It's been obvious for quite some time that the Brewers really don't have anything to play for, other than a third place finish in the division and maybe a .500 record.
As they get ready to start their first full series in September, that hope for 81 wins is also waning -- heading into Philadelphia with 17 losses, the Brewers will only be able to lose 10 more games if they're going to break even for the season. That would mean playing the best baseball they've played in any month this season. Call me skeptical, but I don't think it's happening.
So with that in mind, here are a few things I want to see this month. I don't think all of them are realistic, but a guy can dream.
1. Here we are now, entertain us
I can deal with losing this month. Really, looking at next year's draft, I'd love a higher pick. I just can't handle watching 3.5 hour games that the Brewers end up losing 9-3. Keep things close, keep playing hard, and I'll keep watching. If they can screw up another team's playoff hopes, that'd be even better.
2. Let the kids play
For the most part, Ken Macha has done a very good job this year of letting rookies play every day. Alcides Escobar has started from day one. Jonathan Lucroy made the jump with minimal at-bats in Nashville and was the everyday catcher within weeks of getting called up. Lorenzo Cain was given a chance and he's impressed so far. With Mat Gamel and Jeremy Jeffress now on the major league club, I want to see them get some fairly regular PT, too. Jeffress needs as many innings as he can get to help build up his arm for a return to starting next season, while Gamel needs regular ABs if he's ever going to start gaining the organization's trust.
I would've preferred Gamel play out the rest of Nashville's schedule before coming up, giving him another 7 games' worth of time and probably close to 30 ABs, but now that he's here he should be given an occasional start. While Casey McGehee's bat was hot in August, he's looked more sluggish defensively as the season has worn on, so perhaps a day or two off every week wouldn't be a bad idea. Corey Hart has struggled since injuring his wrist at the end of July, and there's really no reason to push him if he's not 100%.
3. Protect Yo
Yovani Gallardo hasn't looked right since coming back from his oblique injury, and while he says he's fine, I would hope the Brewers would be cautious with him this month. I'm not 100% on the "shut him down" bandwagon just yet, but I would hope they handle him a bit better than they did in his last start in Cincinnati. After throwing 90+ pitches in 5 innings, there was no need for him to bat the next inning, and it was just flat out ridiculous how long he was left out to rot in the 6th inning. When Macha gives Narveson a quick hook the next night, the decision looks even worse. If you're going to be careful with anyone this month, it should be Gallardo, not Narveson.