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Brewers' quality extends beyond retro uniforms

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Michael Hunt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
April 14, 2014

While winning their ninth consecutive game Sunday, the Brewers were wearing the retro ball-in-glove uniforms that are customarily broken out only on home Fridays.

Except that they wore them Saturday, too.

Two things:

 Starting pitchers chose the attire du jour.

 And baseball players have been known for their, um, irrational tendencies when on a roll.

“Baseball players superstitious? You probably won’t see retro tomorrow,” right-hander Kyle Lohse said with a wry grin after his masterful performance that had much to do with the 4-1 victory against Pittsburgh.

Matt Garza wasn’t saying because his own personal quirk prohibits public speech the day before starts, but equipment manager Tony Migliaccio could have been safe hanging out the old-school threads a fourth straight time the night before the St. Louis Cardinals came to town.

“I would say 99.9 percent,” left fielder Logan Schafer said. “I’m holding out because it’s possible. Garza, you never know with him. I don’t know if he’s superstitious or not. I like these uniforms. I like the old school. I like this blue.”

Of course, it’s not the unis that are driving baseball’s best team at the moment.

“If we were wearing yellow the first game of the home stand, we’d probably still be wearing yellow,” Lohse said. “That’s just the way it is.

“We’re just keeping it rolling. We did the same thing on the road. We kept wearing blue tops. We’re just having fun with it. Whatever works. Don’t question it. If it works, keep doing it.”

No one is questioning the Brewers right now.

Before the Brewers completed their third consecutive three-game sweep, a casual observer might have questioned whether this team was merely hot early or genuinely good. Without question, it is trending toward the latter now.

Not only have the Brewers’ starting pitching and bullpen been superb, they are playing the game with such precision that it took just 2 hours 11 minutes to dispatch the Pirates.

Excellent defense. Schafer and Jean Segura made plays you’ll be seeing on highlight clips for the next several days. Timely hitting. When Aramis Ramirez drove in Ryan Braun with the go-ahead run in the fourth inning, you knew the game was over.

The last time the Brewers instilled that kind of confidence was three years ago. With something approaching full health, the Brewers are good enough to again compete at that level. Plus, they’re getting the breaks, something that didn’t happen last season. Convenient, isn’t it, that teams that play the right way generate their own luck.

“For one, you seem to get more breaks,” manager Ron Roenicke said. “For another, you take advantage. Everything is going good.”

So much so that the debate on the legitimacy of a 10-2 record would be terribly one-sided.

“Everyone can have their own opinion, but the only one that matters in our opinion is ours, the one in the clubhouse,” Schafer said. “We think we’re pretty good. Whether others believe it or not, they’re going to have to start to because we’re going to continue to play like this, keep having each other’s backs and playing a fun brand of baseball.

“We’re playing great baseball and doing the little things right. And we’re having a lot of fun doing it. And that’s what’s important. We’re having a really good time playing the game of baseball.”

The uniforms are just part of it. Baseball rituals aside, the Brewers were wearing those uniforms when they won 13 consecutive games to begin the 1987 season. They also wore them in their last World Series appearance in 1982 against, coincidentally, the Cardinals.

But superstitious? Baseball players?

“Never,” Schafer said with the kind of smile that reflected everything you need to know about the Brewers at the moment.

Michael Hunt is a columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Email him at mhunt@journalsentinel.com



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