The first team to 40 wins on the season? Your Milwaukee Milkmen
Milwaukee has been on a tear in the last couple of weeks including series victories over division foe Chicago. They now sit on top of the division standings entering the final month of play.
The defending champs aren't slowing down any time soon 📈 @MKEMilkmen
Your updated AA standings 👈#WePlayToWin pic.twitter.com/dMsxhzOgJw
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) July 27, 2021
While the offense has been stellar, it is the starting pitching and back end of the bullpen that have been as equally impressive. Rookie Nate Hadley has taken the baton from 2020 closer Payton Grey and has been lights out as Milwaukee’s closer. In 32 innings, owns an earned run average of 1.16, 8 saves, and 35 strikeouts. Third year reliever Zach Hartman is having his best season with the club with after 34 innings pitched he has 22 holds. The Moo-Crew have a solid 1-2 punch to shorten games.
With success, it often follows that contributing players are picked up by other leagues. Teams are noticing the Milkmen and are vying their players, such as David Holmberg who is now pitching for the Mexican league. That being the case, the Milkmen continue to hold together and are in great position to enter the postseason and defend their title.
July 13th-15th, Milkmen take two of three from Chicago (5-4, 6-3, 7-10)
The Milkmen and Dogs have been going back and forth for the division lead for the last month. With a head to head matchup of 4 to 3 in favor of Milwaukee, these cross town rivals would battle again for division supremacy. It be the Milkmen would claim the first two games thanks in large part to former Chicago Dog Tony Rosselli who had a 2 homerun night in game one and in game two David Holmberg would throw another complete game start by only surrendering 3 runs but getting 9 strikeouts. Game 3 would go Chicago’s way thanks to a complete offensive effort by Dogs who tagged Milkmen pitcher Matt Solter for 7 runs on 9 hits.
July 16th-18th, Milkmen sweep Gary Southshore Railcats (1-0, 11-2, 8-3)
The team would announce that the ace of the staff David Holmberg would be moving on to pitch in the Mexican League. The next man up would be right hander Myles Smith who had an stupendous outing in game one of the series. A complete game with 10 strikeouts and 2 hits given up but no runs as he protected a 1-0 lead. For the rest of the series, the offense took over to complete a healthy sweep over the falling Railcats. David Washington was back in the lineup and after missing some time with injury and able to contribute as well as early season pickup Trey Martin who has turned into another solid contributor in this Milkmen offense as he owns a line of .308/.385/.421 at the end of the series.
. @smith21wesson is this week's @AA_Baseball Pitcher of the Week! 👊 That's back to back weeks for our Milkmen pitchers!
In the last week, Smith pitched a complete game, allowing 2 BB, 2 hits, 0 runs and 10 K's pic.twitter.com/s4wiqQiUSI
— Milwaukee Milkmen (@MKEMilkmen) July 19, 2021
July 19th-22nd, Milkmen sweep division rival and 2nd place Chicago Dogs in Milwaukee (5-4, 7-2, 4-2)
In the last regular season series between these rivals, the Dogs would need to at least win the series to stay close. Instead, it was Milwaukee through strong pitching and early scoring would sweep away the Dogs. Ryan Kussmaul played a large part in Milwaukee 2020 championship run, now he rejoins the team in their repeat bid and pitched a quality start. The offense load was carried by several Milkmen, including Aaron Hill who had a two homerun game to complete the sweep. The Milkmen would find themselves 4 games ahead of Chicago and the winner of the season series.
July 23rd -25th, Milkmen take 2 of 3 from Kane County (12-9, 4-5, 2-0)
The offense shared the load in game one, seeing contributions from Walker, Washington, & Correa. But the story of the series win for Milwaukee was the starting pitching efforts from Ryan Zimmerman and Kussmaul. Combined, they pitched 14 innings pitched and a 1.28 earned run average. Both would get the win in their outings.
July 27th-29th, Milkmen complete another sweep, this time of the Sioux Falls Canaries (6-2, 8-3, 5-1)
Though they met in the 2020 finals, these two teams were going in different directions. The Canaries came into town 15 games under .500. Milwaukee’s starting pitching led the way (Matt Solter, Myles Smith, Ryan Zimmerman) with a combined earned run average of exactly 1. David Washington, who had missed some time due to injury, had 2 homeruns over the weekend.
The middle of this @mkemilkmen line-up is just plain scary 💀
1B David Washington (@dtothewashII) now has 3 HR and 9 RBI in the last 6 games 🥛
Oh yeah, and the Milkmen have won 4 in a row❗️ pic.twitter.com/GLt324qVhz
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) July 30, 2021
Milwaukee will host Fargo-Moorhead. The RedHawks will look to give their last best shot as they trail by 5 games. Then the Milkmen will begin a 6 game road trip before coming home for 6. The season is in the last month, so Milwaukee will look to finish strong and clinch a spot before end of August!
Numbers and Statistics courtesy of Pointsteak.com, BaseballReference.com, and the American Association.
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