These comments, to put it lightly, seem little bit out there. Thanks largely to their horrible start to the season, the Brewers currently stand 10 games out of the second wild card and MLB.com* gives them a mere 0.2% chance of playing postseason baseball. The Brew Crew are a long shot to make the playoffs.
*MLB.com uses projections from BaseballProspectus.com.
But considering how the Brewers are currently playing, Braun’s comments don’t seem totally insane. The Crew just completed a 7-0 road trip where they pounded out 99 hits and scored 53 runs. What’s encouraging about this offensive outburst is that it’s thanks to the likes of Braun, Jonathan Lucroy, Aramis Ramirez, and Adam Lind performing as expected at the plate. This hot-hitting could be more a sign of things to come than an aberration.
Another reason Braun’s hopes are somewhat feasible is because they’re not without precedent.
The 2012 Brewers’ season was derailed by a bullpen that avoided preserving leads like the plague. Thanks to a cavalcade of blown saves, the ’12 team was a season-high 11 games under .500 (48-59) and 13.0 games back of the Wild Card on August 5th. They were hopelessly out of contention, until they weren’t.
Those Brewers had a two-month offensive outburst that fueled a stretch of 43 games were they went 30-13. This unlikely surge allowed the Crew to claw themselves within 1.5 games of the Wild Card by September 21st. Even though this was as close as they’d get to making the playoffs, it proved that nothing is impossible with a potent offense. If the Brewers keep hitting for the next month or so we just might see a similar scenario unfold.
Of course, while it’s fun to dream of the playoffs, what’s most important is the Brewers are playing entertaining baseball right now. For a team that looked like the worst of all time after April, this is an amazing turnaround.