Brewers pitchers leading the way in record-chasing September
There’s something about September baseball at Miller Park.
Over the last three weeks, Milwaukee has catapulted itself from playoff longshots to contenders thanks to an unforeseen 17-4 stretch – similar to last year’s club that went 19-7 in September en route to an NLCS appearance.
If Milwaukee can keep up the pace over its final six games of the season, it’ll go down as one of the best months of September in baseball history.
ALL-TIME HIGHEST WIN % IN SEPTEMBER
|1977||Kansas City Royals||25-5||.833|
|1951||New York Giants||20-5||.800|
Oddly enough, all four teams in that chart (besides the Brewers, of course) went on to lose to the New York Yankees in the postseason.
Anyway, the Brewers’ .810 mark is the second-highest winning percentage for any month in franchise history, trailing April 1987 when Robin Yount, Paul Molitor and Greg Brock led the Brewers to a perfect 13-0 start (and 18-3 record that month).
Yelich was lost for the season with a fractured kneecap nine games into the month. And even though Moustakas and Braun are putting together solid numbers, the Brewers are batting a mere .229 as a team in September.
Surprisingly, it’s been the pitching staff propelling the Crew to this stretch.
In September, Milwaukee’s hurlers rank first in MLB in ERA (2.81), WHIP (1.04) and opponent OPS (.614), while coming in at second in opponent batting average (.202) and saves (10).
General manager David Stearns’ low-risk gamble on Jordan Lyles at the trade deadline has paid off more than anyone could have expected. Lyles, who posted a 9.57 ERA over his final nine starts with Pittsburgh before the trade, has led the Brewers to nine victories in 10 starts.
Josh Hader blew four saves in August, but the All-Star closer has now cashed in on 12 straight save opportunities. And Zach Davies has rediscovered his early-season form. The right-hander has yielded just five runs in 18 1/3 innings this month.
All in all, the Brewers have used 20 different pitchers in September.
And it’s working.
With six games to play (three in Cincinnati and three in Colorado), the Brewers are closing in on a second straight postseason berth. It’d be the first back-to-back playoff appearance for Milwaukee since 1981-82.
— Keston Hiura is batting .301 this season, which ranks third in Brewers history among rookies. His .943 OPS is the second-highest ever by a rookie in Milwaukee, trailing Braun’s 1.004 mark in 2007.
— Cincinnati’s staff owns the best opponent BA in the big leagues this month at .196.
— When there is a runner at third base, opponents are driving in the run just 47.2% of the time against the Reds, which is the best mark in the NL.
— Joey Votto reached 75 walks on the season over the weekend, his ninth campaign with 75+ walks over his 13-year career.
— Opponents have posted a measly .297 slugging percentage against Brandon Woodruff’s fastball in 2019.
Statistics courtesy Sportradar, baseball-reference.com