Despite a 7 game losing streak during the month of July, the Brewers managed to have a better month than last with a 16-12 record. The month of July was an extremely up and down part of the season for the crew, both on and off the field. They did manage to finish on a high note as they posted a 8-4 record after the all-star break, facing high quality teams such as the Dodgers, Nationals, and Giants. Despite the Nationals’ and Giants’ average record, they are still solid teams who are simply under performing. With that, let’s dive into the hectic month of July.
Lorenzo Cain (NL WAR leader), Christian Yelich (hottest hitter in baseball), Josh Hader (one of baseballs best relievers), Jesus Aguilar (final vote), and Jeremy Jeffress (injury replacement) all made the all-star game for the Brewers. Aguilar even got to participate in the Homerun Derby where he lost to Rhys Hoskins in the first round.
The 2nd Week Of July
The Brewers rolled into the month of July and got off to a 6-2 record, sweeping the Reds and taking three of four from the young, talented, Atlanta Braves. Then the Brewers hit the road to take on the Marlins and Pirates for an eight game road trip. The Marlins series was very disappointing as the Brewers lost on two walkoffs in extra innings. Following that series, Milwaukee came into Pittsburgh and got their doors completely blown off, getting swept in a five game series. They were outscored 28-15 and suffered plenty of heartbreaking losses. It was about the worst way to enter the All-Star break you could possibly think of.
Josh Hader Drama
I am going to get on my soapbox here. The Brewers and Josh Hader really screwed the pooch on this one.
Those tweets were absolutely terrible. I doubt he still thinks that way to this day, it was seven years ago after all. But dude, at 17 you have to have had some idea that there was a shot at making it to the show? You should’ve known tweets like that would get dug up at sometime. People are cutting him slack because he was 17. Okay that’s fine, but I’m pretty sure a majority of 17 year olds know better than to tweet stuff like that. Also, how did he not think to go back and delete that garbage once he was drafted into the big leagues? Also, why don’t you have an agent to tell you that needs to be done?
Since Hader does not have an agent according to baseball reference, you should be watching out for stuff like this. When you bring on a player you should be telling them to completely wipe everything they have ever tweeted. It’s very easy to search for keywords and identify stuff like this before it gets out of control.
I can’t even get mad at the people who went on his profile and dug up his tweets. That is what twitter is for. Hader put that out for everyone to see, regardless of if he knew that or not. Would I spend my time going through someones tweets if they pitched poorly in a meaningless baseball game however? Absolutely not.
I was also not a fan of giving Hader a standing ovation after he returned to Miller Park. I know what the fans meant by it was “we forgive you and we are still fans of you” but what it looks like from the outside is “we agree with everything you said when you were 17”. As a Brewer fan, I would’ve simply applauded when his name was called as I always do.
Post All-Star Break
After a completely miserable two weeks for the Milwaukee Brewers, they bounced back to finish of the month strong. They did suffer a big blow by losing Brent Suter for the year as he needs “Tommy John” surgery. Aside from that, they have looked like the team that had great success in the first half.
Christian Yelich has been one of the hottest players in baseball as he improved his batting average by about 40 points this month. His OPS has just reached above .900 and is currently riding a 15 game hitting streak. Lorenzo Cain has continued to be consistent atop the Brewers lineup as he has hovered between .290 and .300 nearly all season. Travis Shaw is beginning to heat up after he was battling some injuries for the past month or so. Eric Thames has swung a hot bat as of late as well. Jesus Aguilar has not been as good as he was heading into the all-star break, but we all knew his pace was not sustainable. Regardless, he still has a .282 average and an OPS north of .900.
Chase Anderson has reverted to his 2017 self in his past five starts as he has posted a 2.07 ERA in 26.1 innings during those five starts. Jhoulys Chacin has continued to be nothing but consistent as he seems to rack up quality start after quality start. Junior Guerra has continued to be solid. Wade Miley has also looked good in his 3 starts since coming back from injury.
The bullpen continues to be one of the best in the NL with a 3.32 ERA as a unit and is first in the NL in strikeouts. Anchored by the usual suspects, Hader, Jeffress, and Knebel, Milwaukee added some good pieces to go along with those guys both via trade and from within the organization. Milwaukee added veteran Joakim Soria to their already stacked pen who has quite the major league resume. Milwaukee also recalled their top pitching prospect in Corbin Burnes who has yet to even allow a run at the big league level.
I saw many fans confused/upset with this trade due to the fact that our bullpen is already so stacked. Milwaukee did give up a pitching prospect in Kodi Meideros which you never like to see. However, this is a great depth add for Milwaukee. Teams who have the deepest bullpens, tend to go further into the post season.
I love everything about this deal. Moustakas is an excellent third baseman and brings yet another powerful bat to the Brewers lineup. It does force Travis Shaw over to second base, a position he is unfamiliar with, but it makes the lineup that much deeper. Instead of the revolving door of Brad Miller, Hernan Perez, and Jonathan Villar, we have a guy who will be in there everyday now that Shaw has made the transition. Losing Brett Phillips is no fun and you hate to see a guy like that go. I feel like the Brewers really swung a great deal here giving him up along with Jorge Lopez.
This is another deal I feel that the Brewers hit a homerun on. Getting rid of Jonathan Villar is a huge plus in my opinion. Losing Ortiz (pitching prospect obtained in the Lucroy deal) may hurt in the long run, but at least he is out of the division. I like this deal because the Brewers have had no offensive production from the shortstop position all season. Schoop has shown that he is capable of providing that in his past four big league seasons. Despite him having a down year, I think this was a good risk for the Brewers to take and for a guy who is under control for next season as well, this is a pretty sweet deal.
No Starting Pitching?
This concerns me a bit. I know that the returns on all of the starting pitchers that were dealt were pretty lofty. The Pirates sold the farm to get Chris Archer. If I were a general manager, I would be very hesitant on trading as many quality assets as Pittsburgh did. Unfortunately, that is the price you need to pay to get a top of the line starter such as Chris Archer. That is also the type of guy the Brewers need. Not some 3/4 guy, but a dominating pitcher such as Jacob deGrom. I am glad the Brewers stayed away from guys like Matt Harvey and Kevin Gausman.
I get the feeling the Brewers’ front office is fairly content with the starting rotation they have right now. All in all, it isn’t the worst rotation in the league by any means as they sit 5th in the NL with a 3.85 ERA as a staff. These next two months will tell if this staff is for real or not!
I think this past month of the baseball season really says alot about this ball club. After losing seven straight and dealing with all of the Josh Hader nonsense, they bounced back and finished off the month strong. Everything seems to be clicking once again. With the new acquisitions, there is only room for improvement!