Brewers: Early thoughts 19 innings into the 2013 season
As would be expected with a 1-1 record we've seen good baseball and bad baseball with the Brewers. Yes, it's early. Very early. But one trend has emerged with starters Yovani Gallardo and Marco Estrada each going five innings in their respective starts. Sure there's an off day on Thursday but with Wily Peralta slated to pitch on Wednesday and Kyle Lohse expected to go on Friday (we'll get a better idea of what his workload will be later in the week) the bullpen is getting a lot of early work.
For the Brewers to be successful this year in a pitching-rich climate, you need to get a lot of innings and good innings out of your starters. We haven't seen it yet. Doesn't mean it won't happen but Estrada's numbers on Tuesday tell the early story. No walks, eight strikeouts, nine hits, four runs. Good command but Estrada gave up a few too many hits. An uneven performance to say the least.
Colorado had the worst ERA in the NL last year and with Jorge De La Rosa making just his fourth start since Tommy John surgery the Brewers had plenty of opportunities to score in the first two games. Unlike Monday, the Brewers got to the starting pitcher early but then the offense fizzled out. There are some encouraging signs. Ryan Braun hit the first of what should be at least 40 home runs this season and Aramis Ramirez is going against his own reputation as a sluggish starter with a .429 average after two games. Even Rickie Weeks is off to a good start as the ankle injury that seemed to plague him in 2012 is in the rear view mirror. However, on Tuesday night in four of the last five innings the Brewers had runners in scoring position but didn't knock any of them home. Like Estrada, an uneven performance early on.
We said yesterday that one game doesn't make a season and we'll say today that two games don't make a season either. Heck, there's a long way to go before we get to the end of the first week let alone the first half of the season. The Brewers will need to get more work out of their starting pitchers to be sure and Tuesday night was just a combination of bad breaks. A series win would be a good start to the season and would make that first off day of the year feel a little bit better.