Brewers announce award winners

While the Milwaukee Brewers were unable to find their way into the postseason they did have a season not many expected. Today they announced which players have been honored with team postseason awards, as voted on by a five-person committee from the Milwaukee Chapter of the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Brewers pitcher Brent Suter was voted as the team’s Unsung Hero winner. This year Suter bounced back and forth between Milwaukee and the minor leagues. He spent six separate stints with the Brewers, going 3-2 with a 3.42 earned run average in 22 games for the club. He made 14 starts for the team. Last year’s winner of the award was Hernán Pérez.

Sticking on the pitching staff, closer Corey Knebel was named the team’s Most Valuable Pitcher. Knebel made 76 appearances for the team, totaling 76 saves while posting a 1.78 ERA. He also was tied for the Major League lead in strikeouts by a reliever with 126, which was a team record. Knebel also set the Major League record for most consecutive relief appearances with a strikeout at 45. Last season Junior Guerra took home the award.

Third baseman Travis Shaw takes home multiple awards, winning the team Most Valuable Player and Newcomer of the Year. He was acquired via a trade with the Boston Red Sox last offseason. Shaw hit .273 with 31 home runs and 101 runs batted in for the Brewers this year. Shaw unseats Ryan Braun, who had been the team’s MVP the previous two seasons.

Travis Shaw’s 2-run walk-off HR pushes the Brewers past Chicago

Faced with the same extra innings situation they had been in the last two nights, the Milwaukee Brewers were determined to change the outcome on Saturday — and they did.

After watching the Chicago Cubs score in the top of the 10th inning in each of the last two games and go on to win, manager Craig Counsell’s club once again faced a deficit when they came to the plate at Miller Park in the 10th. But instead of just accepting a fourth straight loss, the Brewers kept their playoff hopes alive thanks to a 2-run, walk-off homer by Travis Shaw for a 4-3 win.

It was a 1-1 game until the top of the eighth inning when Kris Bryant drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, and it stayed that way heading to the bottom of the ninth.

Two things were going against the Brewers at that point — closer Wade Davis hadn’t blown a save in 2017 and Milwaukee hadn’t won a game when trailing after eight innings all year. Shortstop Orlando Arcia took care of the first part with a solo homer, and then, after Chicago got an RBI single from Jon Jay in the 10th inning, Shaw took care of the second part following up a Ryan Braun double with his 31st homer of the year and the win.

The victory guaranteed the Brewers would have a winning record, the first time since 2014. It also kept them in the race for the second wild card in the National League, as they pulled even with St. Louis, sitting 1 1/2 games behind Colorado. Both of those teams had yet to play Saturday.

Milwaukee will try to get the split of its four-game series with the Cubs on Sunday afternoon.

Brewers rally in 7th for 4-3 win over Giants

SAN FRANCISCO — The Milwaukee Brewers used a combination of defense and small ball to produce a seventh-inning rally to top the San Francisco Giants 4-3 Tuesday night at AT&T Park.

Down 3-2 in the seventh, Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw delivered his 81st RBI of the season to put Milwaukee on top for good. It started with a Neil Walker double that put Eric Thames on first base, finished off with a Ryan Braun sacrifice fly. Shaw’s liner resulted in a double and another run across the plate.

“We didn’t do it with a homer tonight. But you string together hits,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “That got the job done. You have to string together consecutive at-bats, I think, in this park. Four guys put together good at-bats.”

Milwaukee has hit 184 home runs this season while opponents have totaled 154 long balls against the Crew.

Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson had a respectable outing, but was pulled after 5.0 innings after walking three batters. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits while striking out six.

“I think [Nelson] had good stuff tonight,” Counsell recalled. “There were some times he lost some pitches, kind of gave them some free pitches…It certainly was a night where Jimmy had to battle through things.”

Milwaukee and San Francisco finish off the series Wednesday afternoon at 2:45 p.m. CT.

Milwaukee overcomes early deficit to beat Pittsburgh 7-6

Powered by five home runs, the Milwaukee Brewers came back from an early deficit to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 7-6 on Wednesday afternoon at Miller Park.

Manager Craig Counsell’s team trailed 4-0 entering the bottom of the third inning when their bats finally woke up. Centerfielder Keon Broxton drilled a solo home run, which was followed by a two-run shot from second baseman Neil Walker.

Things stayed 4-3 until the sixth inning, when third baseman Travis Shaw tied the game with his 26th homer of the year. The Pirates answered that with a run in the seventh, only to see Broxton hit another solo shot to tie things up in the bottom of the frame. After an Adam Frazier single gave Pittsburgh a 6-5 lead going to the bottom of the eighth inning, the Brewers showed off their resiliency as catcher Manny Pina hit a two-run homer that proved to be the game-winner.

The victory was the fourth straight for the Brewers, who improved to 2-43 this season when trailing after seven innings, and in doing so moved into sole possession of second place in the NL Central, 1 ½ games back of Chicago and a game in front of St. Louis.

After a rough first three innings, Jimmy Nelson settled in, going 6 1/3 innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Anthony Swarzak picked up the win, while closer Corey Knebel earned his 24th save with a scoreless ninth inning.

Milwaukee now hits the road for nine games, starting Friday night in Colorado.

Davies masterful in shutout win over Rays

TAMPA, Fla. — It was his first career start against the Tampa Bay Rays, but you wouldn’t know it as Zach Davies led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 3-0 win Saturday night.

Davies logged seven innings, allowing just one hit on the way to his 13th win of the year. Jacob Barnes and Anthony Swarzak finished it off with just three hits allowed between them.

Milwaukee’s offense was held relatively quiet in Alex Cobb’s six innings for Tampa Bay. They logged five hits against him, one of which was a solo home run by Orlando Arcia in the third inning. That would prove to be Milwaukee’s only scoring until a key ninth inning.

That’s when Hernan Perez went to work, leading off the inning with a solo shot to set the tone for the rest of the inning. With the bases loaded, Jose Alvarado was charged with a wild pitch, allowing Jesus Aguilar to score from third base.

But it wasn’t all good news for the Brewers. In the second inning, third baseman Travis Shaw was hit in the head as the Rays tried to throw him out as he attempted to steal second base. He left the game and did not return, though an initial evaluation has him listed as day-to-day with a bruised neck.

Davies’ performance followed up a 2-0 win on Friday night, giving Milwaukee it’s first set of back-to-back shutout wins since 2013.

Brewers keep slumping as Cubs take series at Miller Park

MILWAUKEE — The Milwaukee Brewers have struggled to find offensive rhythm and that was the case again Sunday afternoon in a 4-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park.

The Brewers were baffled by John Lackey, who allowed five hits over six innings, while fanning seven. He earned his eighth win of the year while Milwaukee’s Zach Davies took his fifth loss, despite a respectable box score of seven innings, three earned runs, and six strikeouts.

“Offensively, we just haven’t been very good,” Brewers third baseman Travis Shaw said. “Our pitching staff did their job this series. I thought the bullpen did a really good job and Davies, another great quality start for us today. It’s just offensively, we did not come up with the clutch hit. There’s ruts like that throughout the season. Obviously, we were really good in the first half offensively. We just have to find a way to get going.”

Chicago didn’t have any trouble getting offense from unexpected places. Fill-in first baseman Victor Caratini launched a go-ahead solo homer in the seventh inning, which led to a solo blast from Kris Bryant in the following frame. It was the Cubs’ 13th win in 16 outings, also expanding their lead in the National League Central to 2 ½ games over the Brewers.

The Brewers did manage to set a club record in the loss, though one they’ll likely try to forget. Milwaukee has gone hitless with runners in scoring position 31 consecutive times, breaking a record set in 1987 when the Brewers went 0-for-30.

“I don’t think anybody in this clubhouse is too worried about this one series,” Davies said. “Yeah, it would have been nice to switch up the standings again, but there’s still 55 games or so left to play and we’re going to go out and compete in every one of them.”

Milwaukee welcomes St. Louis on Tuesday night where the Cardinals look to secure their 14th straight series in Milwaukee.

Pirates close gap in NL Central in Starling Marte’s return from suspension

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Starling Marte returned from an 80-game PED suspension Tuesday night to help his team take down the Milwaukee Brewers 4-3 at PNC Park.

Marte went 1-for-3 with a walk and a single, while Josh Harrison and Francisco Cervelli broke down Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra with home runs in the sixth inning. Pittsburgh has now won nine of its last 11 games, to come within five games of the National-League-Central-leading Brewers.

For Milwaukee, it marks the squad’s third straight loss, as the Chicago Cubs climb to within 2 ½ games of the division lead. Some timely hitting could have helped the Brewers maintain their distance, only able to scratch across three runs on 13 hits against the Pirates. During their three-game losing streak, the Brewers are 3-for-23 with runners in scoring position.

‘You’ve got to get hits with runners in scoring position,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “Some nights you’re not going to get them. The last couple nights, we’ve gotten guys on — just unable to get that next hit.”

While he sounded composed in the post-game press conference, Counsell lost his composure in the eighth inning over a called strike against third baseman Travis Shaw. Counsell’s disagreement with home plate umpire Mike Muchlinski resulted in an ejection.

Milwaukee can split the four-game series with Pittsburgh by winning the final two games. Zach Davies starts opposite Gerrit Cole during Wednesday’s game at 6:05 p.m. CT.

Brewers clinch series win with late Shaw HR

MILWAUKEE — On a night where the Milwaukee Brewers were honoring a team known for hitting home runs, Travis Shaw helped salute them with a big home run of his own.

The Brewers third baseman launched an eighth-inning solo shot to give Milwaukee a 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday night. The evening began with an on-field celebration of the 1982 club that won an American League pennant, while also representing the Brewers’ last trip to the World Series.

It was Shaw’s only hit of the night, in which Aaron Nola gave the Phillies six innings of two-run ball. But Milwaukee was supported by its own impressive starter, Jimmy Nelson. He struck out nine while pitching into the seventh inning. The Brewers only allowed four hits all night.

“We had a lot of momentum going into the break, and for us to be able to take a few days off then come back and continue that momentum is huge, especially for a younger team,” Nelson said. “We’re playing with a lot of energy, and who knows what can happen? Who knows what we can do?”

The Brewers are now 2-0 in games since the All Star break, maintaining their 5 ½ lead in the National League Central. Much of that has to do with the recent success in the bullpen, with Corey Knebel leading the way after earning his 16th save of the year.

The Brewers and Phillies will finish off the series Sunday at 1:10 p.m. from Miller Park.

The Mayor of Ding Dong City needs your vote!

The latest All-Star ballots were released yesterday and no Brewers were in the top five at any position. This is ridiculous that Travis Shaw isn’t at least in the top five of best third basemen this season. Shaw, The Mayor of Ding Dong City, is having a breakout year and currently not being rewarded for it. He is in the top five in most of the offensive categories, yet isn’t even close to being one of the top five vote-getters at his position.

Kris Bryant is currently leading the National League All-Star ballot at third base, just edging out Nolan Arenado. If you compare Bryant and Shaw’s numbers, fans may be surprised by the results. They both have had the same number of at-bats, which should make it even easier to compare the two. When comparing their numbers, Shaw has more hits, extra base hits, 24 more RBIs, stolen bases and less strikeouts. Shaw even has a batting average that is 30 points higher and a slugging percentage 38 points higher. The only categories that Bryant actually leads Shaw in are walks, on base percentage, hit by pitch, and has a slightly higher OPS.

 (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

After looking at these stats head-to-head, you have to wonder how Shaw isn’t at least in the top five. If you compare his numbers to all of the players listed in the top five of All-Star voting at third base there are really only two players having better seasons than Shaw. The two in my opinion who are having better seasons are Nolan Arenado and Jacob Lamb. There is no reason why Shaw shouldn’t be at least in the top three at third base in the National League.

Brewer fans need to go out and vote for Shaw and give him the recognition he deserves this season. The Brewers by rule, have to have at least one player to represent the organization at the All-Star Game. If Brewer fans don’t get out and vote for Brewers players who are actually deserving to play in the game, one is all they’ll have. The Brewers are currently  in first in the National League Central Division leading the Chicago Cubs by one game. In Comparison, the Cubs have at least one player at every position in the top five for number of votes.

The All-Star ballots closes Thursday, June 29th, at 11:59 pm ET. So Brewers fans need to get out and vote!

Brewers playoff hopes take a hit in 6-0 loss to Cincinnati

The Milwaukee Brewers playoff chances are on life support. That’s after veteran Homer Bailey pitched seven scoreless innings for the Cincinnati Reds in a 6-0 win at Miller Park on Wednesday night. “You got to earn these wins,” manager Craig Counsell said. “Tonight we didn’t do much on both sides — starting pitching (wise) and […]

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Travis Shaw’s 2-run walk-off HR pushes the Brewers past Chicago

Faced with the same extra innings situation they had been in the last two nights, the Milwaukee Brewers were determined to change the outcome on Saturday — and they did. After watching the Chicago Cubs score in the top of the 10th inning in each of the last two games and go on to win, […]

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Milwaukee blows late lead, loses 5-3 in 10 innings to Chicago

For a second straight night the Milwaukee Brewers lost in agonizing fashion, this time a 5-3 setback to the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. Manager Craig Counsell’s club took a 3-2 lead into the ninth inning against the defending World Series champions, only to see shortstop Javy Baez drive in the tying run off of Jeremy […]

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Brewers beat Pittsburgh 1-0, move to within a game of Colorado in wild card race

The Milwaukee Brewers continued their push towards the postseason Tuesday night with a 1-0 shutout victory over Pittsburgh. Chase Anderson threw six scoreless innings with eight strikeouts to pick up his 11th win of the year, though it didn’t come easy. In the sixth inning, Pittsburgh managed to get a runner to third with no […]

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Brewers beat Pittsburgh, gain ground in playoff chase

The Milwaukee Brewers are within two games of the Colorado Rockies and the final wild-card spot in the National League. That’s after manager Craig Counsell’s crew went on the road Monday night and got a 3-0 shutout win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. “We don’t have a lot of margin for error,” Counsell said of his […]

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Brewers pitching falls apart in 8-1 loss to Pirates

MILWAUKEE — An area of weakness reared its ugly head as the Milwaukee Brewers fell to the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-1 Monday night.

That weakness was relief pitching. Wily Peralta took over for Matt Garza in the sixth inning only to leave an inning later after allowing four runs to score on five hits. But by the time Peralta was taken out in favor of Paolo Espino, the damage was done and Milwaukee couldn’t climb out of the 8-1 hole.

“I think the ability to create ground balls was really [Peralta’s] strength with his fastball,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said after the loss. “The velocity is usually what makes the slider a better pitch, but we’re not getting either, really.”

The Brewers’ bullpen has now allowed 130 runs this season (third most in MLB), while maintaining its last-place ranking with 19 losses.

But Garza’s 5.1 innings didn’t give Milwaukee the start it needed to succeed, with a sixth inning Andrew McCutchen home run giving the Pirates a 4-1 lead. Opposing pitcher Gerrit Cole even helped his cause with a sacrifice base hit.

The Brewers offense can be summed up by the solo home run in the second inning from Travis Shaw that just escaped over the center field wall. That was one of just five hits Milwaukee recorded on the night.