Jared Barnes is locked in as the setup man. They have some very solid pitchers but everyone knows that if they are going to make a solid run, they are going to have to add another arm or two.
In the beginning of the season, Ryan Braun was rumored to be on the trading block, and he would still probably help bring a decent price if the Brewers were selling to a team trying to make a run into the playoffs. Since Milwaukee is the potential buyer in this situation, the Brewers are probably going to want to keep Braun and are going to have to give up some young prospects from their farm system. The Brewers have shown interest in veteran right-hander Sonny Gray from the Athletics, and have been rumored to have their eyes on a few others as well. Another possibility is that they could promote rookie Josh Hader to the starting rotation and pursue a reliever.
Either way, it’s clear that the Brewers are definitely for real in 2017, and that things are really starting to heat up in Milwaukee. Something about this team feels very special, and even if they don’t make a deep run this year, the future looks bright, and very soon, everyone would be well advised to, “Fear the Beer!”