Over the Milwaukee Brewers post season run, they have had some unlikely heroes along the way. In fact, much of their offensive production through the NLDS and NLCS has come from the bottom of their batting order. That was a portion of the lineup that has struggled in 2018.
Through a majority of the season the Milwaukee Brewers have relied heavily on a few bats in the first half of the order of their batting lineup to produce many of their runs. Where as their seven through nine batters were inconsistent at best.
The bottom of the order has been made up mostly of the same usual players. Orlando Arcia and Domingo Santana each spent time in Triple-A with Colorado Springs. Milwaukee brought in a career journeyman Erik Kratz to help stabilize the catcher position with Manny Pina struggling. And career backup Hernan Perez made a number of appearances this season.
Over the course of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers seven through nine hitters (excluding the pitcher) had a slash line of .241/.297/.366 with an OPS of .662. They also totaled 153 RBIs which makes up just 21% of the total team RBIs and hit 37 home runs, accounting for only 17% of the team’s production.
To say the least, on paper these hitters struggled to find consistency during the regular season. However since the post season began, it’s been a totally different story.
2018 Post season
During the Milwaukee Brewers NLDS and NLCS series, the bottom of the batting order has been the catalyst to many of their victories. While the first part of the order has yet to find any consistency as a whole.
Arcia has sparked many rallies so far and has even found his power. Arcia has hit three home runs this post season, the same amount he hit all regular season.
Arcia is also batting .250 with an OPS of .950 and has four RBIs. His eye at the plate has been much improved, Arcia has struck out just three times and even when making an out, he’s hit the ball well.
Kratz may have been the Milwaukee Brewers MVP during the NLDS against the Colorado Rockies. Over the second half of the season he has seen his playing time increase and that has continued into the post season.
In his 16 plate appearances, Kratz has a batting average of .400, an OPS of .971 and has recorded two RBIs. He’s been a surprising spark to this Brewers offense.
Over his three appearances this post season, Pina has been a big contributor. Especially in game one of the NLCS against Los Angeles, where he played a big role in a crucial victory.
Pina was on base in three of his four plate appearances, recording one hit, two walks and scored a run. As a whole Pina is batting .400 with an OPS of 1.025 and an OBP of .625 these playoffs.
Perez is well known for his defensive versatility by playing multiple positions but at times struggles at the plate which often keeps him out of the starting lineup. But he has followed suit and has been able to produce offensively during the playoffs.
Over his 12 plate appearances, Perez is batting .250, with an OBP of .286 and has knocked in two runners while also reaching base with one walk.
With all of the new outfield talent acquired over the off season, Santana was odd man out and spent much of 2018 in Triple-A. But to his credit, he was patient and took advantage of his pinch hit opportunities in September and played his way on to the playoff roster.
Santana has made six plate appearances and has a slash line of .250/.500/.250, with an OPS of .750. He’s also recorded two walks and two RBIs.
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When the bottom of the Milwaukee Brewers batting order is playing well, they are a difficult team to beat. These five players are a huge reason for Milwaukee’s playoff success and we will need them to keep producing the rest of the way.