The Milwaukee Brewers are headed to the MLB playoffs

First game is Tuesday night against the Arizona Diamondbacks

Four players stand on green grass while seats remain empty before the game.
Brewers players warm up before their home opener against the Mets on Monday, April 3, 2023, at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

For the third time in the last six years, the Milwaukee Brewers are back in the playoffs as the National League Central champions.

Their win follows a September proposal from Wisconsin’s Republican lawmakers to allocate $600 million plan to use state and local dollars to fund renovations at American Family Field and ensure the Milwaukee Brewers stay in the city until 2050.

The Brew Crew will be starting their playoff run Tuesday at American Family Field against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Wisconsin Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” host Alex Crowe talked with WPR reporter Evan Casey about how the team is looking ahead of their playoff run.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

Alex Crowe: Let’s start with a quick recap of how the Brewers got to this point. At one point, it looked like they were fighting for divisional control with the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs hot on their heels. So how did the Brewers get to this point where they closed things out and moved on to the playoffs?

Evan Casey: It was a fun year for the Brewers. Last year, they didn’t make it to the playoffs for the first time in four years. But this year, they won the division.

Pretty much in the last month and a half, they’ve been playing maybe the best baseball in the entire major league. They have the best record in baseball since August 18, 2023. Basically, they’re using their pitching right now. They have maybe the best starting rotation in baseball, one of the best bullpens. Maybe the best closer in baseball, Devin Williams. Their offense has been streaky, but it has been a lot better as of late.

That’s largely due to the addition of some guys that they got via trades. One of those guys is Carlos Santana. The others are Mark Canha — Josh Donaldson, as well, has been just a huge upgrade to the team’s offense.

A blue duffel bag sits on dirt. A yellow Brewers logo is seen on the side.
A Brewers duffel bag left by a player warming up before the team’s home opener against the Mets on Monday, April 3, 2023, at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

AC: Is that offense for the Brewers the biggest question mark heading into this series? I know that’s been traditionally a refrain in the past. The Brewers have had some really, really dominant pitchers, but then those bats can go silent. Sometimes just at the worst possible time. Is that still the case as we’re heading into this series?

EC: It’s a big question mark, but the Brewers’ pitching is so good that even if we only get two to three hits a game, that could still lead us to a victory in some instances. It is definitely going to be a big component of the series and throughout the playoffs.

Also, hitting home runs in the playoffs is a big deal. The Brewers do not do that a lot. So we’ll see if they can really keep up with the Diamondbacks this series. I think they play small ball very well, with Craig Counsell as a manager. That looks like a lot of bunts, a lot of stealing, they use their speed a lot… It would be great to see some home runs in key spots throughout the series, but it remains to be seen right now if the offense will be good or not.

AC: Is there anybody that Brewers fans should be aware of on the Arizona Diamondbacks in the back of their minds?

EC: Zac Gallen is a guy that you will definitely hear his name come up a lot this week. He is probably one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. He is an absolute stud on the mound, and he’ll be really good against the Brewers. He’s actually pitched two games against the Brewers this year, and we’ve only got one run against him in 15 innings. So that’ll be tough.

Another guy is Corbin Carroll. He is a rookie for this team. He has just had an outstanding season. He’s really young, really fast and hits home runs.

AC: The Brewers this season, especially during games that are in the middle of the week at night, they tend to have lower attendance in those games. Do you think the fans will be showing up now that it’s the postseason? Or will there still be a struggle to pack the house for these games?

EC: I do think they’ll pack the house. This is kind of a golden era right now if you’re a Milwaukee Brewers fan. Just in the past five or six years here, in that time just in the playoffs games, they’ve done a really good job of selling out. Most of those games were pretty close to a sellout.

We do have the smallest market in baseball, but we are still finishing on the top 15, top 10for attendance a lot of years. So I think it’ll be a great atmosphere. There’ll be a lot of people there. I think it’ll be a packed house and very, very loud.

Groups of people in lawn chairs grill and drink beer in the parking lot.
Tailgaters enjoy the mild spring weather before the Brewers’ home opener Monday, April 3, 2023, at American Family Field in Milwaukee, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

AC: You mentioned that the Brewers are the smallest market in baseball, but they do bring in a lot of fans from outside the city of Milwaukee. People all across the state of Wisconsin go to those games. But some fans are worried that in the next few years, the Brewers could be going to a different market and they could be potentially not playing games in Milwaukee at American Family Field. Where do we stand with those discussions as far as funding and securing a commitment from the Brewers to stay?

EC: Republican lawmakers announced a plan in September that would send about $700 million to the Brewers. Some is coming from the team, but a lot of that money is public money to basically keep the Brewers in Milwaukee until 2050. That money would be used for stadium renovations. In the past few weeks, there’s been continued discussions about that plan. We’ll see what happens, but that’s gonna be up in the air.