Game 157 Recap: Brewers 8 Rangers 3

Top Play (WPA):
Jonathan Villar had himself a night. He went 3-4 with two home runs and a double.

His first home run came in the fifth inning. The Brewers at that point were up 3-2 and Matt Garza was pitching relatively well. Martin Maldonado got the inning started off with a walk, but it was followed by a Michael Reed groundout and a Yadiel Rivera fly out.

The next batter was Villar though, and on the first pitch of the at-bat, he ripped a ball down the left-field line and over the fence, for a two-run shot. It was his seventeenth home run of the season and was the difference maker in this game.

Bottom Play (WPA):
In the third inning, the Brewers were up 3-0. Matt Garza was cruising but did run into some trouble in the second inning.

He started the inning by walking Nomar Mazara. Then, Elvis Andrus singled on a groundball, and Mazara was able to advance to third base. Carlos Gomez followed with a RBI single up the middle and Andrus moved to third base. The Ian Desmond singled as well, up the middle, and Gomez moved to third base.

This game looked as though it was coming apart. The Brewers lead was now down to one and there was a man on first and third with nobody out. Carlos Beltran though, grounded out to first base. Desmond moved to second but the run didn’t score.

Then came Adrian Beltre, and he battled Garza. He battled Garza to a six-pitch at-bat, but on the sixth pitch, he popped the ball up to third base, and no run scored. This was the worst play, of this game, as it allowed the Brewers to maintain the lead, and was the second out of the inning, killing the option of a tag play at home.

Garza ended the inning and the threat by striking out Rougned Odor.

Jonathan Villar:
Villar had an incredible night, launching two more home runs, giving him 18 on the season, building on his previous career high of 7 home runs in 2014.

This has easily been Villar’s breakout season. Not only does he lead all Brewers with a 4.3 BWARP, but he also ranks fourth among all shortstops. Only Corey Seager, Francisco Lindor, and Carlos Correa have been better than Villar.

The question now becomes, what should the Brewers do with Villar. A shortstop with a 4.3 BWARP is hard to come by, and it’s possible that Orlando Arcia never reaches that plateau.

This isn’t to denigrate Arcia. He is still young, and an important part of the Brewers organization. This just means that the Brewers have a “problem” on their hands. That said, these are the types of problems teams want. There is no such thing as an abundance of good players, but finding a fit for the 25-year-old will be one of David Stearns main priorities in the off-season.

Coming Up Next:
It’s been a rough season, record wise, but the Brewers still have five games to play. They are back in action today, against the Texas Rangers. Jimmy Nelson will get the nod for the Brewers. He’s had a very poor season. Currently, WARP has him valued as a below replacement level player at -0.6. Nelson will need to start figuring things out if he wants to stay in the rotation, and he should try and do that tomorrow night if he wants a big league roster spot in 2017.

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