Ryne Oshiro, Staff Writer
If there is one thing this world loves, it’s a good underdog story. Once projected to finish toward the middle of their division and not fight for a playoff spot, the Milwaukee Brewers certainly qualify as an underdog. Yes, you read that right, as of Saturday morning, the Milwaukee Brewers were a few steps away from going to a World Series. So how does a team that went 86-76 in the previous year become a division winner and advance to the National League Championship Series (NLCS)? How does a team that has not reached the World Series since 1982 become one series away from it? How does a team that has had a 12-game winning streak stay hot heading into the latter half of the postseason? And the biggest question, how does a team compiled of one of the smallest markets in Major League Baseball become contenders? Some questions are better answered by simply watching them unravel in front of you.
In the 2018 off-season, the Brewers traded for Christian Yelich and signed free agent Lorenzo Cain to a premium contract. “We are always looking to make our team better and our organization better,” said Brewers General Manager David Stearns. “As the competitiveness of our Major League team increases, we talked openly that we’re going to have to supplement that group. We are going to have to add to that group to push us in the right direction.” Not only did they sign two of the most important pieces on this Brewers team, but they also created the sort of buzz that needs to be brought into the MLB. “The Milwaukee Brewers are the last team Major League Baseball and Fox executives want to see in the World Series.” according to USA Today. So why hate on the fun? Baseball is a game that was created based on strategy and the ability for players to simply mind their own business and “play the game.” In baseball, you were not supposed to be flipping bats and dancing around the bases because that sort of thing belongs in sports such as football.
Heading into the National League Championship Series (NLCS), the Brewers are the team from the smallest market left. Their opponents, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Houston Astros, who are the reigning champions, and the Boston Red Sox are all big-market teams. The Brewers were not supposed to be in the position they are now, not with the flare and quirk they play with, nor were they supposed to have an MVP candidate in Yelich roaming the outfield at a young 26 years. What sets them apart from the rest is their unique style to heavily rely on great pitching, flawless defense, and timely hitting. The Brewers will use roughly a dozen pitchers out of their bullpen in every series they will play. “It’s as deep a bullpen as you’re going to see in the big leagues. Very good arms, very neutral as far as left hand versus right hand.” according to The Ringer. Starting pitchers are supposed to throw at least five to seven innings for a good pitching performance, but for the Brewers, there were occasions, and there will continue to be occasions, where “good” starting pitching lands between three and four innings.
This type of baseball will continue to have viewers questioning how long the Brewers will remain hot and possibly win their first-ever World Series. There are no superstars like you see on the other squads- there is no Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, or Clayton Kershaw on this team. The Brewers simply rely on every single player making an impact and contributing bits and pieces to their team. As of Saturday morning, Oct. 20, the NLCS is tied between the Dodgers and Brewers 3-3. For now, you will be left to watch and continue to be amazed by the magic story of the 2018 Milwaukee Brewers unfold in front of your eyes. So don’t blink, you might miss something special.