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The Brewers are basically unstoppable

Aug 18, 2011, 8:47 AM EDT

Los Angeles Dodgers v Milwaukee Brewers

Probably worth noting at this point that the Milwaukee Brewers are unstoppable. They’ve won 19 of 21 games. When this nice little run began in late July they were tied with the Cardinals for first place. Now they lead by seven and are close to putting the NL Central away. They’re 47-15 at home for cryin’ out loud.

With the exception of the Cardinals, against whom Milwaukee is 4-2 during this stretch, the competition hasn’t been stellar. Six games against Houston. Three each against Chicago, L.A. and the fading Pirates.  But the Brewers can’t make the schedule and they’re taking care of the business they need to take care of in astonishingly efficient fashion. And hey, the Cards play the same guys, so it’s not as if it’s unfair somehow.

It’s not totally locked up yet — we still have nearly a month and a half of baseball to be played — but it sure seems like the NL Central “race” is about to be a thing of the past.

  1. Kevin S. - Aug 18, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    Matt Meyers had a pretty good piece on the four-letter yesterday (sorry, paywall: http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6870314/mlb-do-philadelphia-phillies-weaknesses) about how beating the everliving snot out of the crappy teams is actually a really good indicator of team strength.

  2. 12strikes - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:01 AM

    “The Brewers are basically unstoppable”

    Looks like Craig is laying the ground work for a new #1 in the power rankings.

    Of couse, if the Astros win 2 in a row he would put them tied or above the Phillies

    (LOL)

  3. proudlycanadian - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    The Brewers went all in in the offseason and traded their best prospects for starting pitching. So far, it is paying off.

    • proudlycanadian - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:49 AM

      As far as we Jays fans are concerned, the trade of Marcum to the Brewers for Lawrie represents short term pain for long term gain.

  4. Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    “They’re 47-15 at home for cryin’ out loud.”

    Yeah, but they’re 26-36 on the road for cryin’ out loud!!!!!

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:05 AM

      People were all talking up the Brewers and Sabathia in 2008 as well. And what happened….Shane Victorino aka The Flyin’ Hawaiian happened.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

        And Greinke is no CC. Seriously, though, with that Road record, unless they catch and pass the Phillies for best record in the NL, they won’t have home field in the NLCS if they match up with the Phillies anyway.

      • kopy - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        Yeah, all this hype about those damn Brewers! I think the Phillies are really going to come out of the woodwork and surprise some people in the playoffs. You can’t underestimate the strength of the underdog card.

      • dlindstedt2 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

        Mark you calendars now.

        September 8th-12. Brewers take 3 out of 4 from those Phils.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:27 AM

        I love it!!! Should be awesome. I’m thinking about flying out there to see a couple of the games that weekend.

      • dlindstedt2 - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

        Miller Park is nice man. You will enjoy it. One of the better ball parks in my opinion. Granted I leave 15 minutes from it.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:01 PM

        For Friday-Sunday they have SRO or cheap seat available. For thursday, they have some pretty nice 3rd row seats next to the Phillies dugout available for $100 a pop. Got to try to get off Thursday too, or check out stubhub. It’s in the works…If I wear my Cliff Lee or Roy Halladay jersey, will I get a Miller spilled on me?

      • joeyhepatitis - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:21 PM

        You’ll be fine wearing a Phillies jersey in Miller Park. Brewers fans value their beer too much to squander any by dumping it on someone.

  5. Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:07 AM

    19-2 is a really nice run.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:14 AM

      It is, even though it is against Houston, Cubs, Pitt, Dodgers, and the Cardinals…all scrubs. :)

    • thefalcon123 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      No. It isn’t. It isn’t nice at all.

      Sincerely,

      A Cardinals Fan

      • Jonny 5 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:39 AM

        poopie pants…

    • bigleagues - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:39 PM

      I’ll say it again – given the context of the market size they play in . . . the Milwaukee Brewers are the best run organization in baseball.

      Milwaukee is easily the smallest market in baseball (smaller than Hartford, CT for example). Yet, they have a payroll that is comparable to mid-market teams (and even a few “large” market teams) .

      Which begets the following maxim: The best thing to happen to baseball was Bud Selig leaving Milwaukee. The worst thing to happen to baseball was Selig leaving Milwaukee.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:12 AM

    “…but it sure seems like the NL Central “race” is about to be a thing of the past.”

    Except that the race to the bottom is still ongoing. I think the Cubbies are shooting hard to “top” the ‘Stros, and the ‘Stros are on a huge hot streak – stringing one win directly after another win…against the Cubs…ah, God I can’t even keep a straight face (or fingers?) any more…

  7. sdelmonte - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Looking more and more like there will just one race next month, in the AL Central.

    Unless the Yanks and Red Sox really counts as a race.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:17 AM

      I think it does…I mean, would you rather face the Tigers (Indians, White Sox) or the Rangers? Big difference in quality between those teams in my opinion.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:23 AM

        I disagree with the good dr here…a race where both teams make the playoffs is not really a race at all. I agree with sdel…except that I think the Tigers will pull away. While I know they have 4 against the Rays in Tampa, they also have 4 against Oak and Baltimore, and I think they will beat Cleveland in head to head games…meaning that by the end of August, they may be 6 or 7 games up themselves. Which would mean no races come September 1. Which would probably lead to Bud doing something drastic.

  8. onix321 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    Phillies fans are insufferably boring.

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:39 AM

      10,000 thumbs ups for you and an internet “win” for the day.

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:53 AM

      10,000 thumbs down for you and an internet “loss” for the day.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:55 AM

        Hmmm, I guess that leaves onix321 back to where he/she started…

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:43 AM

        Who knew Braves fans could do math?

        And Braves fans are insufferably non-attentive.

    • 12strikes - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:14 AM

      The fans might be, but he team is not!

  9. amaninwhite - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    47-15 at home. You’re welcome.

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:04 AM

      BAHAHAHA!!!!! The Jays give you a few nights off?

  10. skipperxc - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    I’m going to treasure this headline forever.

  11. RickyB - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:38 AM

    So when do the crazies come out of the woodwork claiming the Brewers have Bernie relaying signals to their hitters, which is why they are so successful at home?

    • FC - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:55 AM

      Matthew is too busy looking for a white rabbit in a coat- er- an alleged man in a white coat that relays signals in Rogers Centre, so he’ll get to this one once his docket is cleared up of backlogs.

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:54 AM

        All Matthew needs to do is look up further at 9:26.

  12. mvp43 - Aug 18, 2011 at 9:46 AM

    I’m sure Tony La Russa is sending letters to the commish complaining that the Brewers are somehow breaking the unwritten rules of baseball………………..maybe they’re stealing signs or adjusting the humidity level in the stadium when your guys come up to bat……that must be it.

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:41 AM

      Can TLR adjust the humidity level in Busch for July and August games?

  13. minnesconsin - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    I can’t wait ’til the Braves beat the Phils in the NLDS. Brewers/Braves NLCS is going to be something special :)

    • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 10:56 AM

      Epic Fail

    • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:02 AM

      Um…even if the Phightins were to lose in the NLDS, it would not be to the Bravos. You see, they’re in the same division, and, oh, forget it….

      • dlindstedt2 - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM

        WILDCARD BABY

      • Utley's Hair - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Which would send the Bravos to the West or Central…not to their divisional masters.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:56 AM

        Yeah, and the Wild Card can’t play the winner of its own division in the first round.

  14. spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:26 AM

    The 19-2 run has certainly put some space between the Cards and the Brewers, but unless the Brew Crew accomplish something historic, a return to earth is likely. With six more games vs Milwaukee all is not lost but before a 4-2 split would put them right in the thick of things, and now it needs to be 5-1, unless a meaningful slump occurs. Making it even more difficult is the Brewers schedule which is soft for the greater part of the last 6 weeks.

    They do have a show down with the Phils, which will be like watching your mother-in-law drive your brand new Jaguar off a cliff, and play one more road game than home game down the stretch. Crazier things have happened but the Cards need a streak of their own, to narrow the gap before the 6-game match-up.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:52 AM

      Coolstandings.com gives the Brew Crew a 91% chance at winning the division. Methinks you are overstating the risks.

      • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:02 PM

        Hey if Coolstandings.com says that, then it seems senseless to play out the schedule.

      • Kevin S. - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:06 PM

        Difference between not playing and making it sound like the Brewers are about to freefall.

      • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 1:18 PM

        Hey Kevin, here are a few items you can chew on. The Pythagorean W-L records for the Brewers and Cards are identical. 19-2 is over .900 baseball and is of course unsustainable. The Brewers have 40 games left, 6 vs St. Louis. For the sake of argument let’s assume the Cards go 4-2 in those 6 games. That puts them 5 back, with 34 to play. If they go 17-17 it forces St. Louis to go 22-12 to catch them. Difficult sure, but 91% sure? Hardly.

      • Chris Fiorentino - Aug 18, 2011 at 2:25 PM

        So the Brewers, who are playing .589 over 124 games are going to go 18-20(they have 38 left not 40), which is .473, to finish out the year. While the Cardinals, who are playing .532 over 124 games, are going to go 25-13(they also only have 38 games left), which is .657, to finish out the year.

        91% sounds about right to me.

      • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 3:40 PM

        When a person writes a comment, and then you choose to reply, you embarrass yourself when you cherry pick those parts of the comment you want to reply to disregarding the gist of the original comment.

        The most unlikely scenario is that the Brewers continue on a 19-2 pace. They play .419 baseball on the road. If they duplicate that in the 18 games left they would go 8-10. As I stated before the chances are predicated on St. Louis winning 4 of 6 in their match-ups. So they stand 9-14 without the 17 home games. St. Louis is 34-31 in road games. If they match that they go 9-7 (conservatively) or 13-9 in road games and Milwaukee match-ups. That leaves them 2 games behind with both teams playing 17 home games. If the Brewers go 10-7, St. Louis has to go 12-5 to catch them.

        Tough, of course, especially factoring in the relatively easy Milwaukee schedule. But if the Pythagorean numbers carry any weight, the Brewers’ record is better than their play, and a balancing or unlucky stretch is still in the offing. I’ll take the 9-1 odds anyday.

  15. huskerguy - Aug 18, 2011 at 11:47 AM

    Weeks is coming back and our pen has been lights out. Don’t look now but you will have to deal with a good Brew Crew.

    • spudchukar - Aug 18, 2011 at 12:09 PM

      Catching the Braves may turn out to be a more realistic objective. With Jurrjens struggling, and Hanson on the DL, the Braves could struggle, but they are getting healthy, and are solid so either choice will be an uphill fight. A lot depends how the 3 teams fare against the Phils.

  16. macjacmccoy - Aug 19, 2011 at 3:32 AM

    Brewers have a 6 game Lead on the Cardinals and the Braves have a 6 game Lead on the Giants. Which team do you guys think has the best chance of closing the gap?

    Like Craig said the Brewers are unstoppable so you gotta say the Braves have the best chance of missing the playoffs out of the 2.

    I dunno what I like more….. Probably would go #4
    1.Phillies Brewers Braves Giants,
    2.Phillies Brewers Braves Dbacks,
    3.Phillies Brewers Cardinals Giants
    4.Phillies Brewers Cardinals Dbacks
    5.Phillies Brewers Giants DBacks ,
    6.Phillies Cardinals Braves Giants,
    7.Phillies Cardinals Braves Dbacks
    8.Phillies Cardinals Giants Dbacks

    But if Im being more realistic I would probably go number #2… Phillies pitching in a short series vs the Diamondbacks then Braves or the Brewers in the NLCS would probably be best case scenario .

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