Each Sunday 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)
Rumor Has It: Although the Brewers are generally doing better than most of us thought they would, there hasn’t been much in the way of excitement this season. They’ve won a series against the Cubs, they haven’t yet been swept by the Cardinals, Braun and Lucroy are playing well, Junior Guerra has been a pleasant surprise, etc. That’s all well and good, but since the Brewers were never expected to contend this year, the day to day activity of the season lacks a certain gravity. When Taylor Jungmann was demoted, or when Chris Carter goes through another slump, or when Domingo Santana lands on the DL again, it doesn’t generate much emotion. It’s not like any of these unfortunate events are going to hurt the Brewers in the pennant race.
Then something happened this week that reminded Brewers fans we are living humans capable of feeling passion. A rumor popped up that the Brewers had made some overtures to the San Francisco Giants about maybe, possibly trading Ryan Braun. And we were all like, OMG you can’t trade Braun with that contract. Or we were like, well, if any club shouldn’t have a problem with Braun’s PED history, it would be Barry Bonds’ former team. And some folks said, no, Braun’s contract is pretty favorable if the Brewers are willing to pay off the rest of this year. Then Ken Rosenthal said Braun makes sense for the Giants, but not really.
For a couple of days, Brewers fans had something interesting to discuss. It was kinda nice.
Buzzkill (Something forgettable that happened)
Costly Errors, Bad Decisions: California was not good to the Brewers, but our home team did not do themselves any favors, committing a number of silly boners along the way. (I’m doing my part to bring back the primary meaning of “boner” into common use.) In Tuesday’s game in San Francisco, Will Smith threw two wild pitches in a row, allowing the Giants to score the go-ahead run. The next day, the Giants routed the Brewers without breaking a sweat, and that game included a fairly embarrassing pickoff of Jonathan Villar by Johnny Cueto.
The Brewers won the first game of their series in Los Angeles, picking up Keon Broxton, who committed errors on back-to-back plays in the sixth inning that helped the Dodgers tie the game. In the second game in the series, the Brewers lost when Justin Turner got a walk-off hit with the bases loaded in the tenth inning – the bases being loaded thanks to two intentional walks so the Brewers could pitch to Turner. And naturally, in the third inning of today’s game Matt Garza showed he hasn’t recovered from his limp inability to field his position and throw to first base. That was before Tyler Thornburg walked in the winning run in the ninth.
The Brewers were outplayed all week, but the fact they kept shooting themselves in their collective foot made it rough on the fans who stayed up late to watch the West Coast road trip.
Here’s to You (Standout player(s) or play(s) of the week)
Vin Scully: Obviously, the man is a legend and the praise of some random Milwaukee blogger means not a whit. Still, it’s hard to put into words how amazing it is that Scully worked this casually brutal takedown of socialism into his broadcast Friday.
“Anyway, 0-2…” If only Twitter had something stronger than a “like” button. This calls for a “F*** YEAH” button.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
Christ, more games in California? At least it’s against Oakland, a team the Brewers had some success against a couple weeks ago. Maybe Khris Davis will finally have a chance to face his old team. He had today off after leaving the A’s Saturday game with a cramping calf, so he should be good by Tuesday.
Then the Brewers return home to face the first place Washington Nationals. By my count, Max Scherzer will be on the mound to open the series Friday. It was just over a year ago that Scherzer set a career high with 16 strikeouts and would have no-hit the Brewers if not for Carlos Gomez’ bloop hit. If they can get two hits against Scherzer and strike out 15 times, they’ve come a long way.
(Image: Scott Strazzant/The Chronicle)