The Milwaukee Brewers’ biggest strength and differentiator in recent years has been the backend of their bullpen. The group’s success and praise was usually attributed to Josh Hader and Devin Williams. A key piece, though, in recent years is often overlooked. That’s Brad Boxberger.
What Changed After The Trade Deadline?
Everyone talked about All-Star closer Josh Hader and filthy setup man Devin Williams. Now, the talk is about the trade deadline pieces, Matt Bush and Taylor Rogers, are talked about. Meanwhile, Boxberger just continues to be incredibly efficient.
Boxberger came through yet again Sunday against the Cubs putting up a zero in the eighth inning. It’s his seventh straight scoreless appearance. That is usually the case when Boxberger takes the mound. He has been outstanding for his 1 1/2 seasons with the Brewers.
Perhaps it’s his stoic and calm demeanor but it’s time to take notice of Boxberger’s success.
Boxberger has hummed along in 2022. He is 3-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 50 games spanning 46 1/3 innings. Boxberger boasts a 1.4 WAR according to Baseball Reference which is outstanding for a reliever and a 169 ERA+. In 2021, Boxberger was 5-4 with a 3.34 ERA. He has been a reliable bullpen piece with Milwaukee.
Brad Boxberger works out of a bases-loaded jam in extras! pic.twitter.com/W39w8HJuf7
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) July 4, 2022
Boxberger Hype Is At An All-Time Low
Boxberger rarely receives recognition outside of Milwaukee, though. Actually, he doesn’t too often even in Milwaukee. He doesn’t have the charisma, but has a calm, even-keeled demeanor. While he is overshadowed by his fellow bullpen members, don’t take him for granted. The Brewers play many close games and getting the lead to the 8th and 9th falls on Boxberger who is the Brewers’ designated 7th-inning guy most of his tenure.
More fantastic work by Brad Boxberger today over parts of two innings to preserve the one-run lead. He's allowed two earned runs over his last 12 games.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) June 23, 2022
Hader had the flowing locks and has locked down 29 of 31 save chances in mostly dominant fashion. Williams has the electrifying airbender changeup and sub-2 ERA.
Then there’s Boxberger, who isn’t dominant and doesn’t have an elite pitch (although he does have a plus-changeup). Boxberger quietly goes about his job.
Brad Boxberger and the Brewers wiggled out of a bases loaded, no out jam in the seventh to preserve a 2-1 lead. Sweet sassy molassy.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) May 31, 2022
The numbers don’t lie. Boxberger is shutting down the opposition consistently. If starters now go six innings, you feel pretty darn good, making the game even shorter on opponents. If the offense can get a couple early runs and the starting pitcher can get through six innings with the lead, the Brewers are still tough to beat despite the Hader trade.
And while he doesn’t receive a lot of credit Brad Boxberger is a key cog in the Brewers’ bullpen success.
He's Big Bad Brad Boxberger pic.twitter.com/3Umau1O1Xd
— Reviewing the Brew (@ReviewngTheBrew) July 4, 2022