With the playoffs approaching, every club heading for October baseball is neck deep in scouting reports on potential opponents. Here are Scout.com, we want you to be just as prepared for postseason baseball. We’ll be breaking down each playoff bound team as part of our postseason preview, as well as well as scouting reports on key players. Here’s a look at the Milwaukee Brewers.
Balance is the best word to describe the Milwaukee Brewers. They really do have a little bit of everything and they bring impact type talent to the playoffs. If one of Ryan Braun or Prince Fielder gets hot at the right time their bats are good enough to carry a lineup. And, Yovani Gallardo and Zack Greinke both have the type of arms capable of shutting down even baseball’s best lineups on any given night. It’s teams that have individual talents like this that can be the most frightening as an opponent, particularly in the first round.
This may sound like a broken record but experience of the closer plays a huge role in these playoff series. And, as good as John Axford has been for Milwaukee he has to be seen as a potential weakness for the Brewers. He’s not a pitcher who has been through this a lot, and in a short series one game of poor command can cost a team their season.
Matchup To Watch
The Brewers against the Diamondbacks is the type of series that could be decided in the first couple games. By that I mean the tone will be set quickly based on how the Brewers big bats handle the talented but youthful top of the Diamondbacks’ rotation. Can Ian Kennedy shut down potent hitters like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder in a playoff setting?
The answer is that they are likely to at least have their hands full. What Kennedy does very well is prey on hitters aggression. Although Braun and Fielder aren’t going to chase too many pitches, they would much rather see a lot of fastballs. Kennedy isn’t the type of pitcher that will give in to them too often.
Fielder has a chance to be one of those free agents who goes out with a bang with his current team. And, given the lineup he’s in it’s going to be difficult for anyone to pitch around him in playoff action. Don’t expect to see Fielder getting too many fastballs, but he will certainly be hunting for mistakes on breaking balls. He’s one of the game’s most opportunistic mistake hitters.
There’s no doubt that Axford has closer stuff, as he sits around 94-97 mph with his fastball and snaps off two variations of outstanding breaking balls. He will miss bats, but we’ll need to keep a close eye on his command, particularly with his breaking ball. If he keeps the type of consistency he had all season, he could be a make or break factor for Milwaukee.
Gallardo doesn’t pitch like a 25-year-old. He knows how to mix his pitches, he throws strikes, and he has plus stuff to top it off. The world may not be paying close enough attention to Gallardo yet, but this postseason may be his coming out party in front of a national audience.
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