Davies has been fortunate this year in that Milwaukee's offense has provided him with a lot of run support (7.59 per game). The Brewers starter didn't need much help this past week, though. On July 19, Davies allowed just one unearned run in seven innings against Pittsburgh and Tuesday night blanked Washington on three hits -- while striking out seven -- in 7 2/3 innings, nearly matching his personal-best of eight innings set June 1, 2016 vs. St. Louis. It was, however, the longest road start of his career. Those two stellar starts saw Davies lower his ERA from 5.08 to 4.45.
Anthony Swarzak, Brewers reliever (↑ UP)
From Tuesday to Wednesday, Swarzak went from the worst team in the American League to the leaders in the National League Central. Swarzak is already having a career season, why not add a pennant race to the mix?
USA TODAY SportsDennis Wierzbicki
Eric Thames, Brewers first baseman (--> EVEN)
Thames continues his path from the last couple of months -- capable of hitting Ruthian home runs (as witnessed Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.) but also striking out at an alarming rate (11 times in 22 at-bats last week).
Ryan Braun, Brewers outfielder (↑ UP)
Braun will probably need to be rested here and there all season as he fights through injuries, but the strategy is working, at least in the past week. Braun was 5 for 12 last week with two doubles, a homer, four runs, six RBI -- and no strikeouts. Although he's played in only 47 games, his slugging percentage of .552 is his highest since 2012.
Associated PressDerik Hamilton
Steve Wojciechowski, Marquette head coach (↑ UP)
The Golden Eagles got a commitment from forward Joey Hauser, the top recruit in the state. Not only will Hauser help Marquette, but also in-state rival Wisconsin was bidding for his services. Count this as a double win for Wojo.
Brewers bullpen (↓ DOWN)
We've praised them when they've been good, but last week, Milwaukee's relievers were not good. The Brewers' bullpen combined to give up 14 runs (13 earned), with the biggest offenders being Carlos Torres (4 R, .1 IP), Oliver Drake (4 R, 2.2 IP) and Jacob Barnes (3 R, 2 IP). Once reason why Swarzak is on his way to the team and rumors of other bullpen additions swirling.
Yes, it is nice that Troy Fumagalli and Jack Cichy made the preseason Big Ten all-conference list. But, to quote Nigel Hayes: "While I appreciate the sign of respect this shows, preseason honors don't really mean much. I'm much more concerned with postseason player of the year awards, because that would likely mean our team did something special this season." The Badgers were also tabbed the overwhelming favorite to win the Big Ten West, as voted on by a media poll conducted by cleveland.com. Oh, last year that same poll had Iowa as an even bigger favorite to win the division. So, yeah.