Ugh – This is a Post Where I Give the Brewers Credit for Being Crazy Good Right Now

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Ugh – This is a Post Where I Give the Brewers Credit for Being Crazy Good Right Now

Analysis and Commentary, MLB News and Rumors

By the time the Brewers kick off the NLCS against the Dodgers or the Braves this Friday, they will have not lost a baseball game for nearly three weeks. We were already in a “give them credit” mode by the time they tied the Cubs, and then beat them in Game 163, but now it’s gone way over the top. This team cannot lose.

Yesterday, the Brewers pulled off the NLDS sweep of the Rockies, the team against whom the Cubs looked so punchless in the Wild Card Game. The fact that the Brewers made the Rockies look so very bad and non-competitive in the NLDS is all the more evidence of just how crapped out the Cubs were by the end of the year.

How exactly the Brewers have managed this, I will forever not quite understand. Their lineup is solid – with a couple very, very good bats, and then a mix of OK and bad – and their bullpen is very good. But their rotation’s success mystifies me, and their defense should be downright bad. Then again, the defense is good at a couple key spots (shortstop and center field), and the bullpen being so deep and strong clearly strengthens the rotation by limiting its exposure. This would not be an .800+ winning percentage club over the course of a season, but it’s probably always been better than we were willing to acknowledge. And in the postseason, with extra days off, that bullpen is going to play up.

Good for them. The Brewers made some aggressive moves before the season began that were at times head scratching because they were so positionally-focused, and then they doubled down during trade season, adding even more bats and failing to make an impactful starting pitcher addition.

Yet … it has worked. Clearly.

Their season is not over, but they will have already driven some thinking about what a winning roster can look like (if not across the league, then at least here at BN as we muse some things). I tend to think they’ve gotten lucky as hell in a lot of ways – and you shouldn’t build a strategy around that, obviously – but I also think perhaps they have done some counterintuitive things that will at least be worth studying.

(Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)

Now, they’ll be well rested for Friday’s NLCS Game One, slightly more so than their opponent, as the Braves beat the Dodgers last night to force a Game Four in their NLDS today.

Look. I’m duty-bound to root against the Brewers this year because they snatched that NLDS spot from the Cubs. But it’s possible that, even if they hadn’t, they would have whooped the Cubs instead of the Rockies for three games. How much would that have sucked? So, I’ll still be rooting against the Brewers in the NLCS, but I’m also going to openly acknowledge that (1) they’ve had a heck of a run, (2) they look unstoppable right now, and (3) I’m not sure anything the Cubs did would have mattered.

Ultimately, I think this will be good for the Cubs, too. They will sit at home this October, not playing in an NLDS or NLCS for the first time in four years, watching the Brewers streak. Watching the celebrations of the very team they failed to hold off in September. It’s making me eager for 2019 already, so I can only imagine what it’s doing for the Cubs.


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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.