Ryan Braun accounted for two of Milwaukee’s five hits in a 2-0 loss to the Pirates Wednesday afternoon. Braun finished 2-for-4, raising his season batting average to .330, his on-base percentage to .400, and his slugging percentage to a National League-best .585. He also swiped his 29th bag of the year.With the Cardinals also losing, the Brewers maintained their ten game lead in the National League Central and their magic number shrunk to 22.
Milwaukee’s surge towards the postseason continued Tuesday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Brewers beat the Pirates 11-4 behind a superb outing from spot starter Marco Estrada, who tossed seven innings allowing only two runs on no walks while striking out two. Milwaukee tied a season high with seventeen hits and scored seven runs in the second inning, their most in any inning this season, capped by Casey McGehee’s two-run shot, his 10th of the year. Prince Fielder cracked the century mark in RBI, driving in his 100th run with a double in the sixth inning. Nyjer Morgan had four hits, including two RBI, raising his batting average to .314. Corey Hart and Yuniesky Betancourt each had two hits and Jonthan Lucroy collected three base knocks and a RBI, putting his average at a solid .287. Every Brewer starter had a hit except for Estrada, who did have three sac-bunts. Ryan Braun was also a major contributor in the victory, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs batted in, two walks, and two runs scored — he also stole his 27th and 28th bags. His batting average increased to .328 and his on-base percentage rose to .399.
With St. Louis getting pounded by the Dodgers, the Brewers increased their NL Central lead to TEN games, the largest in franchise history.
Yovani Gallardo pitched eight superb innings, allowing only one run and one walk while fanning nine as the Milwaukee Brewers won yet again Tuesday night at Miller Park. The Brewers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 to improve to 21 games over .500 overall (72-51) and 31 games over .500 at home (46-15), a major league best. The Crew got an RBI from Corey Hart in the second inning and Mark Kotsay sent the fans home happy with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, adding another chapter to Milwaukee’s storybook season. Ryan Braun was 2-for-4, raising his batting average to .329. With the Pirates win over the Cardinals, the Brewers increased their National League Central division lead to 7 games. Milwaukee has won 18 of 20 and looks for a series sweep tomorrow with Zack Greinke on the hill.
With a 1-0 victory over the dwindling Bucs and a St. Louis loss to Colorado, the Milwaukee Brewers pushed their NL Central lead to five games. The Brewers have won 15 of 17 ballgames and are 18 games above .500 (69-51). Yuniesky Betancourt’s second inning solo blast was all Milwaukee needed Saturday as Marco Estrada (3-7, 4.46) pitched five scoreless innings in his first start since May 4. Brew Crew closer John Axford locked up his 34th save in 36 chances, working around a lead-off triple to earn his 31st save in a row. In case you haven’t noticed, Brewer hitters who reach base safely have recently begun to incorporate a new celebration — an arms out bear hug gesture paired with a gnarly, monstrous scream. Nyjer Morgan calls it “Beast Mode,” yet the origins are a bit more innocent. The actual story behind the grand display of fierceness comes courtesy of Prince Fielder. “It’s from Monsters, Inc.,” states Prince; “That’s my kids’ favorite movie. The whole team does it now. It’s something that I saw my kids do, and I thought it was funny, so I thought I might as well do it, too.” The whole team seems to have caught on, and turning to the dugout and waving your arms in a “scary” manner has become second nature to Milwaukee’s heavy hitters.
Casey McGehee deposited three balls into the seats as the Milwaukee Brewers capped a 8-1 homestand with a 10-5 win over the second place Cardinals. McGehee, who had three homers in his previous 355 plate appearances, smacked three out in four at-bats today, giving Milwaukee a three and a half game lead over rival St. Louis and a six and a half game lead over Pittsburgh. Corey Hart also homered while Randy Wolf improved to 8-8 on the season. The Brewers are off Thursday and start a three-game series in Houston on Friday.
Also, take note of SI.com writer Cliff Corcoran’s latest article surrounding the MVP watch in each league, posted below. Corcoran has Ryan Braun ranked #1 with Prince Fielder holding down the #2 spot in the National League race. Stay tuned.
And if you’re keeping track like I am, Ryan Braun went 2-for-4 in the win today, raising his batting average to .324 – good enough for second in the NL (tied with Cincinnati’s Joey Votto). Mets shortstop Jose Reyes sits at .339. Brewers outfielder Nyjer Morgan is creeping up on averaging 3.1 plate appearances a game, the minimum to qualify for a batting title. T-Plush is hitting .328.
The Milwaukee Brewers completed their second straight three-game sweep, this time by brushing aside the lowly Astros. The Brewers (60-49 overall, 39-14 at home) are now a season best eleven games over .500 and have increased their lead in the National League Central to 4.5 games over everyone’s darling Pittsburgh Pirates. The second place Cardinals play tonight and even with a win would remain behind Milwaukee. St. Louis comes to Miller Park for a three-game set tomorrow.
Last night’s epic 19-inning duel between the Atlanta Braves and Pittsburgh Pirates will be a game talked about in Pennsylvania for quite some time. Just before 2 a.m., umpire Jerry Meals called Braves veteran Julio Lugo safe at home plate to give Atlanta a 4-3 victory. The only problem was that Lugo was out — by a mile. Pirates backstop Michael McKenry clearly applied the tag to Lugo’s right leg as he attempted to slide into home for the game winning run. The missed call sent shock waves throughout the baseball universe as the Pirates fell into third place in the National League Central thanks to the loss. The call for instant replay was heard loud and clear all across social networking sites such as Twitter (a much similar reaction to Jim Joyce’s blown call at first base last season which cost Tiger’s pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game). But should Major League Baseball really expand the use of instant replay? Games are longer than ever as it is; adding replay would open Pandora’s box. I personally am not even a fan of instant replay being used to judge home runs that are on the cusp of the foul pole. Baseball is the only game where there is no clock. That’s what’s beautiful about it. Human error is as much part of the game as anything else, and if we start changing the rules now when will they ever stop? Replays on outs on the basepaths? Replays on balls and strikes? Major League Baseball should be left alone… and seeing how this is a Milwaukee Brewers blog, I have a hard time feeling any sympathy for Clint Hurdle’s Pirates. Every team suffers a bad break now and again. If Pittsburgh truly is for real, they won’t let Jerry Meal’s error have a lasting effect on their club.