For the Monday-Sunday this past week the Milwaukee Brewers played to a 3-4 mark against the Minnesota Twins and Philadelphia Phillies. They split four home/away games with the Twins and then dropped 2 of 3 to the Phillies at home. The lack of consistent starting pitching again played into the losses with Taylor Jungmann and Chase Anderson getting hit the hardest. On Sunday Wily Peralta threw his first quality start and picked up his first win with lots of help from the offense. The Crew sent 10 batters to the plate and exploded for six runs in the sixth inning – their biggest inning of the season so far.
Now Leading Off: Domingo Santana has been leading off this season and follows a trend for the Brewers in recent years as he isn’t a prototypical “just get on base/hit for average” leadoff man. Santana went 2-4 on Sunday to raise his batting average to .275, but is also someone who can hit for power and contributed a homer on Sunday. Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, and others have previously occupied the leadoff spot – hitting homers and getting on base, albeit less than most other leadoff hitters. A good question I heard recently was ‘where else would you put Santana?’ You’d also have to think about who’d replace him at leadoff. The middle of the lineup is doing well as Ryan Braun and Chris Carter lead the team with 5 homers apiece, and Scooter Gennett is right behind them with 4 so far. While Jonathan Lucroy is mainly hitting cleanup, like with Santana, you could also argue he’s not typical for the spot as he has yet to homer. But he’s hitting right around .300 and being fourth in the lineup allows Braun (3rd) and Carter (5th) to hit in the spots where they are most successful. They both have 15 RBI’s to lead the team.
Center Field: This spot was the biggest question mark coming out of spring training and remains so after almost a month. Manager Craig Counsell continues to rotate this position to see if someone will break out and take it over completely. Newcomer Alex Presley (up from Colorado) has a home run and a couple hits in a small sample size of 7 at bats. Kirk Nieuwenhuis and Ramon Flores have played the most in Center, although neither has torn it up at the plate.
Pitching In: Blaine Boyer and Michael Blazek continue to impress in the bullpen with ERA’s of 2.16 and 3.00 respectively. After giving up a homer and 3 earned runs Saturday night, closer Jeremy Jeffress came back on Sunday to record his 6th save.
In Case You Hadn’t Noticed: The Brewers sport an 8-11 record, good for last place in the NL Central. They trail the Cincinnati Reds by a game.
Next Up: Oh joy of joys – the Crew travel for a short road trip to Chicago. They’ll play the Cubs for three games starting on Tuesday and will send top starter Jimmy Nelson to the mound in game one. The Brewers will return home for the weekend to start off a six game home stand against Miami and then the L.A. Angels. It’ll be like they never left home!
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