Three Milwaukee Brewers’ writers from Dairyland Express answer three questions about the Brewers’ recent offensive resurgence.
Dairyland Express‘ weekly edition of your Milwaukee Brewers roundtable is back for a second edition where we ask three writers three questions. In today’s version, we explore the recent resurgence of the bats (minus last night’s output) and whether we can expect it to continue.
1. The Brewers offense has really started to come alive over the past week, what has been the biggest reason for the dramatic turnaround at the plate?
Mike Wendlandt (@MikeWendlandt): It’s no surprise to me that the Brewers offensive resurgence has coincided with the RBI-binge out of Travis Shaw. The cleanup hitter has been absolutely on fire for the past couple of weeks, starting on the road trip on the west coast. With is batting average up to .260 and 36 RBI, Shaw has been the force in the middle of the order that the team had been missing in April when he was in a slump. He’s now the second most valuable position player in the National League, according to Baseball-Reference, behind only Lorenzo Cain.
Speaking of Cain, the fact that he has been able to defy father time so far and be a table setter out of the leadoff spot has been beyond invaluable. His .396 on-base percentage is incredible at the end of May and he’s been able to get himself in scoring position with 11 stolen bases. His work ahead of the big guns has been the kindling to the fire that is Shaw’s monster month.
Anthony Haag (@Anthony_haag): Better plate discipline and clutch hitting. The guys on this team seem to know their role and what they are supposed to do. Jonathan Villar has played better this season and has come up with some key hits. The team is getting production from all positions. There is a sense with this team that they have a chance to win every time they step on the diamond.
There are the regular players who will perform daily, Lorenzo Cain, Christian Yelich and Travis Shaw, but they are a team of opportunists as you never know who will come up in the clutch. One day it might be Villar, next it could be Aguilar or Tyler Saladino. It doesn’t matter where in the lineup, the Brewers are putting pressure on opposing pitchers by working the count and by not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. With the way their lineup has come together, any batter can hurt the opposing pitcher.
Mitchell Reichert (@MitchReichert): The top of the lineup has been unbelievable for the Crew so far this year, including the past week. Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain have come to Milwaukee and done exactly what they were expected to do – provide great defense and set the table for the offense.
Over the past seven days, Yelich has scored 11 runs and slashed a .414/.485/.655 line, including a very solid 9.1 percent walk rate and a well below league average strikeout rate at 15.2 percent. While Cain hasn’t hit for nearly as much power as Yelich, he’s had an impressive week as well. Cain is slashing .375/.483/.417, including a ridiculous 17.2 percent walk rate and tiny 6.9 pstrikeoutike out rate. Both of these guys have been wonderful all year for the Brewers, and they are doing an awesome job getting on base for the big hitters behind them.