The Brewers are 22-3 in their last 25 games.
What else needs to be said? In the interest of full, complete analysis, I suppose we could point out that the Brewers have probably been a little bit lucky to win so many one-run games (27-15), or that they’ve outplayed their pythagorean record by six games and their third-order record by four games.. Sorry to rain on the parade, but the Brewers are not, in actuality, a true-talent .880 win percentage team.
But who cares. This team is rolling to it’s first division title since 1982. The first division title as a National League team (and, by the way, the inevitable answer to a ridiculous trivia question as the only team to win divisions in both leagues). Being a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers, even back in 2008, and especially in the days prior, was to cheer for potential. To see a light at the end of the tunnel and say that this bright future is why we emotionally invest in this team.
The 2008 team was good. CC Sabathia and Ben Sheets and Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder led an otherwise flawed team — seriously, Dave Bush and Jeff Suppan started for them, Salomon Torres was their best reliever — to a wild-card berth, and it was great. But with Sheets injured, there simply wasn’t enough talent to win even in a crapshoot of a playoff.
This year’s team is different. They don’t have the talent of the Phillies, Yankees, and Red Sox, and they might not be as good as Atlanta or Texas either. But this is the most complete Brewers team we’ve seen since 1982. With five good starting pitchers, a deep and mostly complete bullpen (even without a lefty specialist, it gains Chris Narveson in a playoff setting), and an offense bolstered by three superstars come Rickie Weeks‘s return (oh yeah, he plays for this team too!), this team has shown the most talent of any Brewers squad in my lifetime.
The Brewers have an 8.5 game lead on the division, in August. That doesn’t happen, not in Milwaukee. We, as Brewers fans, are finally seeing what an elite team is. We can be legitimately surprised when our team is losing a game. It’s a really weird feeling. We can almost touch the light at the end of the tunnel.
The top of the mountain is success in October, of course. But we have seen what it means to be a truly successful baseball team, and it is very, very good.