Welcome to Week Four of the Weekend Recap, where we’ll review a disappointing weekend series against the Braves. This series was an unfortunate way to cap a successful April for the Brewers.
|Friday April 28||10||8|
|Saturday April 29||11||3|
|Sunday April 30||3||4|
Let’s start with the disappointment that was Friday night’s game, when the Brewers managed to blow two different four run leads. After the Braves tied the game again in the eighth inning, Neftali Feliz came into the pitch the ninth. He promptly gave up a double and a home run, and the Braves won 10-8. There’s no sugar coating those two at bats; both hits were off belt high pitches over the plate.
While Feliz’s blown save was certainly disappointing, Jacob Barnes’s implosion was surprising. Barnes had yet to allow a run all season, then he allowed three. His 1/3 of an inning appearance was his shortest of the season, yet he threw twenty five pitches, his most in a game in 2017. But when looking at the pitches ending each at bat, it seems he was more unlucky than shelled.
The yellow dot in the middle, which looks like the juiciest pitch, was only turned into a single. The worst pitch of the five, that orange dot, sustained the most damage. It was a high and outside fastball, which Ender Inciarte reached for and lofted into left center field.
It’s disappointing when the stuff doesn’t line up with the results, but sometimes teams have nights where the bounces don’t fall. Notwithstanding some high profile pratfalls, including five blown saves so far, the Brewers bullpen has been middle of the pack: their 3.97 DRA places them 15th in MLB and 6th in the National League. Even after Friday, Barnes still leads the team with a 0.99 DRA, and is eighth in MLB among all pitchers with at least ten innings pitched. Of course, that stellar work is offset by Carlos Torres, who is tied for the team lead in appearances and has the worst reliever DRA at 4.84. Torres is also the only reliever seeing regular time with a DRA below the team’s average.
Milwaukee hit five home runs over the weekend, and leads MLB with forty three, seven more dingers than the Yankees, Nationals and Rockies, who are all tied for second place. On Sunday, Domingo Santana contributed two of those homers. Santana came into Sunday’s game on a disappointing start to the season as he’s below his 10th Percentile PECOTA forecast with a .237 TAv and negative WARP.
Part of his slow month can be attributed to his .196 BABip, which is unsustainably low. He’s currently has the 16th worst BABIP out of all hitters with at least 50 plate appearances, and it would have been the 3rd worst in 2016 amongst all players with at least 100 plate appearances, and most of the guys in that neighborhood at the end of the year are your slow catcher and first baseman types. It’ll get better, so long as he can stop those infield pop ups. Other reasons for optimism include his plate discipline stats. Though April was frustrating, Santana has cut his strikeout rate below 25 percent while increasing his walk rate to 13.6 percent. Ending the month with three home runs over the weekend (including his pinch hit homer on Friday) may prove to be a launching pad for his skills to turn into results.
Looking Ahead: The Brewers face a week where they’ll be away from home and playing divisional games all week. They roll into St. Louis for four games, then are off to Pittsburgh for a weekend series. The Cardinals and Brewers are currently tied for 2nd place in the division, with the Pirates on their heels one game back, so the Brewers can stay in the mix with a good week.
|Brewers Probables||Cardinals Probables|
|Zach Davies (24.7 IP, 7.61 DRA)||Michael Wacha (24.7 IP, 3.18 DRA)|
|Wily Peralta (26.0 IP, 7.13 DRA)||Carlos Martinez (28.7 IP, 1.63 DRA)|
|Chase Anderson (30.0 IP, 5.39 DRA)||Adam Wainwright (25.0 IP, 5.25 DRA)|
|Jimmy Nelson (28.7 IP, 6.74 DRA)||Lance Lynn (29.3 IP, 6.69 DRA)|