Brewers: No Weeks? No Problem!
When Milwaukee 2nd baseman Rickie Weeks went down with an ugly looking ankle injury on July 27th, a lot of fans (myself included) had flashes of a promising Brewers season going down in flames. The good news? The ankle’s not seriously damaged — a severe sprain and a 3-6 week trip to the disabled list. The bad news? Weeks’s replacement, Craig Counsell, was mired in an 0 for 38 slump.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin acted quickly, acquiring utility man Felipe Lopez from the Tampa Bay Rays for cash and later added veteran Jerry Hairston Jr. before the trade deadline. But would the two newest Brewers bring enough firepower to replace Rickie’s production in the lineup? Surprisingly, yes! But not without a little help.
Rickie’s Brewers teammates Casey McGehee, Corey Hart, Yuniesky Betancourt and Jonathan Lucroy have been on fire lately. Need proof? Here’s how their stat lines look since the 27th when Weeks went down:
Felipe Lopez, Weeks’s primary replacement at 2nd base, has been pretty solid in his own right. Lopez has 3 runs and 5 hits in 19 at-bats, for a respectable .263 average. More importantly, his defense has been rock steady.
Pitching has also been a major contributor to the team’s success, as of late. Brewers starters put together 6 quality starts in Rickie’s absence. K-Rod and Kameron Loe have been pitching lights out and closer John Axford continues to slam the door in the 9th. Impressive numbers all around!
Even more impressive? The Brewers are 7-1 since the Weeks injury, including back-to-back sweeps of the Cubs and Astros and a 2-1 series victory over the hated Cardinals. Heading in to Houston this weekend, the Brewers are in first place atop the NL Central with a 62-50 record and a 3 game division lead.
There’s no doubt that Rickie Weeks is a critical cog in the Brewers machine and everyone in the Brewer organization is hoping for a full, speedy recovery. Meanwhile, it’s nice to know that the rest of the team has got his back. So far, anyway…
Get well soon, Rickie. The Brewers still need you!