To say that the Milwaukee Brewers have defied logic in 2017 would be an understatement. Every analyst on the planet has been waiting for the moment this season when the Brewers fall back to earth. While the Brewers missed the playoffs by just a couple games, that “fall back to earth” moment really never came.
The Brewers had indeed been the story in baseball of 2017. On the night of September 19, the Milwaukee Brewers sat at 81-70 which placed them currently 3.5 games behind the first place Chicago Cubs. More importantly, the Brewers were at that moment, one game back of the Colorado Rockies for the second Wild Card spot. The Brewers had won three in a row, and were 8-2 in those last 10 games. There was still a chance the Brewers could have won the division, but it was more more likely they would reach the playoffs via the Wild Card at that point. The Cubs had gotten their act together and won seven in a row. The Rockies and Diamondbacks meanwhile, were both sputtering to the finish line. Can we find a sports writer that declared that the Brewers would have been deciding their fate in the last ten days of the 2017 season? No, we can’t.
So how exactly had the Brewers defied logic in 2017? Their offense had been up and down all season, but their pitching had been phenomenal. Zach Davies became the Brewers new ace for the time being. Davies was 17-9 with a 3.89 ERA. Closer Corey Knebel has been outstanding. For the season, Knebel had 37 saves at that point, a strikeout-per-9 ratio of 15.3, a WHIP of 1.10, and an ERA of 1.29. For a closer, that was wandering into the “Joe Nathan” zone of the territory of insanity.
On the offensive side, we do have to notice that certain batters got “hot” just as others went cold. The fact that there was always a core of batters that could put up runs, the team was able to stay in the hunt. As of this post, the Brewers announced that their entire staff will be returning in 2017. Can the team keep riding that high in 2018. Chances are good.