Numbers getting goofy for Brewers
The Brewers have 50 wins at Miller Park with 15 home games to play. They have won 27 of their last 32 games overall, including 21 of 26 in August to match the winningest month in franchise history. They have a closer who has converted his last 37 save opportunities, a first baseman who leads the National League with 102 RBIs and a left fielder who is two points off the pace for the batting title.
And, thanks to a nail-biting, sweep-clinching, 3-2 win over the Cubs on Sunday, the Brewers have a 10 1/2 game lead over second-place St. Louis in the National League Central.
The numbers are getting downright silly.
“The double-digit lead is hard to believe,” said Zack Greinke, who remained perfect at Miller Park by beating the Cubs. “It seems like just the other day we were one back. That is weird to see.”
It was actually a bit more than a month ago that the Brewers were 1/2 game back, but they swept the Cubs from July 26-28 at Miller Park to begin a remarkable rampage in which they have gone 27-5 and left the rest of the division in the dust. The Brewers can further cement their standing atop the NL Central in a three-game series against the Cardinals that begins Tuesday night at Miller Park.
On Sunday, Greinke and right fielder Corey Hart finished the sweep with a two-man show. Greinke became the second Brewers pitcher ever to steal a base, but was more interested in talking about his work on the mound than the basepaths. He pitched 7 2/3 innings and didn’t allow a hit until the fifth or a run until the eighth. Hart finished a sensational series with two more hits, including a two-run home run, and he helped his pitcher’s cause with a shoestring catch.
John Axford had to work hard for his 40th save — tying him with Atlanta’s Craig Kimbrel for the Major League lead — but finished the Brewers’ 13th series sweep and boosted the team to 21-5 this month, setting a franchise record for wins in August and tying the club record for wins in any month.
“I don’t know the rest of the teams in the league that well, but I don’t know if there’s a team playing better than this one,” said Cubs catcher Koyie Hill. “You can arguably say that this team right now is the best team on the planet.”
The ’78 Brewers went 21-9 in June and finished with a franchise-record 54 wins at home. This crop of Brewers is 50-16 so far at Miller Park, with 15 home games still remaining. The Brewers have won 21 of 24 games at home since their only back-to-back losses here all season, on July 4-5 against the D-backs.
Are the Brewers enjoying this? Or is there still too much work to do?
“It’s kind of both,” Hart said. “Whether you’re at the top or the bottom, when you go through a stretch like we are right now, you can’t not enjoy it. At the same time, we know that every day the focus has to be there, because the Cardinals aren’t going anywhere.”
Follow Brew Beat on Twitter.