Hot month not enough to save Brewers’ season
This is the team the Milwaukee Brewers expected. It just came a few months too late.
After a mediocre start to the season, the Brewers entered Wednesday as one of the hottest teams in baseball. No team has won more games since June 23, and their 17-6 mark ranks second only to the Los Angeles Angels, by one loss. Going back over their last 30 games, the Brewers’ 18-12 record is third overall and tied for first in the NL.
The hot streak has been powered in large part by a much-improved offense. Over the last month, the Brewers own an MLB-leading .298 average and .364 on-base percentage, while their .463 slugging percentage and 127 runs rank second. They’ve also slugged 26 home runs and tallied 45 doubles, both second-best in the NL.
Gerardo Parra has led the way, putting up a slash line of .373/.424/.687 as one of baseball’s hottest hitters. He’s also hit five home runs, seven doubles and two triples, while scoring 19 runs and driving in 12. With just over a week until the July 31 deadline, Parra quickly has become one of the Brewers’ best trade pieces.
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Brewers pitchers have been similarly strong, ranking sixth with a 2.91 ERA while holding opposing hitters to a .230 average.
There’s just one major problem: the Brewers still are far from contending for a playoff spot. Between their terrible start (16-34) and the toughest division in baseball, even the wild card remains wishful thinking.
Despite going 26-18 since May 31, Milwaukee has actually lost ground in the division race, going from 161/2 games to 171/2 back. They’ve fared slightly better in the wild card race, gaining two games and moving to nine back.
Much of this problem lies within the NL Central.
Over the last 50 games, the top four teams in the NL are the Pirates (33-17), Cardinals (32-18), Brewers (26-24) and Cubs (26-24). Since May 31, three of MLB’s top five come from the Central, with the Cubs close behind in eighth.
Make no mistake, the Brewers’ hot streak is a good thing. It improves trade value and increases fan interest in coming out to the ballpark.
One great month just isn’t enough to save this season.