It gets overlooked how stable of an organization the Milwaukee Brewers have been over the last six years or so. They always seem in the thick of things in the NL Central. They’ll never scare anybody, but by the end of the year, they’re always hovering right around 90 wins. They ended up winning the National League Central pretty comfortably this year, and their pitching was a huge reason for that. I have considered them a dark horse candidate to win The National League pennant for a while, but their chances of doing that just took a massive hit.
Brandon Woodruff, who had been fantastic this year when healthy, is likely to miss most, if not all, of the postseason with a shoulder injury. Woodruff has been a mainstay for the Brewers over the last six years. He’s had some big moments in October, including a home run off of Clayton Kershaw in the NLCS in 2018.
This is not the first time that Milwaukee has suffered a devastating injury just before the postseason. It’s becoming a trend. I could almost call it a curse. In 2019, Milwaukee snuck into the postseason even though Christian Yelich, one of the five best players in baseball at the time, suffered a devastating knee injury just before October. The team was still four outs away from winning the National League Wild Card game before Juan Soto kicked off the Nationals' World Series run.
Two years ago, I thought the Brewers legitimately had a shot to win the National League. Their pitching was great with Corbin Burnes winning the National League Cy Young. Just before the postseason, stud reliever Devin Williams broke his hand punching a wall. The Brewers fought to get their NLDS series against the Braves back to Milwaukee for a decisive Game Five, and Freddie Freeman, much like Juan Soto before him, kicked off a championship run against Milwaukee.
Many teams (the Dodgers and Rays, just to name a few) have so much depth that they can survive injuries. I think the Brewers can get past the Diamondbacks, but after that, it will make things really tough without Woodruff. Offensively, they were last in the league in slugging percentage this year. They will need their pitching to hold, and the possibility of that happening just decreased with this brutal injury.