- Disappointing season for the Brewers after high expectations.
- Hader trade continues to puzzle many fans.
- One month remaining to catch a Wild Card spot. Will they make it?
What a rollercoaster it has been for Brewers fans this season. Hopes were high in the off-season, which continued into the spring, especially after the team went 15-7 in April. Injuries for everyday starters and key pitchers made for a difficult month of June, and they looked dreadful as the All-Star break approached. That is nothing new for Craig Counsell’s teams, who have struggled for the last handful of seasons before the break. The Brewers had fans uninterested in baseball for a little bit in July, but that was alright because it was the festival season in Wisconsin.
To the surprise of many, the Brewers shot out of the All-Star break, winning seven of nine, bringing some life back to the fanbase. The trade deadline came and went without the club adding any significant major league players, but they did deal away their four-time All-Star closer Josh Hader. It was – and continues to be – a confusing move that did not work out for the Brewers or the Padres. The loss of Hader seemed to send the clubhouse spiraling as they lost five of their first six after that trade. The Brewers have not quite improved over the last few weeks, as August will be their worst month.
The Brewers split a four-game series against the NL-leading Dodgers, which helped give the team and their fans hope of making the playoffs as the season comes down to the wire. However, they wound up losing a series to the Cubs in Chicago right after that. It is never a good thing to lose a series to your fiercest rival, but the timing of that series loss took away any positivity that the Crew built up from the series against the Dodgers.
The Brewers have the month of September and five days in October to make a run at a playoff spot to potentially save their season. St. Louis has taken a significant lead in the division race, a charge they look unlikely to surrender this late in the calendar.
The MLB expanded the playoffs this season to have three Wild Card spots for each league. The Atlanta Braves have a significant lead for the first Wild Card spot, and the final two places will be taken by Philadelphia, San Diego, or Milwaukee. The Brewers do not have a demanding remaining schedule. They trail the Padres by just a handful of games, and the Padres have the 2nd most challenging schedule of games over the last month. Despite not having the season they hoped for, there is reason to be optimistic about a possible playoff berth for the Brewers.