The Milwaukee Milkmen are 8-5 in their last 13 games
It is no secret why the Milwaukee Milkmen have been playing well as a team over the last two weeks. The offense has been doing a lot of damage to opponent pitching by scoring early and often.
And hitting cleanup in their lineup is none other then the 6’6” left hitting first basemen, David Washington.
Here is a Slo-mo of the home run by David Washington! pic.twitter.com/ooKTI9sfXb
— Milwaukee Milkmen (@MKEMilkmen) June 2, 2021
Where did this guy come from?
Drafted in the 15th round of the 2009 June amateur draft from University City High School (San Diego), Washington would break into the big leagues in 2017. He would only played three games with the Baltimore Orioles before being sent down to their Triple-A affiliate. Looking for other opportunities, he elected free agency at the end of the season and signed with the Long Island Ducks (Atlantic league). Washington would play for the Ducks for three years and be a main contributor to their 2019 championship run.
In 2020, he would sign with the Milwaukee Milkmen and be a main producer for their championship run. He would post a slash line .245/.298/.435 in middle of the order with 8 home runs & 34 RBI.
In his sophomore season in Milwaukee, Washington is already surpassing his 2020 numbers. Though he has “cooled” down, he still owns .316/.374/.704. slash line totaling a 1.078 OPS (on base plus slugging percentage). He is tied for the league lead in Homeruns (10) and Runs batted in (30). For a week and a half he was putting up video game numbers and earned BATTER OF THE WEEK honors.
David Washington earns the @AA_Baseball BATTER OF THE WEEK! 🔥
— Milwaukee Milkmen (@MKEMilkmen) June 7, 2021
Who else is hitting?
But “D-wash” (as he teammates call him) does not want to take all the credit for how the team’s recent play. On the American Association Now program with Cartel Woodiel, Washington was asked if there was any one person to pick that stands out about the offense. He responded with:
“It’s really unfair to pick one guy….everybody’s been swinging the bat, whether or not its showing up in the results, guys are taking really good at-bats, tough outs, driving the ball.”
And Washington is correct: the offense as a whole has been superb, especially the top of the order. It begins with the lead off hitter Brett Vertigan (.319 on base percentage) followed by Logan Trowbridge (.380 on base percentage and .443 slugging percentage). Hitting third is the reigning American Association player of the year Adam Brett Walker II who is following up his campaign nicely with a line of .314/.340/.559 while accumulating 5 homeruns and 24 Runs batted in. And this is all before David Washington; after him come Catcher Christian Correa (.306 batting average, 22 hits) and Aaron Hill (.278 batting average with 6 homeruns and 16 runs batted in).
A month into the season, with a run differential of +21, it is safe to say these boys are drinking lots of milk.
May 31st-June 2nd: Milkmen would drop 2 of 3 to the Sioux City Explorers (3-8, 7-6, 5-7)
- Myles Smith in game two would hold the Explorers to 2 runs on 6 innings pitched for a quality start. Trowbridge and Washington would both hit homeruns.
- On June 2nd, the Milkmen announced a couple of transactions. Mason Davis would go to the injured list. He is expected to be out for 3-4 weeks. The day before they signed Left handed pitcher Brian Johnson.
June 4th-5th: Milwaukee Milkmen traveled to Jackson Tennessee to take on the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Milkmen would sweep the series (9-7, 9-2, & 6-3 in extras).
- Washington would hit 3 homeruns and bring home 7 RBI in one day during a doubleheader. His 3rd HR of the day come in extras to seal the victory.
- Walker also had himself a great doubleheader as he had 3 hits, 3 runs, and 2 RBI in game one & the go-ahead RBI in game three.
- Other contributors throughout the weekend included pitcher David Holmberg who threw for 6 innings, scattering 6 Goldeye hits for 2 runs. Christ Conley would hit his 2nd homerun.
- On June 4th, the Milkmen traded pitcher Jake Matthys for infielder Anibal Sierra who would then have a hit and a run in his first game on the team.
June 7th-10th: Milkmen winners of 4 out of their last 5 travel to North Dakota to take on Division leader Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Milkmen came into town taking 3 of 4 (4-1, 5-4, 5-0, 0-9).
- In game one, the Milkmen continued their hot play by scoring early courtesy of Vertigan and Trowbridge. After another Washington hit, Christian Correa would hit his 3rd homerun to make it 4-0. The game was called after 6 innings due to inclement weather.
- In game two, The Milwaukee Milkmen scored early again with 3 runs in the first. Though the Redhawks would send it to extras, David Washington hit his 9th homerun to put the Moo-Crew ahead.
I am a baseball fan seeking:
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) June 9, 2021
- How many times has this article mentioned David Washington? Well, he hit another homerun in the 5th inning of game three. The combined pitching efforts of Brian Johnson, Ryan Boyer, Ryan Dunne, and Matthias Dietz would form a shutout.
- Trying the avoid a 4 game sweep, the Redhawks last hope was found in Michael Hope who opened the game with 3 innings without yielding a hit. Ryan Flores would take the next 4 innings and would only give up a hit and strike out 8 Milkmen. A six run 6th inning and the Redhawks would stop the Milkmen’s win streak at six games.
June 11th-13th: A renewed rivalry, the Milkmen come home to play the Chicago Dogs. The Dogs would take two of three (1-7, 5-0, 5-11).
- Though the Milkmen bats had been hot, they had no answer to the Dogs right hander Jordan Kipper in game one. He came into the series with an earned run average of 6.96, but would throw a complete game while containing Milwaukee to 1 run in 5 hits.
- The Milwaukee Milkmen countered with league ERA leader (.69) Myles Smith in game two. Though he labored through 5 innings by getting himself in and out of jams, Smith would not surrender a run and end up with the win. On the offensive side, the Milkmen would score 3 runs on 4 consecutive singles from the top of the order.
- In the rubber match, The Dogs would get to Ryan Zimmerman by scoring 8 runs on 7 hits. Though the Milkmen try to conjure a comeback in the 7th thanks to a 3 run double by Walker, the Dogs would recuperate their own 3 run inning and hold on to win the game.
A word on the pitching and defense
We all like offense, but what about the other facets of the game?
The team’s pitching staff has done a fine job limiting runs. Overall, they have surrendered 94 runs to opposing teams which is second lowest in the league. The defense as been also superb as collectively the Milkmen are second in the league for fielding percentage (percentage of times a defensive player properly handles a batted or thrown ball) with a mark of .985. A couple of bullpen arms to keep in mind are Zach Hartman and Nate Hadley who have been key contributors thus far.
It is still quite early but the division races are competitive!
NORTH DIVISION: The Milkmen are in third place with a record of 14-10 and are a game and a half behind first place Fargo-Moorhead (who have won four straight), and a half game behind the Chicago Dogs. The Gary SouthShore Railcats, Kane Country Cougars, and Winnipeg Goldeyes are in the bottom half of the division.
SOUTH DIVISON: Sioux City Explorers are sitting at the top with a 14-10 record. The Kansas City Monarchs & Sioux Falls Canaries are a game back. The Lincoln Saltdogs and Cleburne Railroaders are not far behind. The Houston Apollos are in a distant sixth place.
If the season were to end today, the Milkmen would miss postseason play as the top two teams of each division go to postseason. Thankfully, there is much baseball yet to be played.
Next Two Weeks
The Milkmen travel visit Sioux Falls Canaries for three games in a rematch of the American Association 2020 finals. Immediately after, they will come home for a ten game homestand against the Kane Country Cougars, Kanas City Monarchs, and the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks. Thus, there will be plenty of opportunities to catch a game at beautiful Franklin Field!
Numbers and Statistics courtesy of Pointsteak.com & baseball reference.
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