It’s hard to believe that over a month ago, the Milwaukee Brewers were four games back of the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central. The Brew Crew would go 19-7 in September. Tied atop the NL Central after 162 games, they would complete the comeback by beating the Cubs 3-1 to win the division for the second time in franchise history. And in the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies, the Brewers have taken a commanding 2-0 series lead, utilizing their timely hitting and effective pitching.
It’s Time to Treat the Milwaukee Brewers as 2018 World Series Contenders
All year long, the National League has been overlooked and deemed a weaker conference. The American League has produced the game’s best players and consists of three teams that had over 100 wins in the regular season. But the Brewers are a sneaky solid team. They have clutch hitters. The bullpen is one of baseball’s best. It is time that the baseball world treat the Brewers as one of the contenders to spoil the American League party and hoist the World Series in October.
Yelich, Moustakas Headline Clutch Brewers Hitters
Christian Yelich came into the postseason on a high. With finishing the season hitting .326/.402/.598 and generating 36 home runs and 110 RBI, it is a foregone conclusion that the young outfielder is going to be the NL MVP.
Entering the postseason, many pundits were questioning whether the regular season success would translate to the playoffs. Yelich silenced the critics in Game 1 of the NLDS against the Rockies. On his first ever postseason at-bat, Yelich hit a bomb to the decks of Miller Park’s outfield for his inaugural playoff home run. He would add another RBI as the Brewers would go on to win in extra innings 3-2.
In Game 2, hits were hard to come by. But Yelich delivered by coming out of a hard-earned at-bat with a walk. Being one of the most effective base runners in the major leagues (.402 OBP), Yelich brought in one of the Brewers four runs, en route to the 4-0 victory. For the young star, he relishes these big game situations as he believes they are a privilege to play in.
Mike Moustakas is no stranger to the postseason. Known for clutch hits from his stint with the Kansas City Royals in their World Series championship run back in 2015, he is a hitter that opposing pitchers don’t want to face in the playoffs. Rockies starting pitcher Tyler Anderson experienced that in Game 2, as Moustakas went 2 for 4, with one RBI. He also got the game-winning hit in Game 1 in the 10th inning, highlighting his clutch ability under the pressure.
“Being in a postseason a couple years back, it definitely helps. It’s a great feeling playing so well,” says Moustakas.
Starting Pitching and Bullpen Make Brewers Dangerous Team
Brewers starting pitcher, Jhoulys Chacin, got the call in Game 163 to pitch against the Cubs. The move paid off as Chacin got the win and the NL Central title. In Game 2, Brewers manager Craig Counsell decided to roll the dice by starting Chacin on short rest. The move paid off. Chacin pitched five innings not giving up a single run, generating only three hits and three strikeouts in the effort.
The Rockies only had six hits in Game 2. More importantly, they were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. This is largely due to the solid bullpen of the Brewers, led by Joakim Soria and Josh Hader. The bullpen pitched 3.3 innings, racking up seven strikeouts in their shutout performance.
When a team possesses a bullpen like this, they are dangerous. The Brewers are this team. They have the hitting and, coupled with the clutch pitching, will be a team no one wants to face late in October.
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