The Brewers have won a three game series against the Red Sox, the Yankees in New York and split a four game series with the Diamondbacks. Sounds like a well paved road to success until you see that they lost two out of three to Philadelphia and got swept by Pittsburgh. Tonight they shutout the Nationals 8-0 in Washington D.C. while launching three big bombs.
That could be a good thing. It means that the Brewers are focused against good teams. It also shows that they tend to lose focus sometimes though. When the nerves are up and the heart is pumping, it’s hard to know which one will show up. Relying on the home run like the Brewers do, the key is to always maintain focus. Plus, the series gets longer and the good teams tend to step up more when the season is on the line.
What it does show, is that they are capable of hanging with the best teams in the league. They can hit off of top pitchers and contain the best hitters in the league. Even though they are less experienced then those others teams they are gaining confidence, and confidence is a big deal in the playoffs.
One area that could be a huge benefit to Milwaukee in the postseason is their depth, not only on the bench but also in the lineup. Injuries don’t seem to slow them down a bit. Ryan Braun, Eric Thames and Travis Shaw were all out for a period early in the season and the team seemed to get hotter instead of slowing down. Plus, there are guys that could be starters that sit out on a regular basis. It’s also hard to find a soft spot in a batting order that has plenty of power and speed.
Everyone criticizes and doubts the stability of the pitching staff almost from top to bottom. Corey Knebel has had a monumental season already. He is dangerous as Hell in the ninth inning and can offer Milwaukee a door slamming edge in close games. When Chase Anderson is healthy, the Brewers are capable of marching out three very solid starters. These guys also seem to pitch their best when the chips are down.
Going a bit off topic, the Brewers also seem to play good ball when their back is against the wall as far as the standings go. Just tonight, the Brewers had a half-game lead on the Cubs after being 5.5 games up less than two weeks ago. If the Crew can bolster their strengths and bury their weaknesses, they could be a menace when the meaningful games begin.