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! (Best event/news of the week)
Brewers Draft Picks Get Paid: I must admit I don’t follow the MLB draft closely. It seems like high draft picks are hit or miss, while more than a few late picks end up having productive big league careers. But I understand it’s important for teams to sign those top prospects that will hopefully be contributors one day. And I can’t help but feel delighted for any high school kid who signs a $1.8 million+ contract after graduation – it makes me proud to be an American.
Just a couple of days after the draft, two of the Brewers’ three Day 1 picks – shortstop Jacob Gatewood and outfielder Monte Harrison – were shown the money and took it. Apparently, both signing bonuses significantly exceeded their slot value – Gatewood’s by $450,000 and Harrison’s by $700,000. Who knows if we’ll ever hear from either of these guys again, but it warms my heart anytime someone gets a big pay day, especially when it’s more than some people think they’re worth.
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Fan Falls into Bullpen: You may have heard that the Brewers-Twins game on Tuesday was delayed before the eighth inning when a fan fell from Friday’s into the home bullpen. The guy was released from the hospital later that evening, so apparently he’s fine. We are now free to speculate about the circumstances of his fall and whether or not he was an idiot. Here’s what appears to be the most descriptive eyewitness account on record:
Twins reliever Casey Fien, who eventually pitched the eighth inning for the Twins, was completing a stretch when he spied the fan reaching as far as he could over the railing, then lose his balance.
“He just flipped right over,” Fien said. “It looked like he was just reaching down, almost stretching. … At first I thought it was someone just trying to jump in, but he wasn’t going to brace himself at all and just flipped right over. He grabbed the net with his hand and that gave, obviously, because it can’t take that weight. It looked like a pretty big guy.”
There might be a reasonable explanation for why this guy was stretching over a railing, but we won’t know unless we hear his side of the story. That seems unlikely, since the hospital said he did not want his name released. In the absence of evidence that refutes Fien’s description, I think we can make an educated assumption here.
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Khris Davis: Although he took the collar today against the Pirates, Davis continued his solid play last week, going 7-20 (.350) with 4 RBI. Notably, he had a couple of big hits that contributed to Brewers wins. On Thursday against Minnesota, Davis hit the go-ahead two-run homerun to cap off a nine-pitch at bat in the sixth inning. On Saturday, Davis drove in the tying run after the Pirates had taken the lead in the previous inning. Since mid-May Davis seems to have found a rhythm at the plate and has developed a knack for coming through in the clutch. He’s gone from being a guaranteed strikeout to a real threat, and right now it’s fun to watch.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
Kyle Lohse: It’s unfair to criticize Lohse too harshly given how well he’s anchored the Brewers’ rotation. Even the best pitchers have blow-up outings, and Lohse did have a complete game shutout last week against the Cubs. He also put together a streak of more than 34 innings without a walk. So it was a little surprising and more than a little disheartening to see Lohse get lit up by the Pirates. In what was surely his worst start in some time, Lohse matched a career high by surrendering eight earned runs. Failure may be inevitable, but rarely is it so spectacular. On the bright side, it seems unlikely Lohse will have a start that bad for the rest of the season.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead)
The Brewers have matched up well against the Mets in recent history. They haven’t had a losing season series against New York since 2008. The Brewers have also been remarkably successful on the road – since Citi Field opened in 2009, Milwaukee is 11-5 against the Mets in their home ballpark. No reason to let up now!
The Reds make their first visit to Miller Park next weekend. After losing three of four in Cincinnati, a series win at home would demonstrate the Brewers are worthy of leading the NL Central. Joey Votto has been battling injuries lately, so maybe he won’t play in all three games. That would be too bad, since it would deprive Carlos Gomez of the opportunity to take away a Votto homerun for the third time.
Surely, stranger things have happened than three homerun robberies of one hitter by the same outfielder.
(Image: Associated Press)