There are numbers, statistics, and metrics that will measure Baseball success. WAR, BABIP, OPS, VORP, WHIP…and it goes on and on. But, Baseball has never changed…it is, has been and always will be ABOUT PITCHING. The Brewers have proved all season – Pitching, not run production, is their greatest attribute, and it has kept them in 1st place since April 5th.
To be specific, Brewers Pitching success has been all about Starting Pitching. The rotation, even with Matt Garza on the DL now, has been very good all season. In particular, starting pitching has been great for a while now. Over the last 20-games, Brewers starters have a 2.44 ERA with 17 quality starts (129.1ip, 35er). I think it’s fair to say that Milwaukee doesn’t have one of the top Pitchers in the game. There is no Kershaw, Wainwright, King Felix, or Price on this staff—currently, but in the last two weeks, the Brewers have beaten Price, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy, and Zach Greinke. They beat them with Yovanni Gallardo, Jimmy Nelson, Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers.
It’s impressive to look at the numbers and see the Brewers as the 2nd highest scoring team in the National League. It’s impressive to see the team’s Home Run totals. It’s impressive to look at individual numbers for Carlos Gomez, Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun, Scooter Gennett and Jonathan Lucroy. The offense has been good, no doubt. Yet, the reason for their success, and continued success has been and will be Starting Pitching.
There are 5-reasons the Brewers will hold on and win the NL Central. Look no further than the rotation to predict the results. St. Louis lost 2/5’s of their rotation to either injury or trade. The Brewers have replaced a starter, but until Garza went on the DL…they had only lost one start due to injury (Gallardo, ankle). Just watch the final 40+ games, and pay attention to the starting pitching lines. If the Brewers do what they have done for the first 120 games or so, they will win the NL Central and give us a September and October to remember.