Being a Senior Writer for the Squeaky Curd isn’t always as glamorous as I make it seem; I face tight and frequent deadlines on my articles, I subject myself to constant pandering from fans across the city who may not take kindly to my hottest of takes, and despite being the longest tenured non-equity holding writer in Squeaky Curd history, I remain a glorified volunteer who can’t even put his Uber ride home from the annual Christmas gala on the company card.
You can imagine, then, how personally difficult it must be to acknowledge that the Sunday Cycle is facing a bit of a crisis. Despite the Brewers being deadlocked in a playoff chase with just six weeks remaining in the regular season, readership for the Sunday Cycle is down. Which leads this Senior Writer to ask the most obvious question in this situation: what the heck is wrong with all of you?
I’ve been a bit long winded this season, but I feel that’s justified. The fact that the Brewers have a very real path to playing October baseball this year is nothing short of miraculous. So excuse me for getting excited and exceeding the Squeaky Curd’s “writing guidelines” of keeping all articles short of 414 words. [Editor’s Note: Rob has never had an article under 414 words…]
Apparently the people have spoken: they want more lists, shorter articles, less passion, and more “get to the point, Bobby.”
Fine. I’ll humor you. In an effort to appeal to our millennial audience and those that love clickbait, here are my rapid fire takes about this team, all of which will be limited to just 1-2 sentences. At the end of all this, I hope to have made a formal case for why this team (and THIS weekly article) deserve your attention from here on out. THIS IS A PLAYOFF RACE, PEOPLE!
1. Take a bow, David Stearns; the Neil Walker trade may be one of your best moves as GM. Walker is 9 for 20 with 5 RBI since joining the Brewers, who are 5-1 since the trade.
2. The combined record of the Brewers’ remaining opponents is 512-504, compared to the combined record of 455-533 of the Cubs’ remaining opponents; the Brewers still have series against the top two teams in the NL, while the Cubs still get to play two of the three worst teams in the NL.
3. The Brewers have seven games remaining this season against the Cubs. I predict, based on the gross difference in strength of schedule previously highlighted, the Brewers will need to win 5 of those 7 to win the NL Central.
4. Don’t look now, but the NL Wild card is suddenly well within reach of the Brewers, who are just 2.5 games behind the struggling Diamondbacks for the second spot in a one-game playoff.
5. CHASE ANDERSON IS BACK, and was able to navigate a nice one-run outing over five innings today, despite looking a bit rusty at times. If he comes back to his pre-injury form, this team is going to make the playoffs.
6. Ryan Braun has quietly climbed his way back to a .290 average and is absolutely smoking the ball right now; the Brewers are undeniably a better team with Braun in the lineup.
7. For all the trouble this bullpen had before the break, the combination of Swarzak, Barnes, Hader, Hughes, and Knebel have fared well the past month. I no longer assume the Brewers will lose any game they’re winning by two or less runs in the 7th inning or later.
Wake up, Milwaukee. I know it’s almost Packer season, and yes, I’m as excited as the rest of you for football, but this team has broken out of their early August slump and is now in the mix in the NL Central and the Wild Card race! Don’t bail on these Brewers, and don’t bail on the Sunday Cycle- this is what it’s all about!