So the Milwaukee Brewers streak of winning consecutive series was done away the very week I said it would be fun to see how long it lasted. Sorry folks, I think may have jinxed that one.
Oh and to make it more fun they decided to lose a series to the Chicago White Sox, better known as the worst team in baseball.
On a positive note, center fielder Lorenzo Cain is ~still~ good at baseball. He leads the National League in WAR (wins above replacement) and is still getting on base in about 43 percent of his at bats.
Cain should be a lock for the All-Star game. Speaking of the All-Star game, here’s the first take.
Milwaukee will have four All-Stars in 2018
Due to a smaller fan base and a stretch of rough seasons, the Brewers normally are relegated to sending one or two representative to the Mid-Summer Classic. Last year it was closer Corey Knebel, the year before it was former catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
This years team, which currently sits atop of the National league, should sport more than one.
Relief pitcher extraordinaire Josh Hader is possibly the most dominant pitcher this year and a mainstay, albeit long shot, in the NL Cy Young conversation. He is currently on pace to shatter the K/9 record and strikeout percentage record.
He is 15th in the NL in strikeouts with 69 total K’s. Oh and he is only one of two relief pitchers in the top 50, getting to 69 in only 34.1 innings. The pitcher above him has 62.0 innings on the books and the one below has 52.1.
Hader is a no brainer.
Then comes in Cain because, as we mentioned above he leads the NL in WAR and his having a career year in terms of getting on base. His power is also a bright spot as he has seven on the year.
The most he has had in one season is 16.
All-Star rosters are also a popularity contest. Milwaukee fans will come out in droves to support a contending team, but Cain will also get a boost from the Kansas City fan base who knew and loved him for seven years.
Shaw is tied in the NL for fourth in WAR with 2.5 and is fifth in homeruns with 13. A .250 batting average is nothing to write home about though.
Christian Yelich, in my mind, should be in prime position to be the third Brewer on the All-Star roster. The only problem is the amount of good outfielders in the NL.
Matt Kemp is having a renaissance year with the Dodgers, Nick Markakis is having a career year for the Braves, Odúbel Herrera is crushing the ball for the Phillies and Corey Dickerson is a huge reason why the Pirates have hung around as long as they have.
Yelich is also a huge reason for the Brewers success, sporting an .298/.373/.473 hitting line to go with 26 RBI’s but there just might not be room for him.
Now back to the Brewers bullpen, which is the best in baseball.
Jeffress has the best ERA in baseball with 0.60 and sports a 5-0 record. In 30.0 innings of work he has allowed opposing hitters to average only .134 at the player. Not quite as good as Hader’s (.091) but convincing none the less.
From this lot of players I see Hader and Cain as locks, with Jeffress being the guy with the next easiest route to get there.
The Brewers will give up their division lead by weeks end
Calm down. I’ve seen this take on twitter numerous times after the series loss to the White Sox.
Yes the Brewers did lose a series to the worst team in baseball. But they did so after winning six in a row against very good, contending teams.
Currently, the Cubs are sitting second in the division, two games behind and the Cardinals are third, 3.5 games behind. The Brewers also have a decently tough schedule coming up.
Two games against the Cleveland Indians and three against the Phillies. But there really is no reason the think the Brewers will not continue to do what they have done all year.
The loses on Sunday also included something that has rarely happened during the 2018 season: Brewers relief pitchers giving up multiple runs. Don’t expect that to turn into a norm.
Lukewarm take: Ji-Man Choi won’t be traded anytime soon
Last week it was reported that first baseman Choi had requested a trade to an organization that could use him more at the MLB level. In response the Brewers seemingly called him up to the majors for their American League road trip and use him as a DH.
Sadly for Choi he has not responded at the plate. He is sporting a .190 batting average in 21 at bats and has struck out 10 times. There is not a market for a first basemen who cannot hit.
Even at the Triple A level he hasn’t been exactly dominating.
With Eric Thames on rehab assignment this week and due to return, Choi’s time in the majors is limited and so is his time to up his trade value.