Tasks for the Brewers for the final week before the playoffs

MILWAUKEE – Getting a playoff spot? To verify.

Winning the Central National League? To verify.

Now manager Craig Counsell and the Brewers have had a chance to collect their collective breath and set things up for the National League Division series. Standing by the marble on Sunday as confetti still fell from the sky at American Family Field, Counsell wasn’t quite ready to look ahead.

“Give me a day, okay?” He said as the players celebrated around him.

Counsell will have more than a day. The Brewers hit the road for three games in St. Louis from Tuesday to Thursday, followed by three in Los Angeles against the Dodgers. Then they will have the chance to return home for several days of training ahead of the NL Division Series. Game 1 will take place at American Family Field on Friday, October 8.

Here are five things still at stake in the final week of the regular season:

1. Align the pitch
On paper, the Brewers look like a team that will go as far in the playoffs as their shots take them. They are well stocked in this area, and the final week of games – and a week of practice following – provides an opportunity to line things up and give the players some rest.

“I think we’re in a good position,” said Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns. “I think Craig and the staff did a terrific job of managing the workload throughout the year. It was a lot of fun. Our pitchers have done a good job communicating with us, letting us know how they feel. We now have a week to reset, regroup, and then we’ll be good to go.

2. Make guys healthy
Sunday brought an important development when set-up man Devin Williams stepped in to pitch the eighth inning. It was his first outing since September 18, the night the Brewers landed a playoff berth. Several days later, Williams twisted his left leg as he ran into the outfield, complaining of pain behind his right knee at the top of his calf. The Brewers took a cautious approach for several days before pitching a scoreless inning against the Mets.

“He’s good,” Counsell said. “We gave him time, we were conservative with it, he was good to go [Sunday] and all the signs are good for moving forward.

Fellow reliever Jake Cousins ​​landed on the IL in the Brewers’ final days at home with strain on his right bicep, but this injury was considered very minor, and the assignment to the IL was made by caution to ensure that Cousins ​​would be available in the playoffs. As for the Brewers’ offensive unit, first baseman Rowdy Tellez is on the 10-day IL with a right knee injury, but he was taking balls off the ground and running the bases as he approached. ‘a return.

“Everything is going in the right direction,” Counsell said ahead of the weekend. “We hope you will see it on the road trip.”

3. Wake up the bats
The Mets assisted in Sunday’s home final with a pair of costly mistakes in a groundbreaking sixth inning that led to a pair of unearned runs as the Brewers tied their top in runs scored – eight – on the last 10-game home game. . After a terrific August and a solid start to September, including a three-game sweep against the Indians in Cleveland in which the Brewers scored 34 points, the sticks have been calmer lately. The last week offers an opportunity to build a better dynamic.

In their last 12 games, starting with a pair of losses in Detroit, the Brewers are tied with the D-backs for 23rd of 30 Major League teams at 3.67 points per game and 24th with a percentage based on 0.294. Willy Adames was 3-for-18 on the homestand before scoring three times and leading by three in the final. Eduardo Escobar was 7 for 37 on the homestand, although he hit a big two-run single on Sunday and scored two more runs later in the game by hitting a ball on the ground that induced a fault. Receiver Omar Narváez was 3-for-32. Christian Yelich was 7 for 33.

The good news for Brewers? It only takes a clutch kick or two to win with their pitch.

“I say it all the time,” Escobar said. “With this team, so good with pitchers, you only need two or three points. This is it, man.

4. Best record ever
The Brewers are 94-62 with six games to go, already the fifth-most winning streak in franchise history dating back to 1969. The 2011 Brewers and the Brewers ’18 share the record with 96-game winning seasons. , although the ’18 club have an extra game to do so in the NL Central tiebreaker at Wrigley Field.

This Brewers team need only divide their remaining games to establish a new brand and claim the title of best in franchise history.

5. Keep the competitive edge
Hall of Fame member Robin Yount spoke about it on Saturday night, saying it wasn’t the worst thing the Cardinals ‘wave of victories had caused the Brewers’ division to land much later than expected. Better to play meaningful games for as long as possible as October approaches, Yount argued.

The Brewers will spend the final week balancing rest with the desire to keep winning, especially in a rematch with a Cardinals club that just swept them away in a four-game streak at Milwaukee last week.

“I think the advantage is already there,” said Kolten Wong. “We know we’ve just been spanked by the Cardinals. But now it’s about keeping everyone healthy, making everyone feel good, and making sure that when we get into the playoffs everyone is ready to go.

“It will be a combination of giving the guys a shot but also making sure they’re ready for the playoffs,” Stearns said. “Look, we understand we’re going to face two really good teams over the next week. It’s good for us. This will keep us on our toes. It will also allow us to make sure we have players in the right places when we get to the playoffs. “

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