This Brewers team has become a home run hitting machine and Eric Thames and Ryan Braun have been the driving force. It’s easy to stay calm now as a fan, even when they are behind, because you know somebody is about to pop off at any moment.
The Brewers now have 25 home runs in the first 14 games and Thames set the consecutive dinger record at five games as he broke a mark that had been held by Jeromy Burnitz for over two decades. This team is red-hot and they haven’t even found their groove yet. They don’t put together rallies. They just jack the ball over the fence in bunches.
The Brewers starting pitching has been middling at best. Consider that Chase Anderson gave up three runs on seven hits and walked a hitter in just five innings, but left with the lead and ended up getting the win because of the stellar run support. A big play came when the Cubs had a runner in second base down 4-3 and were threatening to tie it up. Orlando Arcia snuck toward the bag and Anderson threw a bullet to pick off the runner and end the threat.
The bullpen doesn’t get enough credit lately as they’ve been almost flawless nailing down the last third of the game and still are mentioned as an area of need for a team who has gone 6-1 in the last seven games. Tonight was no different as they kept the Cubbies in check. The formula that seems to be working for the Brewers is Jacob Barnes in the seventh, Corey Knebel in the eight and Neftali Feliz in the ninth. Tonight Barnes struck out the side in the seventh. Then Neftali looked to be in trouble as he allowed runners to reach first and second with nobody out but then got a double play and a strike out to end the game and notch his fifth save in as many tries.
The Brewers took a very unusual route to score two runs in the eighth as they did it without the help of a home run. Thames ripped a single to right. Braun drove him in with a double, then stole third and scored on a throwing error. The Brewers started the game we three batters in their order batting under .200, including the leadoff spot, yet they cover it up nicely by scoring quickly.
The Brewers have won six of seven on this road trip after taking the first at Wrigley. Brewers and Cubs will be right back at it tomorrow night at 7:05.