Brewers sweep Astros
Granted, it was the Houston Astros, but a sweep is a sweep. The Brewer’s offense exploded for 31 runs throughout the three game series. Although getting excited over beating up on the Astros may be a bit excessive, the team now ranks eighth in all of baseball in runs scored. Ryan Braun leads the National League in home runs while Aramis Ramirez is on pace to set the Brewer’s single season record for doubles. Rickie Weeks, who had been mired in such an early season slump that there were once rumblings of his demotion, is currently the team’s hottest hitter. Offense has never been the issue the 2012 Milwaukee Brewers. This team’s Achilles heel has been its bullpen.
The much maligned bullpen was surprisingly solid in the Astros’ series. Once again, it must be pointed out that any successes came at the hands of a team that is among the worst in baseball. The Astros’ 35-71 record is, in fact, the worst record in the major leagues. However, the Brewer’s bullpen couldn’t go an entire series without stumbling. In the opening game, Livan Hernandez blew a lead for starter Marco Estrada and Kameron Loe once again failed to record an out in an inning. Thankfully, John Axford was barely able to wiggle out of a tough ninth inning jam to record the save. Axford can thank Cesar Izturis for that. The Brewer shortstop fielded a tough groundball deep in the hole and threw out JD Martinez to end the game.
The Brewer’s are most likely too far back in the standings to stage any sort of a comeback. However, their schedule in the month of August is fairly palpable. The Brewers have back-to-back series against the St Louis Cardinals and Cincinnati Reds and only faces one other opponent with a winning record. The schedule is also heavy with National League Central opponents. The team faces each team in its division at least once over the next month. If nothing else, the Brewers will play a role in deciding who come out on top of the Central Division and Wild Card races. Any success will undoubtedly lead Brewer fans to wonder where the team would stand if the bullpen had been only average throughout the season.
By: Scott Kasten
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