My fellow Milwaukee Brewers’ fans, this was certainly not the week that we had hoped for. After winning the third game of the Dodgers’ series, the Brewers have dropped five straight games, including a four-game sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. Injuries continue to plague this team, but we remain in sole possession of second place in the National League Central.
As we review the state of the Brewers after five weeks of the 2021 season, keep in mind that brighter days are ahead. Despite the losing streak and injuries, the Brewers still have 130 games left to play. There is time to get healthy and get wins. In due time, this week will be but a fleeting memory in the long 2021 season.
What Went Right For The Milwaukee Brewers
In such a poor week, it is difficult to find the bright side of things at times. However, the fact that the Brewers do have a few things going for them cannot be denied. From the pitching to some good individual offensive performances, there is enough to remind fans that all hope is not lost.
Entering this week, Avisail Garcia was mired in a long slump. His batting average was dangerously close to the Mendoza line, and he looked lost at the plate. However, in the last two games, Gracia is five for his last five at the plate. He has been a streaky hitter throughout the course of his career, and he is incredibly fun to watch when he is in the zone. Hopefully, he carries it over to the next week and can help the Brewers get back into the win column.
Entering the Philadelphia series, Lorenzo Cain was on the 10-day IL. However, he returned in the second game of the series and had himself a nice individual series. He was two for seven from the plate, walked four times, and scored four runs. He also drove in two runs. Having Cain healthy, hitting, and scoring is going to be an important facet of the Brewers’ offense going forward.
Aside from the Brewers’ blowout loss to the Dodgers in the final game of their series, the team’s bullpen has been stellar, as it has been all season. Brent Suter, Brad Boxberger, JP Feyereisen, and Drew Rasmussen all made multiple scoreless appearances over the course of the week. For Rasmussen, especially, this is a great sign after his early-season struggles.
Eric Lauer was the victim of some pretty bad defense in his start against the Phillies. Due to an error, he gave up far more runs (six) than he could have (two). Without the error, he had a quality start, pitching six innings and allowing just two earned runs. He also struck out seven Phillies batters. With Corbin Burnes on the IL, Lauer pitching well will be important for the Brewers in the short term. If he continues to pitch well, he may stay with the Big League club even after Burnes comes back.
The Brewers’ ace has been just that: an ace. Woody has pitched six consecutive quality starts and continues to dominate hitters. In his latest game, a loss, he went 6.2 innings, allowed just one run, and struck out 11. Unfortunately, he is the victim of a lack of run support. Despite his 1.73 ERA, he is just 2-1 in seven starts thus far. Once the Brewers’ offense gets healthy, the wins are going to start coming in bunches for Woody.
What Went Wrong For The Milwaukee Brewers
In a week that included a five-game losing streak, there was plenty that went wrong for the Brewers. Clearly, there are holes in the offense and injuries continue to plague the team.
The Inability To Hit With Runners On Base
Aside from their shutout loss to the Phillies in the fourth game of their series, the Brewers have not had issues getting men on base. They have, however, failed to hit with runners in scoring position. Over the past four games, the Brewers have had 36 at-bats in which there were runners in scoring position. They have gotten a hit just eight times, a .222 average.
As a result, the Brewers lost each of their four games against the Phillies by a combined five runs. Timely hitting could have turned this sweep into another series win.
On the same night Lorenzo Cain returned to the Brewers’ lineup, so did Christian Yelich. Despite getting two hits in the game, Yelich was put back on the 10-day IL following the game. His back still has not healed. Though there is no structural damage, he still cannot play every day.
Corbin Burnes and Brett Anderson, two of the Brewers’ starters, are both on the IL. In total, 14 players are on some kind of injured list. Mark Mathias, who was placed on the 60-day IL during Spring Training, was officially ruled out for the season after he underwent season-ending shoulder surgery.
Keston Hiura Sent Down
With the minor league season starting, Keston Hiura was sent down to Triple A. Hiura’s struggles have been well-documented all season long. Hopefully, some time away from Milwaukee will allow him to re-focus and he can get his swing back.
The Brewers are a much better team with Hiura in the lineup and hitting well. Fans should be hopeful that he finds his swing again instead of relishing in his struggles.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW THE BREWERS’ SEASON HAS PROGRESSED:
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week One
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week Two
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week Three
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week Four
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