The Brewers offense has been great this year, but of course it has. That's Doug Melvin's thing. He builds a team that hits a bunch of homeruns and then he fills it with pitchers who give up even more. Sure, he's built a team that hasn't done that but he did it by trading like 15 guys for one and a half good seasons of Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke. It's not his strong point. This season? He nailed it.
Through a strange combination of questionable signings, draft picks and trade acquisitions; the Brewers have built a team of pitchers that you can be proud of. They've done it with a unique mix of lights out relievers, starters who go deep every game and an Asian kid you hope never has to pitch ever. No, I don't get it either. Yet somehow, some way this is a staff of All Stars.
The ace? The ace.
Here's something I wrote about Lohse when the Brewers were pursuing him:
Lohse would be a classic "if you beat them all the time, join them" move for Lohse and a classic "we really hate this money so let's just give it to this guy and hope it works out" move for the Brewers. Those usually work out great.
Well, I might not have enjoyed the methods, but it sure has worked out great. Lohse leads Brewers starters in FIP, innings pitched, WHIP and Quality Starts. He has the second best ERA and is only allowing 0.8 HRs per 9 innings which is also good for second. Basically, he's everything I thought he wouldn't be. I was ready to pass the Jeff Suppan/Randy Wolf crown to him and he threw it in my face. He's been awesome and I take back what I said. You're pretty good Lohse and I forgive you for being a former Cardinal.
I love this guy. I don't even fully know or understand why, but I just want to go to Buffalo Wild Wings with him and see how much heat he can take. I once called him the new Yovani because sometimes he'd be really good and sometimes he'd be really (really) bad, but now he's just good. Like all the time.
(KNOCKING ON WOOD SO HARD RIGHT NOW.)
He's only allowed more than three runs twice all season which has helped him to a shiny 3.02 ERA. Best of all, he's only 25 and the youngest Brewers starter. He's a work in progress and he should only continue to improve. Excited!
He's having a very Yovani-esque season. Pre-2013 consistency with 2013 strikeout numbers. That's...
Let's just move on.
A FUTURE ALL-STAR.
Right? That's why we're doing this, right? The story I got was that he would've been a top pick in the draft this season and they got him for free as long as they can stash him for the whole season. We're almost halfway there, we're still in first place and it hasn't cost us yet so it must be a good idea, right? We're not doing all this for a guy who might not ever be as good as Alfredo Figaro, right? Right!? Please tell me I'm not Wang.
(I'm so sorry.)
Did you know he was an All-Star in 2009? On a season where he finished 11-16 with a 4.06 ERA? That's my kind of All-Star. Zach has been starting games in the majors since he was 22. You know what I was doing when I was 22?
Banging chicks Fuck all, that's what. (Coincidentally, the same thing I am doing at 32. Sigh)
He looked like a future star and then he wasn't. He wasn't even good, really. He stuck with the Pirates until they gave up on him and he's bounced around ever since. Never really getting a chance to be a full-time reliever until this season. Now? He's killing it. 1.53 ERA in a career high 35 games while striking out people like never before. A great scrap heap grab for the Brewers, a great redemption song for Zach and a reliable guy to see coming into the game. I'm down.
"Gee, K-Rod sure does have a lot of saves. We better put him on the All-Star team."
- Quotes from the future
My moon and stars.
One of the first MLB playoffs/World Series I remember is that one the Yankees one. You know the one, where Mariano Rivera first showed what he could do. He wasn't even the closer, but you knew that he was the key to every game. He would come in and it would be over. Then John Wetteland would get the save and celebrate. That's how it always went, but if you knew what you were watching you knew that Mariano was the one who should be celebrating. He was the one who did it all. He was the one who made the save possible.
That is Will Smith in every conceivable way. He makes this bullpen, this team and this division lead possible. Zach Duke can have a career year because Will Smith is there, K-Rod can have 25 saves before the All-Star break because Will Smith is there, Wei-Chung Wang can post funny videos on Wednesdays because Will Smith is there. He slays the dragons and makes it safe so everyone else can deal with the mere soldiers in the Targaryen army.
When I think about the Brewers and their potential I always worry because that's the type of fan that I am. Sure, they can make the playoffs but Roenicke will screw it up like he did in 2011. He'll bring in the wrong guy, he'll stick to his "roles" or start the wrong guy in the wrong game. I can't help but to think these things because history has given me no reason not to. Yet I have hope because of Will Smith and that Yankees playoff run. If Roenicke can see that, can understand what is possible and what Will Smith is capable of? The sky is the limit. This could be something special and it's all because of Will Smith. John Axford was just a mustache, a twitter account and some saves related hype. Will Smith is the truth.
I am so freaking excited.