The white hot Milwaukee Brewers bludgeoned the Cincinnati Reds 9-2 Wednesday night to clinch an unlikely playoff berth. An unexpected key cog in the Brew Crew’s late-season run to the post-season has been pitcher — and eco-athlete — Brent Suter.
On September 5, the Milwaukee Brewers sat 7.5 games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. They also languished 5 games behind the Chicago Cubs for the second and last wild-card playoff spot. Their odds of making the playoffs at that point were an unsightly 3.1 percent, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
Then the Brewers caught fire, winning 17 of their last 19 games, culminating in Wednesday night’s 9-2 drubbing of the Reds in Cincinnati that clinched their second straight playoff spot.
While he didn’t get into the clincher, lefty pitcher and Eco-Athlete Brent Suter played a key role in Milwaukee’s surge.
Brent Suter (far left with cigar in left hand) celebrates with his Milwaukee Brewers teammates after they clinched a playoff berth Wednesday night in Cincinnati (Photo credit: Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Sidelined for over a year because of July 2018 Tommy John surgery — used to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament inside the elbow — Suter’s return to the active roster at the beginning of September coincided with the Brewers’ drive to the post-season. Pitching exclusively in relief, he’s been nearly unhittable, with a 4-0 record and 0.52 earned run average (ERA) in 8 appearances.
Suter is also one of America’s most high-profile eco-athletes, coming to his climate change fighting activism as a reaction to seeing Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” back in 2007. “Given my interest in climate and the environment since seeing ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in high school, and given the recent onslaught of extreme weather, it seemed natural for me to move in that direction,” Suter told GreenSportsBlog in a November 2018 interview.
Brent Suter has given the Brewers a late season shot in the arm. Since his comeback from Tommy John surgery, Suter has an unblemished 4-0 record (Photo credit: Milwaukee Brewers/MLB)
Since making the Brewers in 2016, Suter has volunteered with two local Milwaukee-area nonprofits, “I got involved with the Urban Ecology Center, a great nonprofit in Milwaukee,” recalled the former Harvard pitcher. “They work to return abandoned waste lands back to their natural, pristine states. Then they bring kids who don’t have access to nature out to the newly restored lands. I also connected with ECO, the environmental collaboration office of the City of Milwaukee that is working to make [us] a green hub, environmentally and economically. Their initiatives include Milwaukee Shines, which provides financing solutions for residential and business customers to reduce the up front cost of solar.”
Suter also endorsed the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019 (H.R. 763), the first carbon pricing bill with bipartisan support to be introduced in the House of Representatives.
“At this point in time, a carbon pricing program and higher incentives for clean energy are absolutely imperative towards the goal of stabilizing our climate and ensuring a healthy and viable future for our planet,” remarked Suter in January when the bill was introduced. “The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would not only help achieve these goals, but would give the funds raised back to the people, save countless lives, and create millions of jobs! A Green Revolution needs to happen fast, and this law, if passed, would play a vital role in helping solve the most important problem of our lives.”
GSB’s Take: Here’s hoping the Brewers advance far in the playoffs, that Suter pitches well, and that his climate change-fighting story is played up by the media. The post-season viewing audience for baseball is much greater than during the regular season.
Now, if the Brewers end up facing the Yankees in the World Series, all bets are off.
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