2021 NLDS Preview: The Atlanta Braves come to the Milwaukee Brewers’ house to try and drink all their brew.
The Braves and Brewers fight in Milwaukee for postseason advancement in the National League Divisional Series this weekend.
What’s to come
The NLDS series will start this Friday afternoon as the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Atlanta Braves, (formerly the Milwaukee Braves 1953-1965). The Brewers (95-67) won their division without any drama or worry. They clinched with 6 games remaining to the end of the regular season. The Braves are coming off a winning season as well, with a record of 88-73. Atlanta won an NL East Division in a seemingly backwards race to the finish. These teams will match up well to make for an interesting and lively series, attended by sell-out crowds of nearly 42,000 fans. I guarantee it will be so loud in there, you’ll wonder if the concession stands have run out of beer!
The Brewer’s pitching has been a sight to behold, with a very strong starting rotation. The three notable starters include Cy Young contender Corbin Burnes (ERA 2.43), Brandon Woodruff, (ERA 2.56), and Freddy Peralta (ERA 2.81). The Crew has a collective ERA of 3.50, compared to the Braves’ collective ERA of 3.89. That might not sound like a big difference. Remember, though, over a 5 game series, that should average out to a 2 run advantage for the Brewers. It goes without saying that a run in a playoff series could be the difference between a win and a loss. It shouldn’t be any different in this NLDS.
Young players such as Willy Adames, Avisail Garcia, and Luis Urias have led the offense, each hitting more than 20 home runs. Adames certainly knows how to bring the energy and pump up both the team and the fans, much like Nyjer Morgan famously did during the tail end of the 2011 season. The “Tony Plush” enthusiasm is alive and well in Miller Park, (I’ll never utter the words American Family Field).
Unfortunately, young star Ronald Acuna Jr. blew out his ACL in July. However, the Braves carried on playing as if Acuna was a ghostly presence in the outfield. The Braves completely revamped their outfield with multiple acquisitions as the trade deadline came to a close. The goal was to fill the offensive and defensive gaps left by Acuna Jr. Big names like Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario and Adam Duvall arrived in Atlanta, but Jorge Soler proved to be the most productive for the team, hitting .273 in 30 games.
The Braves’ pitching rotation has been good, but not great. Led by Charlie Morton, (3.34 ERA ), Max Fried, (3.04 ERA), and Ian Anderson, (3.58 ERA), these starters have certainly pitched quality starts, but they pale in comparison to the electrifying K’s and riveting inning-enders the Brewers staff has displayed.
Long live Wisconsin sports
As a long-time Brewer fan, I feel I can speak for the entirety of Wisconsin in saying that this is OUR YEAR. Everyone in my home state is still flying high from the Milwaukee Bucks’ recent championship title, and the city’s heart beat is ready for more. If the Bucks can bring home a title after 50 years, then the Brew Crew can do it after a (slightly longer) 51 years. My dad still talks about their only World Series appearance in 1982. An especially exciting time for a 20 something guy living only blocks away from the old County Stadium. I have to agree with him, the Brewers were the best team in the league that year, but came up short as they lost their Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers weeks before the playoffs began. The Crew was robbed in ’82 and we won’t let it happen again. Our time to rightfully bring the Commissioner’s Trophy to Milwaukee is now! It starts with the NLDS! #thisismycrew
— Christian Yelich (@ChristianYelich) October 4, 2021