This edition of “State of the Milwaukee Brewers” has been delayed by a couple of days. As a result, the last two games against the Los Angeles Dodgers will be included in this “address” to provide the most current coverage of the state of the team. The past eight games have certainly been a roller coaster for the Brewers and their fans. There are plenty of positives to be excited about. However, other things are glaring concerns. Despite these things, though, the Brewers are currently tied for the best record in the National League.
As we delve into an analysis of the team, it becomes apparent that we must change the format of our address, at least for this week. Many of the positives are intertwined with the negatives. With that being said, here is the State of the Milwaukee Brewers after four weeks:
Pitching Ups and Downs
The week did not get off to a good start for Brewers’ pitchers. In their first game against the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers lost 15-2. Brett Anderson and Josh Lindblom combined to allow 11 runs in four innings. Anderson only recorded one out in the first before being removed with an injury. Following the game, both pitchers were placed on the 10-Day IL.
The Brewers rebounded in the following game, though, winning 4-3. Freddy Peralta had a short outing, going only four innings with some control issues. However, Brent Suter pitched two scoreless innings to get the win. JP Feyereisen continued his scoreless streak and Josh Hader got his fourth save. In the final game of the series, Brandon Woodruff and three relievers blanked the Cubs 6-0. It was the third time the Brewers shut out the Cubs this month.
The pitching struggled again in the opening game of the Marlins series. Corbin Burnes was uncharacteristically hit all over the field. He gave up four runs in five innings but maintained his pursuit of the record for the most strikeouts to begin a season before issuing a walk. The Brewers lost the game 8-0. Burnes was supposed to pitch in the third game of the Dodgers’ series but has been placed on the Ten-Day IL. The secrecy surrounding the move leads many to believe he has tested positive for COVID.
Adrian Houser took the mound in Game Two and provided his longest outing of the season. Usually a groundball pitcher, Houser struck out seven in 5.2 innings pitched. He also hit his first career home run in this game, and the Brewers won 5-4.
The Brewers’ pitching roller coaster took another dive in the final game of the series. Zach Godley was recalled to make the start for the Brewers and was the victim of one of the worst umpiring calls ever recorded on video. He was called for obstructing the runner on a routine groundout. Following the game, he too was placed on the Ten-Day IL.
Needless to say, things were not looking great for Brewers’ pitchers entering the Dodgers’ series. However, the Brewers’ pitchers have been lights out so far in the series. Eric Lauer was recalled to face the Dodgers, despite not having a great spring. He improved to a 6-0 lifetime against the Dodgers after pitching five scoreless innings. In the second game, Freddy Peralta rebounded from his last short start by pitching six innings of one-hit, one-run ball while striking out seven. He improved to 3-0 on the season.
Throughout the past eight games, JP Feyereisen continued his streak of no earned runs allowed. Additionally, Josh Hader has picked up four saves in the past eight games. While the starting rotation deals with injuries, the bullpen has, overall, been stellar.
The Offense Has Been Just Good Enough
Christian Yelich and Lorenzo Cain remain on the IL, making the lineup much thinner than usual. The Brewers have, indeed, struggled to put runs on the board at times during the past week. Keston Hiura, who has struggled all season, has been relegated to the bench in favor of Daniel Vogelbach. Travis Shaw continues to be an RBI machine but has not been getting on base nearly as much as the Brewers would like. Additionally, Avisail Garcia has been struggling nearly as much as Hiura.
Despite the struggles, the Brewers have gone 5-3 in their past eight games and sit atop the NL Central. Omar Narvaez continues his hot start at the plate but left the last Dodgers’ game with a hamstring injury. Kolten Wong came off of the IL this week and has done nothing but rake. Along with Narvaez, he has been the Brewers’ best offensive player in recent days.
This Brewers’ pitching staff is the real deal, and the team will win a lot of games on the strength of their arms. The offense will presumably get better once Yelich and Cain return, and players can finally settle into regular slots in the lineup. There is a slew of injuries that are keeping the best players off the field, but injuries in April are better than injuries in October. Even with all of these issues, the Brewers stand on top of the entire National League. That alone should give fans a lot to be happy about.
IF YOU WANT TO SEE HOW THE BREWERS’ SEASON HAS PROGRESSED:
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week One
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week Two
- State of the Milwaukee Brewers: Week Three
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