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Excitement In Brew Town

September 24, 2011

The Milwaukee Brewers have clinched the National League Central and are trying to secure home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs.  This is their first division title since 1982 and only their second in franchise history.  I was 10 years old the last time they won the division, and I did not realize just how long it would be before they did it again.  But I think it is going to be worth the wait.  This team has the potential to go far in the playoffs this year, as well as compete for years to come.

Doug Melvin has done a tremendous job putting together a winning team.  The Brewers have some excellent home grown talent in the likes of Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Jonathan Lucroy and Yovani Gallardo.  Over the winter, Melvin traded for Shaun Marcum and Zack Grienke.  This created one of the deepest staffs in all of baseball.  Outside of the Phillies, I believe that the Brewers have the best overall pitching staff.  The offense has been a strength of the Brewers for many years, and now they have a pitching staff to match.

Also creating excitement is the MVP race that Braun and Fielder are putting on.  The only other candidate for the award in the National League is Matt Kemp.  Kemp is a very good choice, leading the league in RBIs, tied for the lead in home runs, and third in batting average with just a few games to go.  However, the Dodgers have not fared as well and will not make the playoffs.  Right or wrong, making the playoffs tends to add to a players chances in the MVP race.  Which leaves Fielder and Braun.  My vote (if they gave me one) would go to Braun.  Braun has put together a great season.  He is hitting around .330 with 32 home runs, 107 RBIs, 105 runs and 31 stolen bases with 5 games to go.  He had a key home run against the Marlins in the game that clinched the division title.  He also had a great diving catch in left field and came up throwing to double up the runner at first, which preserved a 1-1 tie.  He has become a good defensive left fielder. Fielder has had a great season as well, hitting .292 with 35 home runs and 113 RBIs, but I think it will come down to either Braun or Kemp.

The thing that I am most excited about is that, no matter how far they go this year, they will be contenders for a while.  It is likely that Prince Fielder and Francisco Rodriguez will be departing after the post-season.  Other than that, their core should remain intact.  Having Ryan Braun signed through 2020 is the foundation that the Brewers will be building on.  The pitching staff will be very similar to the one they had this year (just keep Grienke off of the basketball court) and I think that Casey McGahee will have a bounce back season.  Fielder will leave a huge hole in the heart of the order, but I think that this team can overcome adversity.  I have also come to trust the moves that Doug Melvin makes.

But that’s for next season.  For now, let’s see how far the Brew Crew can go!

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From → Brewers, MLB

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