6 Reasons the Milwaukee Brewers Could Upend the Philadelphia Phillies in October
In sports, winning is all about execution and performance. Winning is contagious. It builds confidence. The Brewers embody those three age-old statements.
Every team goes through a rough spell, and the Brewers got theirs out of the way early. They lost six straight heading into May. They were swept by the Yankees at the end of June and lost another to the Twins on July 1. Since then, they've gelled and caught fire.
They've gone 28-10 since the All-Star break and have won 32 of their last 43 (they suffered their first Pirates loss of the season in the second game of a doubleheader on Aug. 22).
In head-to-head competition with the Phillies, Milwaukee has taken two of three, with three more to play in September. Barring a total collapse, here's what makes Milwaukee such a hot property.
Prince Fielder is mashing the ball at a .353 clip over the last 30 days (28 games), 6 HRs, 26 RBI, a .434 on-base percentage, and an eye-popping 1.023 OPS (on-base, plus slugging).
He is vital to their attack, and it's unthinkable that the front office hasn't locked him up with a fat contract by this point.
Ryan Braun is the other half of an explosive 1-2 punch. In the last 30 days, Braun is pummeling the ball at a .346 clip, 6 HRs, 16 RBI, .388 on-base percentage, and a .986 OPS.
Additionally, Braun has swiped seven bases in seven tries, all over 27 games.
Veteran right-fielder Corey Hart is hammering the ball at a .305 clip the last 30 days (27 games), 6 HRs, 15 RBI, .360 on-base percentage, and .855 OPS.
Keep in mind that when Rickie Weeks was injured (July 27), the 6'6" Hart was pressed into the leadoff spot, despite not being the typical leadoff type.
Third baseman Casey McGehee had gotten off to a horrendous start, but has started to smolder of late.
In the last 30 days (26 games), he's belting the ball at a .293 clip, 4 HRs, 20 RBI, .350 on-base percentage, and .860 OPS.
The Brewers really need his potent bat in the lineup.
Shortstop Yuniesky Bentancourt is another slow starter who has heated up just at the most opportune time.
His last 30 days (28 games) have him hitting at a .275 clip, 3 HRs, 19 RBI, and a .711 OPS.
The 29 year-old is still rather erratic afield, but he's been clutch at the dish.
Manager Ron Roenicke is hoping to keep his team well-grounded while still having fun. He's been somewhat concerned about players' behavior showing up the opposition.
If he can keep them from getting arrogant by exalting themselves on the field for the rest of the season, Philadelphia could have their hands full during the NL playoffs.