Brewers second baseman Rickie Weeks goes into tonight’s game riding a five-game hitting streak that coincides with the team’s five-game winning streak. Weeks is hitting .333 during this streak.
Weeks’ struggles over a good portion of the season have been well documented, but it could also be said that the Brewers late-season surge has run parallel to Weeks’ hot bat. In fact, the eight-year veteran can point to one game in particular, a loss to the Phillies on July 25, as the beginning of his good fortune.
Weeks went 4-for-4 with a solo home run in the 10th-inning 7-6 loss to Philadelphia. Weeks entered the game with a .190 batting average. With his four hits, Weeks upped his average to .200, and he has kept his average above that mark since that game.
But it is the stats since that game that really indicate how Weeks’ resurgence at the plate has been a catalyst for the Brewers more frequent visits into the win column.
Consider these stats from Rickie’s first 90 games of the season, played from April 6 to July 24, and those stats from that July 25 4-for-4 game to September 20:
* The Brewers were 44-52 after a loss on July 24, 12.5 games out of first. Since that game, the Brewers have gone 33-20, tied for the fourth-best record in all of baseball since that date, and are now just 2.5 games out of the second wild-card berth.
* From the start of the season to July 24, Weeks hit .190 with only 64 hits and 38 runs scored in 90 games played. Since then, Weeks is hitting .301 with 62 hits and 41 runs scored in 53 games played.
* In the games prior to July 25, Weeks had a slugging percentage of .333, an on-base percentage of only .305 and an OPS of .638. In the 53 games since July 24, Weeks has a slugging percentage of .539, an on-base percentage of .385 and an OPS of .924.
You can point to a lot of different factors to why the Brewers have played themselves back into the wild-card race: improved starting pitching, the bullpen, strong seasons by Ryan Braun and Aramis Ramirez, and solid campaigns by Corey Hart, Jonathan Lucroy and Nori Aoki.
But at, or near, the top of the list has to be the big turnaround from Rickie Weeks. And he can point to a game in Philadelphia on July 25 as the starting point to that new beginning to his 2012 season.
Follow Jerry @StatsonTapp