Milwaukee is Headed to the Playoffs
With a win over the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday, the Milwaukee Brewers have clinched a playoff berth. This will be their second playoff appearance in a row. The Brewers went to the NLCS in 2018 losing to the Los Angeles Dodgers in game seven. The franchise has never won a World Series, this team will be looking to change that.
An Improbable Run
Christian Yelich suffered a season-ending injury in a win against the Miami Marlins, on September 10th. Many people counted the Brewers out after the injury to the reigning NL MVP. After all, he does lead the team in every major batting category. When a player of that caliber goes down, the team is expected to struggle. Milwaukee has done the exact opposite. Since his injury, the “Brew Crew” is 12-2. They’ve been on a truly improbable run through the month of September.
Overcoming the Odds
It has been a complete team effort in the last two weeks. One thing that really stands out is the pitching. In the last two weeks, Milwaukee has allowed over three runs just once. Their current six-game win streak can be attributed to that.
The absence of Yelich seemed to motivate this team. Veteran and long-time Brewer, Ryan Braun, has stepped up in a big way. He launched a grand slam in the first inning of Wednesday’s ball game. It was part of a six-run inning, which was all they needed to win the game. The former MVP has been a much-needed spark for the Brewers.
Craig Counsell should be getting a lot of credit as well. The Brewers manager has made great decisions in tense situations throughout the month. He chooses to rely on his bullpen more than most managers around the league — and it pays off. Guys like Brent Suter and Drew Pomeranz have emerged as viable options. While their closer Josh Hader continues to impress. Hader is currently second in the National League in saves. Sure a ton of players have stepped up recently to fuel the playoff push, but props to Counsell for keeping his team motivated throughout.
Looking to the Playoffs
Although the Brewers have officially clinched, there are four crucial games remaining for this team. They are only 1.5 games back from the St. Louis Cardinals for the NL Central crown. If they were to win the division they could avoid a wildcard match-up and head right into the NLDS match-up with the Atlanta Braves.
In addition to that, the team sits just one game back from the Washington Nationals for the first wildcard spot; so winning these games is important. If the team were to finish ahead of, or tied with the Nationals in the standings, they would have home-field advantage for the NL wildcard game. The game would take place on October 1st.
This team was just one game away from a World Series appearance last season. After seeing what they’re capable of look for the Brewers to potentially make some noise this October. Whether they remain a wildcard team or rally back to win the division: this team his headed into the postseason with high hopes.