In 2018 Christian Yelich and the Milwaukee Brewers went on a crazy run in September to ultimately win the NL Central for the first time since 2011. It would take 163 games to crown the NL Central champion, but a hot September propelled the Brewers into a deep postseason run that fans will never forget. Fast forward to 2019, the Brewers entered September just 3 games above the .500 mark but still within contention of winning a playoff berth. Do they have what it takes to put together another September to remember? Let’s look at just how magical 2018 was and if it is realistic to replicate.
For comparison’s sake, August of 2019 stats were used to compare against.
2018 Team record as of Sept. 1: 76-60
2019 Team record as of Sept. 1: 69-66
While the Brewers were certainly in a much better position entering September in 2018 compared to 2019, with the way the national league is shaping up the Brewers will not need 96 wins to make the play offs this season.
September 2018 stats
.250 BA/ .343 OBP/ .445 SLG/ .788 OPS
39 Home Runs
21 Stolen Bases
August 2019 Stats
.258 BA/ .335 OBP/ .423 SLG/ .759 OPS
32 Home Runs
15 Stolen Bases
2018 September Individual Offense Standouts
Christian Yelich .352 BA/.500 OBP/.807 SLG /1.307 OPS
10 Home Runs, 33 RBI, 24 BB, 6 SB
Lorenzo Cain .310 BA/.384 OBP
27 hits, 6 SB
Ryan Braun .266 BA/.382 OBP/.609 SLG/.991 OPS
6 Home runs, 14 RBI
**In 2019 the Brewers are batting .241 with runners in scoring position.
2018 September Team ERA: 2.77
2019 August Team ERA: 4.86
2018 September Individual Pitching Standouts
Gio Gonzalez- 25.1 innings pitched, 2.13 ERA
Chase Anderson- 17.2 innings pitched, 3.06 ERA
Wade Miley- 23 innings pitched, 3.52 ERA
Jhoulys Chacin- 23.2 innings pitched, 3.91 ERA
Corey Knebel- 15.1 innings pitched, 32 strike outs, 2 saves, 0 earned runs
Jeremy Jeffress- 10.2 innings pitched, 15 strike outs, 7 saves, 0 earned runs
Brandon Woodruff- 12.1 innings pitched, 16 strike outs, 1 earned run
Corbin Burnes- 14 innings pitched, 3 earned runs
The offensive’s inability to drive runners in and the bullpen may be the two factors that keep the Brewers out of the playoffs in 2019. The Brewers current starters (Davies, Anderson, Lyles, Houser, and Gonzalez) have been keeping the Brewers in games so far for the most part, but if a run like last year is truly going to occur, they need some bullpen arms to get hot. Josh Hader is the only reliable high leverage reliever. High leverage bullpen arms in Junior Guerra, Matt Albers, and Freddy Peralta have been inconsistent most of the year. Jake Faria, Ray Black, Jay Jackson, Jimmy Nelson, and even Brent Suter have much to prove yet in limited MLB time this season, however, if one or two arms can put together one good month that may be the difference in winning a few more games. In September of 2018, Knebel and Jeffress combined for 26 scoreless innings between the two. It is going to take an effort like that if the Brewers want to keep contending for a playoff spot.