Something's “brewing” with Milwaukee Brewers
Yes, it's early, and it's a long season, and it's best to not be overcome with enthusiasm. But the Milwaukee Brewers are off to a remarkable start. Spectacular starting and relief pitching, some good hitting from key players and solid fielding have been behind that start. Don't look now, but the Brewers are on a nine-game win streak and have the best record in Major League Baseball. At 10-2, they're off to their best start since 1987, when they won their first 13 games.
Lest you need reminding, that 1987 team lost 12 straight in May and wound up winning 91 games. Sometimes, that's enough to win a division. That year, the Brewers finished third.
Remember how that Badger men's basketball team won 16 straight, was brimming with confidence and seemed invincible? Then it lost a game and proceeded to lose five of six before regathering itself. Let's hope the Brewers' euphoria bubble doesn't burst like that one did. Of course, if the Brewers go through a similarly rough stretch but regather themselves to finish among the top four teams in baseball, all would be forgotten, right?
I texted a high school buddy and fellow Brewers fan Friday, as the club returned home from consecutive road sweeps of Boston and Philadelphia. “Is something brewing?” I asked. He knew what I meant. “They sure look good. Big series with Pirates will let us know,” he replied.
Well, the Brewers swept the Pittsburgh Pirates out of town this weekend, too. Now comes the team I always fear the most, St. Louis. The Cardinals are in town starting tonight. The Cards not only won the Central Division last year but had the best record in the National League. They might have lost to the Red Sox in the World Series, but the Cardinals have a storied history and lots of championship banners hanging in Busch Stadium. They're lurking in second place, three games behind the Brewers. Until some team proves otherwise, I think St. Louis is the club to fear the most.
I still have a photo of me standing on the infield of old Milwaukee County Stadium with a heavy winter parka, finger raised in a “No. 1” salute, after the Brewers won Game 5 of the World Series in 1982. My high school buddy went to that game with me and shot that photo. We were confident then that the Brewers would be world champions. It was not to be. They went to St. Louis, where the Cardinals won the next two games and added another crown to their pile.
We Brewer fans are still waiting for that first one. Might this be the year? Yes, it's still early, but the series starting tonight might be a good indicator of what's to come.