Fresh off its Major League Baseball leading 20th win of the season, the Milwaukee Brewers will go for the sweep in St. Louis today, something that has been seemingly impossible to do in recent years.
Last year the Brewers went 14-5 against the Cardinals and have became the victim of their stellar bats and pitching. So far this year, the Brewers have gone 3-2 against their division foe and are 36-36 all time at Busch Stadium. No other National League Central team is above that mark.
The Brewers haven’t been doing it easily, either. They’ve won a pair of extra inning games against lights out Cardinals starting pitching. The bats have been quiet for the first half of the game, but have accelerated against the Cardinals bullpen.
Monday night they played without Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Jean Segura and last night they gave Jonathan Lucroy a night off, adding to the list of bench players. Things won’t change much when Matt Garza takes the mound this afternoon, as Braun, Segura and Ramirez are out of the lineup for a third straight game.
I, like other Brewers fans, am ecstatic and simply can’t believe the start the team has gotten off to. They’ve started 11-1 on the road, a remarkable record considering the circumstances — they haven’t had an easy schedule. They’ve played series’ in Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and now St. Louis and only have one lopsided loss against the Pirates to show for it. I had trouble writing that because of how insane it is.
With five extra innings games under their belt, this team has been tested and has delivered.
Pitching has kept the team around long enough for batters to come around and put a few runs on the board. For a team whose forte seemed to be hitting at the start of the year, pitching has without a doubt been the reason the Brewers have jumped out to such a hot start. The starters have been instrumental in holding teams below four runs and the bullpen has been absolutely phenomenal in holding batters to a minimum. This is the best pitching that general manager Doug Melvin has ever assembled. And as seen in this video, they’re having fun doing it. Keep an eye out for my post about the pitching in the next day or so.
I know it’s just one month into the season and April isn’t even over yet, but the Brewers couldn’t have asked for a better start. Optimism is high and it’s apparent that this is going to be a fun season to watch.
The Brewers currently hold a 6.5 game lead on the division and will look to add to it today in St. Louis when they take on Shelby Miller. Miller has shut down Brewers batters in the past. He holds a 4-0 record in six starts while compiling a 1.95 ERA. He’s already beaten the Brewers earlier this year (April 15) in a 6-1 drubbing at Miller Park. First pitch is scheduled for 12:45 PM CST.