Milwaukee Brewers: 250 Words or Less: 8/18/11
The streak came to an end this afternoon as the Milwaukee Brewers lost the final to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-1. The Crew took the first 3 of the 4 game set, and will certainly be happy about that.
The bats were quiet again for Milwaukee going against the Dodgers’ ace. He went 8 shutout innings, out-dueling Marco Estrada, who again had a strong 5 inning performance as a spot-starter. The Brewers were bitten today by a rare struggle by the bullpen, with Kameron Loe giving up 2 runs, Tim Dillard with 2, and Frankie De La Cruz getting in some work in the 9th. You can’t fault manager Ron Roenicke for giving his usual late-inning team some time off, but again, just a rare meltdown that they’ll have to look past quickly.
The Brewers avoided the shutout late in the game when Prince Fielder hit a sacrifice fly to score Ryan Braun in the 9th inning. A few fans seemed distraught that the Brewers have slowed down on offense. In their last 6 games, the Crew has averaged 2.0 runs per game. It’s not their worst stretch of the season; from April 30th to May 8th they averaged 1.7 runs per game. But the difference has been the pitching. The early season slump saw the Crew go 1-8 and the starters muster a 5.06 ERA. This current slump: an 0.89 ERA and a 5-1 record. It’s understandable that everything won’t click at the same time, but this team is rarely in full crisis mode.
Don’t listen to what people tell you about the Brewers’ struggles on the road; they are 10-5 in the last 15 road games with their starting pitching punching through a 2.58 ERA. They get to show their continued growth as they travel, first to see the New York Mets and then to a 4 game set in Pittsburgh. Shaun Marcum leads off the trip tomorrow night.
Follow me on Twitter ( @MilwaukeeBrian ) and don’t miss the Brewers’ “A Simple Kind of Fan” each Tuesday from Pocket Doppler’s Brew Town Boozer.