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Brewers ride record April into May

Adam Hansen , Sports Writer, Commentary
May 6, 2014
Filed under Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers had a heck of a first month this season. Ron Roenicke’s wall bangers went 20-8 in April and have the best record in baseball.

The Brewers have surprised many so far. They were predicted to finish second to last in the National League Central, in front of the Chicago Cubs. They’ve only lost two series all year — one to the Atlanta Braves, which was the first series of the year, and one to the St. Louis Cardinals.

One of the biggest reasons for the Brewers success so far is the pitching. Overall, the Brewers have the second best ERA in all of baseball, right behind the Braves and just ahead of the Cardinals.

The bullpen is one of the best in baseball right now. Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t blown a save yet, and pitchers like Tyler Thornburg and Will Smith have been almost perfect so far.

The starting pitching is one of the strongest parts of the team. Yovani Gallardo is having a bounce-back season from last year with a 1.91 ERA and 2-0 record. The Brewers even won a game against the Cardinals April 28 with Gallardo pitching. In his career against the Cardinals, Gallardo is 1-11 in 18 starts. That’s the definition of a team owning a pitcher.

The biggest surprise for starting pitchers so far is Wily Peralta.

Peralta is 3-1 with a 2.56 ERA thus far and is proving to be just what the Brewers hoped he would be as he came up from the minors last year as a full-time starter.

The bats haven’t been bad either. Carlos Gomez is having another stellar year so far with seven home runs and the fifth-best Wins Above Replacement. If he can keep his pace up and still play great defense, he will be an MVP candidate by the end of the year.

Even though Ryan Braun was recently injured, he’s having a much better season. Braun already has six home runs, when last year he only had nine in 61 games.

The Hebrew Hammer is batting .318 and is on track for another all-star game if he can get healthy again. Braun has been battling a thumb injury all year and is now also battling an oblique injury.

One of the biggest surprises so far is how well Scooter Gennett is playing. Gennett is batting .300 and his defense, which was what worried scouts and fans the most, has been great.

Gennett is a much needed upgrade over Rickie Weeks, who has barely played and is on the verge of possibly being released.

Aramis Ramirez is another key to the Brewers success. With runners in scoring position, Ramirez is batting .500 with 12 hits and 16 RBIs. That’s an outstanding number and puts him in the top three in the entire league with runners in scoring position.

A big disappointment this year though has been Jean Segura. Segura, who made the All-Star team last year in his rookie season, is only batting .255 and has hit lots of weak ground balls to second and shortstop.

Segura was hit in the head by Braun’s bat two weekends ago and was out for a week with a swollen head.

As the summer comes along, it could get very exciting for the Brew Crew as they stride to make it back to October. It would be their first October appearance since the 2011 season when they went all the way to the NLCS but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals, barely missing the World Series.

But it’s safe to say the boys are back.

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