Monday, August 29, 2011

Brewers Going Beast Mode

In case any baseball fan has been living under a rock for the past month, the Brewers have managed to explode from the pack and take a commanding 10 1/2 game lead in the NL Central. They've been the best team in the majors by far since July 26th, and they've done it with starting pitching, a strong back end of the bullpen, timely hitting, improved defense, a little luck, and a lot of swagger. The Crew has won a ridiculous 27 out of their last 32 games, which includes 5 consecutive weekend sweeps and a 21-4 mark against their division during that span. The Brewers are on pace for the best August in team history, and one of the top ten of all time, at 21-5 currently with 2 games remaining in the month. Overall, they are a ridiculous 50-16 at home. Ryan Braun leads the league in runs and is 2nd in hitting, Prince Fielder leads the league in RBI and is tied for 3rd in homeruns, John Axford is 2nd in the majors in saves, and 4 of the team's 5 starters are in double-digit wins with an ERA under 4.00. And in the center of it all, Nyjer "Tony Plush" Morgan has been the team's major catalyst and resident goofball.

I could go on and on. The point is, no matter how you slice it, the Brewers are just flat out playing good baseball, and it shouldn't be forgotten that this team did all of this winning with the best 2nd baseman in the NL - Rickie Weeks - on the DL. Their magic number is currently at 18 and hopefully they can ride out this wave a little bit longer, at least until they play the Cardinals and Phillies next week. It's pretty unlikely that they will keep up this torrid pace for the last month of the season, but even with a .500 month and splitting the remaining 6 with the Cards, they should be able to clinch their first division title in almost 30 years. Getting the September call-ups, Weeks, and Carlos Gomez on the roster will only strengthen the Crew for the October push. Perhaps most importantly, I feel that this team can go much further than the '08 playoff bunch because they have so much more confidence and chemistry. This is most outwardly visible in the loose fashion in which they play, i.e. the "Beast Mode" celebration they do that is reminiscent of the "claw" and "antlers" that the Rangers did last season. You can just tell how much fun they're having on the field, and that makes them really fun to watch. A great attitude coupled with a lot of talent is proving to be a deadly combination.

I've got my playoff tickets ready, keep it up Brew Crew!

Brewers 81-54, +10.5 (3 v. Cardinals, 3 @ Astros, 3 @ Cardinals, 4 v. Phillies)
Reds 67-66, -13.0 (4 v. Phillies, 3 @ Cardinals, 3 @ Cubs, 3 @ Rockies)
Twins 56-77, -17.0 (3 @ White Sox, 3 @ Angels, 4 v. White Sox, 3 @ Tigers)

Erik - 13
Peter - 36

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