The Milwaukee Brewers met the minimum requirements to qualify for the MLB Playoffs in 2020. If that’s not a perfect metaphor for their season.
The Milwaukee Brewers failed to replicate their recent string of successes, but still managed to reach the postseason. Is that a good thing? Or is that a sign of things souring?
The Milwaukee Brewers
2020: Record: 29 – 31
2020 Finish: 3rd in the NL Central, 9th in the National League
Surprises in 2020
Let’s start by saying that Devin Williams is completely nasty. Simply disgusting. The guy was absolutely lights out. In his 22 appearances for the Brewers in 2020, Williams finished with a 0.33 ERA, 0.630 WHIP, 17.7 K/9, and an utterly preposterous 1375 ERA+. Now, all of those numbers were already enough to make a Rookie of the Year case for Williams, but let’s talk about one earned run.
Now if you think we’re talking about a specific at-bat or blown lead, we’re not. Devin Williams only gave up one run in his 27 innings for Brewers. That’s simply astounding. There’s no other way to look at that number than to just shake your head and laugh. It’s insane.
Even more insane is the fact that he gave up that run in his second appearance of the season on July 27th. That means that Devin Williams held opposing teams scoreless for two full months. That’s total dominance. That’s criminal levels of suffocation right there.
Disappointments in 2020
The Brewers were in rebuild mode a few short years ago and started seeing results sooner than expected. However, they got in their own way last offseason. They let Yasmani Grandal and Mike Moustakas walk, and the bats they brought in to fill those holes didn’t really deliver.
Add to that the fact that Christian Yelich was very much not himself this season (he finished with a .205 BA, 12 HR, and 22 RBI. Top it all off with Lorenzo Cain deciding to opt-out in August, and you have a recipe for one of the worst offenses in MLB this season. Sure, guys like Keston Hiura and Jedd Gyorko held their own, but if the rest of the lineup doesn’t start producing, their postseason could be over before they know it.
That’s the real disappointment here: the Brewers offense, but mainly Christian Yelich.
When Jedd Gyorko and Dan Vogelbach put up a higher WAR than you’re former MVP and face of the franchise in Christian Yelich, it might be time to sound the alarm.
Looking Ahead to 2021
The Brewers went into 2020 knowing it wasn’t going to be a cakewalk, and yet it was far more difficult than anyone would have imagined. The Brewers have a choice to make: fix the problems that arose in 2020 or accept them as flukes in an odd season. Yes, the Brewers made the postseason in 2020, but barely.
After challenging the Dodgers just two years ago in the NLCS, the Brewers were embarrassed by the eventual World Series Champs. Does that 2018 team still exist somewhere within the Brewers organization? It’s possible, but things need to solidify on the field to get a clearer view. The Brewers are in a weird position right now, for sure.
Projected 2021 Finish: 78-84, 4th in the NL Central
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