Milwaukee Brewers: 250 Words or Less: 9/17/11
The Milwaukee Brewers drop their division-clinching magic number to 5 as they beat the Cincinnati Reds 10-1, their biggest margin of victory since before the All-Star break. St. Louis lost as well, putting the Crew within reach of their first division title in 29 years.
The Brewers suffered a 5-game losing streak last week, each player in the rotation getting kicked around a bit. The offense averaged just 1.8 runs during those games and the starting rotation had a combined 5.01 ERA. In the 5 games since, they have gone 4-1 with a starters’ ERA of 3.60 while averaging 4.6 runs per game. The only real constant in the last month has been the bullpen, putting up a collective 1.08 ERA over the last 50 innings of relief. They’ve truly been the glue holding this team together.
As for tonight, Yovani Gallardo threw a career high 13 strikeouts and allowed only 2 hits as he fought the Reds off long enough to see the Brewers’ offense erupt. Yuniesky Betaucourt and Ryan Braun each hit homers, Braun’s a 3-run shot to lead the charge. Cincinnati’s starter struggled in the 7th and Braun took immediate advantage of the next pitcher with his blast. They badly needed a stretch of breakout baseball, and look like they are having fun getting back on the winning side.
Just 10 games remain as they look for the sweep of Cincinnati tomorrow. Zack Greinke will close out the series and the final game against the Reds for 2011.
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.