Milwaukee Brewers: 2011 World Series champs?
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2
I lived in Milwaukee in 2008. That year, a baseball team took over a football city. The Brewers were 52-44 at the All-Star break and making a run at their first postseason appearance in 26 years. Up until that point, the city was still relatively quiet on the Brew Crew. There was idle chatter at the bars and the occasional Ryan Braun jersey, but for the most part, only the diehard fans were excited.
On July 7, however, GM Doug Melvin made a move that got the whole city talking. He sent four prospects to the Indians for starter CC Sabathia and made the Brewers instant legitimate contenders. They went 20-7 in August, you couldn’t walk five feet without spotting a jersey, Braun was holding parties on North Ave. and CC was absolutely dominating the National League. Even the Packers were put on hold. CC finished 11-2 with the Brewers, with a 1.65 ERA 1.00 WHIP and completed seven of the 17 games he started while averaging 7.7 innings per start. They worked him like a rented player, which he ended up being.
The Brewers clinched the NL Wild Card on the final day of the season by beating the Cubs 3-1, as CC went the distance, allowing one unearned run on four hits. When he tried to take on the Phillies in the NLDS on three days rest, fatigue finally caught up at the worst possible time. He gave up five runs on six hits and four walks in 3.2 innings, and the Brewers lost game two 5-2. The Brewers were a one-man wrecking crew, and when CC was knocked out, the season was over. With starters Yovanni Gallardo and Ben Sheets injured, they didn’t stand a chance against the eventual World Series champions, as the Phillies won the series 3-1.
This year’s version of the Brew Crew is different. Long gone is CC, who took the money and ran to the Yankees. The Dave Bush’s and Jeff Suppan’s are gone, too. Prince Fielder and Braun are still there, however. And so is Melvin, who pulled off another genius trade in the offseason to form a rotation that can hang with the Phillies this year. He had to give up some exceptional talent along the way, but with Fielder possibly leaving town after this season, he had to go all-in.
First, he got former AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke from the Royals. The Brewers gave up defensive whiz Alcides Escobar, who is hitting .242 with 19 SB playing stellar shortstop for the Royals this season. They also included 21-year-old Jake Odorizzi, a right-handed pitcher who is 9-6, with a 3.68 ERA at double-A for the Royals, while averaging 9.6 K/9.
Next, he sent 2008 1st-round pick Brett Lawrie to the Blue Jays for starter Shaun Marcum. The 6’2″ Lawrie was hitting .347/18 HR/62 RBI with a 1.060 OPS in the minors before being called up this season. Over 21 games, he is hitting .329 with an impressive line of 4 2B/4 3B/5 HR/15 RBI/1.071 OPS. He may end up being a future All-Star for the Jays, but the Brewers needed pitching in the worst way.
Share and Enjoy
Continue Reading - Pages: 1 2