The ‘Dog Days Of August’ in baseball is not relegated to teams out of the running. Following the 2020 year of Covid, where players new and veteran alike, walked through a 60 game season in a breeze with the winds of pandemic everywhere. But not this year.
This is a Big League season.
This season, the younger players who are in their 1st, 2nd and/or 3rd year, are beginning to wilt. The flowers of their inexperience are drooping, making their minds wander as they face the heat and humidity of everyday sameness. These are groundhog days.
A big, multi positioned bench is critical. And there is a noticeable increase in injuries, especially in starting pitchers and stars who are trying to carry the entire load of the team on their backs.
This is a different year where on day a team can lead by four games and within a whisper, be trailing by two.
This is a year where a team can go and win 13 straight while another loses 19 straight.
This is the year of exhaustion.
Look at the Brewers. Built for the duration with a bench loaded with players who can fill in at a number of positions. And, arguably this team has the best top three starters in baseball with Woody, Corbin & Freddy. They are a horror show for opponents and are built by Stearns to win a post season short series.
But fatigue has set in.
Brandon Woodruff in August is not the same tight control pitcher who dominates, as earlier in the season. Freddy Peralta only finished two inning in his last start and was placed on the 10 day IL. Corbin Burnes is finding the paint gard to cover as umps become entangled in the ‘Dogs’ as well.
In certain innings, their minds wander and let opponents get back into the game, placing additional pressure on the relief corps.
Then there is this: last week in four games, the Brewers lost a starting player each of those game days. The fourth, willy Adames, left the game early after the first inning Tuesday, following Eduardo Escobar on Sunday with Tyrone Taylor out on last Saturday following Freddy Peralta on the Friday a week past.
While Adames cam back this Saturday’s loss to the Twins in Minnesota, this is the time to put all of these players and starters on a rotation missed. They all need to recover and welcome the freshness of Fall ahead.
If not, the best chance for the Brewers to win the World Series may vanish. And that would be a shame. Attanasio, Stearns and Counsell have crafted this team brilliantly to win now.
This, arguably, is the best Brewer team ever assembled.
Rest is the cure, even if we lose a series or two before the big post season arrives.
Rest is the cure.
We need to win in October.