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What Went Wrong: A Taste of the Brewers' Own Medicine

by Clyde E. Dawkins 2 months ago in baseball

The Milwaukee Brewers' bats go cold in their Division Series loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Brewers scored six runs in the four-game Division Series

Remember what the full story of the Milwaukee Brewers was? It was pitching. Pitching was the absolute nucleus of the Brewers' 2021 campaign. This was a season that saw their MVP slugger, Christian Yelich, miss several games due to injury. Yet in spite of everything, the Brewers' rotation (led by Corbin Burnes) and bullpen (led, once again, by Josh Hader) dominated and led the way for the Brew Crew. The team led all of Major League Baseball in shutouts.

However, the Brewers did have problems wrapping up the National League Central. The Cardinals' historic 17-game winning streak (which included a four-game sweep in Milwaukee) made it difficult, but it also didn't help that even when their magic number was at five, the wins didn't really come for the Brewers. As a result, the Brewers clinched the NL Central about a week later than they should have, but even so, they looked like a formidable threat in the National League...until they weren't.

So what went wrong for the Brewers? Simple. Their bats were colder than Lambeau Field in December. Their pitching dominated in Game One, but the Brewers' hitting was absolutely horrid. The series against the Atlanta Braves saw them shutout in Games Two and Three, and go 22 innings without scoring a run. Overall, the Brewers scored a grand total of six runs in the entire series, which lasted four games. It also didn't help that Josh Hader, their trusty reliever/closer, gave up Freddie Freeman's go-ahead and eventual series-clinching solo shot in the eighth inning of Game Four. Sadly, it's not the first time Hader choked in a clutch situation in the postseason. We all remember how he blew it in the Wild Card Game against the Washington Nationals in 2019.

So the Final Four is almost complete. The ALCS is all set; the Boston Red Sox will face off against the Houston Astros, with Game One taking place on October 15 in Houston. The NLCS, and home field in that series, is still undecided. The series between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants still needs to be decided, with Game Five taking place in the Bay Area. The winner advances to the NLCS; for the Giants, it would be their first appearance since 2014, while the Dodgers are looking to make their fifth appearance in six years.

As for home field, despite the amazing win-loss records of both the Giants and Dodgers, that's still to be decided. Game One of the NLCS will take place on October 16; if the Giants win, the game's in San Francisco. If the Dodgers win, the game will be in Atlanta. Yes, while the Dodgers won 106 games, they did not win the division, so they will lose home-field advantage to a Braves team who won 88 games. You just know that baseball purists will have a fit if the Dodgers win Game Five and have to go to Atlanta.

As for the Brewers, it's been an interesting few seasons for them. 2018 could be considered a dream season for the Brew Crew. It was the year that Christian Yelich nearly won the National League's Triple Crown, and while they needed Game 163 to win the NL Central that year, they had a magical run that saw them come within one win of their second-ever pennant. They have gone backwards since then; three postseason appearances, but haven't advanced. It's clear that the NL Central will be the Brewers' to lose in 2022, but what they do with it will be the ultimate million dollar question.

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Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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