So let’s get into it. From giant bellies to giant busts, here is your Milwaukee Brewer-centric Week 17 in Review.
5. Prince Fielder – 1B – Milwaukee Brewers
As Prince Fielder goes, so do the Brewers. The Brewers have won 11 of 12, and, big surprise, Prince Fielder is on fire. In the last two games, alone, Prince is 6/7. For the week, he hit .500 (10/20) with 2 HR, 9 RBI, 9 Runs, and 6 BB! With a week like that, I could probably have you believing that the man stole 6 bases. You don’t believe it? Alright, never mind. Boy, nothing gets by you.
4. Ricky Romero – SP – Toronto Blue Jays
Ricky Romero has been having a special season. On Sunday, the 26 year old pitched his 3rd straight 8+ inning game. In doing so, he earned his 10th win of the season and dropped his ERA below 3.00. In his 18 innings of work this week, Romero has a 1.69 ERA and a tiny, little 0.56 WHIP. He probably won’t get any Cy Young votes considering the year Verlander is having and the fact that he plays in Canada, but any respect he’s missing from the national media is certainly made up for with respect from his opponents. This season, opposing batters are hitting just .220 against him, and striking out 21.4% of the time. Those numbers are tough to beat.
3. Matt Holliday – OF – St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Holliday can swing the bat. He may not be the same Matt Holliday that should have won the MVP in 2007 with his 1.012 OPS, but he still has the ability to carry an offense that has Albert Pujols in its lineup. This week, Holliday hit .400 with 4 HR and 10 RBI.
He was a huge reason why the Cards were able to snag their only win against the Brewers by hitting a HR, stealing a huge base, and scoring 3 times. His production this week is also a huge reason why the Cardinals didn’t lose more than half a game to the front running Brewers. Keep your eye on him. If the Cardinals win the Central, there’s a very good chance that Holliday wins the NL MVP award.
2. Ervin Santana – SP – Los Angeles Angels
It’s not easy for a player to make the top storylines of the week 2 weeks in a row based on their performance. I guess, maybe if you’re in a steroid scandal and new developments are constantly breaking, or at least breaking once a week, they’d probably continue to make the list. But if the player makes the list based solely on their production, that player is on one heck of a streak.
Ervin Santana came 2/3 of an inning away from pitching his third straight complete game on Sunday. The first was last week’s 10 K no-hitter, and the second was Tuesday’s 7 K, 1 BB, 8 H, 1 ER outing. Yesterday’s game was nearly identical to Tuesday’s, as Santana pitched 8 1/3 Innings, allowing just 1 run on 7 H, and 1 BB, and he also struck out 7.
Santana’s ERA is down to 3.32, and his WHIP is just 1.16. It’d be appropriate to mention that he’s below .500, but that would just prove that Wins and Losses are pointless stats for a pitcher. Anyway, have yourself a week, Ervin. You are a huge reason the Angels are just 1 game behind the Rangers.
1. Milwaukee Brewers – NL Central
The Brewers are the hottest team in baseball. On the week, they scored a Major-League-leading 7.50 runs per game. They’ve won 11 of their last 12, and all were against their division. Sure, 9 of the 11 games that they won came against the Astros and Cubs, but the other two came against the Cardinals. Not only are the Brewers hotter than Mila Kunis in a sauna, but their rivals are dropping like a drunken frat boy… hitting on Mila Kunis in a sauna.
The Pirates lost every single day this week. They didn’t even get an off day to catch their loser breath, and have now lost 10 in a row. What’s worse is that they gave up 8.4 runs per game to the Cubs and the Padres. The Cubs and the Padres! The pitching that carried the Pirates into a post-deadline playoff race took a Rip Van Winkle-style nap this week. Pittsburgh now sits 10 games out of 1st place.
Pittsburgh wasn’t the only NL Central team knocked out of the playoff hunt this week. The Cincinnati Reds went 2-4 against the same bottom feeders that the Brewers so happily feasted on. The Astros and Cubs made Cincy say uncle, and made Walt Jocketty’s lack of deadline moves look like a stroke of genius. Wait, maybe they should have made some trades. Which one is it?
Luckily for competitive balance, however, the Cardinals were able to survive the week by sweeping a four-game series against the Marlins, and finish the week at 5-2, losing just half a game in the standings. And speaking of competitive balance, the Brewers will visit Busch Stadium to take on St. Louis in a series that starts on Tuesday.