Opinion corner: Crew back from the brinkIf I had a shoe big enough to fit in my mouth, now would be the time I made a meal of it. Earlier this summer, I wrote in disdain of how my Milwaukee Brewers were “in rebuilding mode” after the trade of ace pitcher Zack Grienke. And I quote myself: “The club gambled knowing it could be another 26 years before they assemble that kind of talent on the diamond. Friday night was the end of the shortest era of competitive major league baseball Wisconsin has ever seen.”
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
If I had a shoe big enough to fit in my mouth, now would be the time I made a meal of it.
Earlier this summer, I wrote in disdain of how my Milwaukee Brewers were “in rebuilding mode” after the trade of ace pitcher Zack Grienke.
And I quote myself: “The club gambled knowing it could be another 26 years before they assemble that kind of talent on the diamond. Friday night was the end of the shortest era of competitive major league baseball Wisconsin has ever seen.”
In case you haven’t noticed — and we live in North Dakota so nobody probably has — The Brew Crew is 74-72 (as of Tuesday) and is 2 1/2 games out of the newly formed second wild card spot.
Let me repeat that, I bailed too early, and my team has risen from the ashes to continue to play competitive ball, despite injuries, trades and free agent mishaps.
This always happens to me. I throw the towel in and the team comes back. I’m such a horrible fan.
So what happened? Well good things as the Brewers are 29-18 after Grienke’s departure.
Let’s start with the obvious, Ryan Braun, who should be in consideration for a second straight NL MVP, is swinging at a .312 clip with 40 long balls and 103 RBI. On top of the monster power numbers, he’s also stolen 24 bases.
Yovani Gallardo has been lights out since Zack packed for Anaheim and is currently 15-8 with a 3.72 ERA and 188 Ks. All starters have started to settle in after the release of lefty Randy Wolff.
Marco Estrada has lowered his ERA to 3.77. Mike Fiers has locked in a spot in next year’s rotation after going 9-8 with a 3.23 ERA and 115 Ks in 114 IP. And newcomer Willy Peralta has showed he can pitch into the latter half of the sixth inning while looking promising.
But who else? Rickie Weeks has come on in the second half of 2012 with 20 total HRs, living up to his potential. Norichika Aoki has taken over in leftfield for Cory Hart and is batting .289 with more than a few clutch hits.
Hart by the way is playing first base with a partially torn plantar fascia in his left foot. That’s a big deal sports fans. All the while he’s hitting around .278 with 27 homeruns.
Even former Minnesota Twin failure Carlos Gomez has chipped in with 16 dingers — I can’t even make this stuff up.
So as cheddar nation mourns over its under-performing Wisconsin Badgers, just look to Milwaukee where one team is finding it’s identity with only two and a half weeks to go.
The Brew Crew still has to battle Pittsburgh, Washington and Cincinnati (three of the best NL teams) on the road before the year is out. No one said it will be easy to climb back into the post season.
If the ball keeps flying the way it has been this month, those last three home games against Houston at the Keg could be the cap on one of the best comebacks Milwaukee has ever made. Prost!
Ben Rodgers is a news writer at the Jamestown Sun and a frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner