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Bring on the Last Place Cardinals: The Brewers Bar Weekly Hangover 4/10–4/16

Each Monday evening we will review our favorite and least favorite events of the previous week, and share our perspective on how the team is doing.  Please enjoy responsibly.

Cheers! (Something good that happened)

Over .500: It seemed like it had been a while since the Brewers had a winning record, but I didn’t know exactly how long until I saw Tom Haudricourt’s tweet.

The end of the 2014 certainly didn’t feel like a winning record considering how badly the Brewers fell apart that September.  Fan expectations have changed since then, so when the Brewers got to 6-5 on Friday, it was pretty impressive.  For the first time in a while, I had forgotten what it feels like to follow an objectively above average team.

Buzzkill (Something lame that happened)

Brewers Trade Best-Named Player, While Matt Garza Prepares to Darken Our Door Once Again: Oliver Drake turned in an impressive two innings of work in the Brewers’ historic win that got them over .500, but the Brewers may have lost more over the long term.  Drake was acquired from Baltimore in exchange for reliever Damien Magnifico.  Magnifico did not see a lot of time at the major league level, but it’s hard to argue the Brewers lost their best-named player.  If he had become a productive player, who wouldn’t want to be seen wearing a “Magnifico” jersey?  That kind of jersey has staying power even after the player leaves town.  Plenty of fans think “Magnifico” is a lifestyle choice more than anything, and presumably would be happy to advertise that.  The Brewers may have given away huge potential merchandising upside to the Orioles without much of a fight.

In other underwhelming pitching news… *sigh*…Garza had a successful rehab start.  That means him, his bloated contract, his inability to field his position, and his unwillingness to pitch out of the bullpen despite lack of production will be back in Milwaukee in the not too distant future.  Just when we were enjoying some pretty decent outings from the back half of the rotation, the dreary reality of a rebuilding team’s pitching prowess is about to return from the DL…

Here’s to You (Standout player(s) or play(s) of the week)

Eric Thames: Let’s first give some love to Manny Piña, who went 9-for-16 last week, including a four-hit game, and threw out Billy Hamilton.  Brewers fans love us some Manny Piña.

But right now, Thames is The Man.  With his five homers in Cincinnati, Thames ended Sunday with an MLB-leading 1.376 OPS, and is attracting mainstream attention outside of Milwaukee media.  It’s only been two weeks, so Thames could very well be slumping by the end of the month, but STILL.  Let’s enjoy this while we can.

 

Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)

Speaking of enjoying things while we can, the Brewers visit Chicago for the first time in 2017, and they’re ahead of the Cubs in the NL Central by half a game.  That might not be true by the end of the night, so the time to bask is now.

Four-Game Series April continues when the Brewers welcome the – wait for it – last place Cardinals to Miller Park.  I’m going to type that again since I don’t often get to experience this particular brand of joy…

Last place Cardinals.

Still, based on recent history, it would be foolish for Brewers fans to look forward to a Cardinals series in Milwaukee.  The goddamn Cardinals are 21-8 at Miller Park since the start of the 2014 season, and have not lost a series in Milwaukee during that span.  Brewers home wins against the Cardinals are rare and special.  A win against the last place Cardinals would be like finding a unicorn.

Mmm, last place Cardinals.