The Milwaukee Brewers came out ready to start the 2014 Major League Baseball season. The Brewers currently sit atop all of baseball with a 19-7 record. The team is currently 5.5 games ahead of the St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central. The question many are asking is how are they doing it after many baseball analysts around the country predicted the team would finish in the middle to bottom of the division.
The top answer has been the team’s pitching through the first 26 games of the regular season. The Brewers currently sit in second with a 2.56 earned run average, with only the Atlanta Braves having a better number. The rotation leads the majors with 21 quality starts and 13 saves, and it has the second fewest earned runs allowed with 70.
Entering 2014, the team acquired Matt Garza to join a rotation that featured Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse, Wily Peralta, and Marco Estrada. Out of the five starters, only Garza has an earned run average above three and the only starter with a losing record. The biggest improvement has been Gallardo picking up two wins in his first six starts and leading the team with a 1.91 earned run average. In games Gallardo has started, the Brewers have a 4-2 record.
Gallardo isn’t the only bright spot, as Lohse leads the team with 4 wins and Francisco Rodriguez has yet to allow a run in 15 innings pitched. Rodriguez has dominated this season, striking out 22 batters in his 15 innings while saving all 12 games.
If the Brewers hot start continues, they could be the team to beat in the central division this season.