Inside the Brewers Hot Streak

It all came together for the Milwaukee Brewers on July 26th. After trailing the NL Central by a half game, something clicked. Since that period the Brewers have gone 18-2; propelling themselves into first place by seven games. With their recent streak, the Brewers have over a 95% chance at making the post-season (per Baseball Prospectus). Over the past twenty games, the Brewers have been unbeatable. Let’s take a look at their current hot streak.

Over that period, the Brewers are averaging 4.45 runs per game; a modest improvement over their 4.35 rate before the streak began. It’s mostly been the usual contributors; as Prince Fielder has been a major contributor to the team’s success — hitting nearly .400 with five home runs in those games. Ryan Braun has been almost equally as effective during the streak as well. More impressively, the Brewers are getting big contributions out of some unlikely players as well. Both Yuniesky Betancourt and Casey McGehee are hitting over .300 during their current hot streaks. Both players have really struggled this season, so it has to be encouraging to see them finally producing if you are a Brewers’ fan.

While their hitting has been pretty great over the twenty game stretch, the Brewers pitching has been phenomenal. During the streak, Brewers pitchers have only given up 2.35 runs per game. Since almost all of the starters have been great, it’s hard to single out one guy who has really excelled during the streak. Randy Wolf, Zack Greinke and Yovani Gallardo all carry sub-2 ERAs over this period, though, and have clearly been a major reason for the Brewers recent dominance. The bullpen has been reliable as well; as John Axford has racked up eight saves with a 0.82 ERA during this stretch.

If there is one area to nitpick about the Brewers recent surge, it would have to be their schedule. The Brewers have beat up on the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros during the streak; accounting for nine of the teams wins. The Brewers also took three games from the Pittsburgh Pirates; who have been in a free-fall since their strong start. While that probably makes the Brewers’ streak slightly less impressive, they have been able to take out their main competition during this stretch as well. The St. Louis Cardinals may be the only team that has beaten the Brewers in the last twenty games, but the Brewers have managed to take four out of six from their division rival.

The Brewers are currently operating on all cylinders right now. Every part of their team seems to be surging at just the right time. While the pitching can’t continue to be this good going forward, Brewers’ pitchers deserve a ton of credit for the Brewers’ success over the last twenty games. Yes, they haven’t played the most intense competition over that period, but they’ve taken care of business within their division — and that’s got to be worth something. Even though their strength of schedule wasn’t great, it’s not as if the Brewers are a fluky contender. This is what everyone expected from the Brewers this season. It’s nice to see them finally living up to their lofty expectations.





Chris is a blogger for CBSSports.com. He has also contributed to Sports on Earth, the 2013 Hard Ball Times Baseball Annual, ESPN, FanGraphs and RotoGraphs. He tries to be funny on twitter @Chris_Cwik.

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Cecil Cooper's Twin
11 years ago

I have watched all but one of the games during the streak. After the series win in St. Louis, I could sense a change of confidence in the Crew. Although they haven’t ripped the cover off the ball the past 6 games at home, you can sense the calm of the hitters early in the game. They absolutely believe that they will be able to win the game late once it becomes a battle of bullpens.

It has been the most enjoyable run of baseball for me as a lifelong fan. Here’s to hoping that they can play .600 baseball in October.

ettin
11 years ago

Some of that credit definitely has to go to Ron Roenicke, another great manager out of the S-C-I-O-S-C-I-A school of managment. Good luck Brewers!

LionoftheSenate
11 years ago
Reply to  ettin

No doubt Roenicke deserves credit for getting all 25 men to buy in. One point not made that needs to be made. Rickie Weeks.

After he got hurt is when the Brewers took off. I attribute this to the team getting very focused, all 25 men were now asked to respond to the loss of arguably the most valuable Brewer to that point.

Sports are not played on a computer. While the numbers would indicate the Brewers would regress without Weeks, you can’t account for the human factor.

The Brewers have been extra focused after the loss of Weeks, knowing his great loss would have to be replaced collectively.

So far it is working. I’d like to see the Brewers play a good team again.