Now that the dust has settled from the opening series, the Milwaukee Brewers will continue the rest of the month of April facing some serious competition. More than half of the games in the month are against teams who made the playoffs last year.
Will the Brewers be able to hold their ground?
As the saying goes, last year was last year and maybe that’s the approach the Brew Crew should take. This weekend in particular, the Brewers will face the World Series defending champion Boston Red Sox who could very well repeat in 2014. The Brewers however were on the outside looking in during the 2012 season and last year didn’t even come close to contention. However, if they fair well in April, it may be a good sign of things to come.
Two losses to the Atlanta Braves off the bat does not set the tone for the season, so please remove those thoughts from your head. Feel better? Good. Anyway, as I was saying, the Brewers still have 159 more games to play, but stepping off on the wrong foot never helps. That said, it’s all about how the team rebounds from this previous series. Besides, we learned that the pitching was sharp, yet the offense clung to Aramis Ramirez like leeches at a blood drive. Aside from a solo homer provided by Carlos Gomez, Ramirez drove in three of the team’s four runs. Surely the offense will wake up, right?
Boston isn’t the first test, Atlanta was, but the Red Sox will certainly provide a challenge. If the Brewers couldn’t even triumph over the Braves who are without a good chunk of their starting rotation in Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy, can the Brew Crew prevail victorious in Boston against Jake Peavy, Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester? This weekend will certainly paint that picture for us.
Even beyond this first week, the Brewers will match up against the St. Louis Cardinals six times and the Pittsburgh Pirates six times. Both teams are viable contenders to make the playoffs again this year, just like the Braves and Red Sox. Though, if the Brewers come out swinging and do well, then some heads will be shifting.
April is always a fun month because baseball, our national pastime, is back. However, the month of April does not make or break a team’s season, but it can surely affect May and set the tone. Just last year the Brewers imploded in May, which would end up costing them their season. To avoid these same mistakes, they’ll have to play smarter baseball and I believe they can do that.
Three-fifths of the starting rotation in Yovani Gallardo, Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza have pulled their weight to start the season, so for April to be a success, Wily Peralta and Marco Estrada must be in tune with the rest of the team. Offensively, one has to wonder what exactly is going on with Khris Davis, who has yet to record a hit. Yes, I know the season just began, but for someone who the Brewers so highly touted that they traded away Norichika Aoki, we had better hope Davis falls into a groove.
I don’t want to put so much pressure on this month, because like I said, the beginning month doesn’t determine the season. Does it set the pace? Sure. Destroy it? No. For now, let’s just enjoy the fact that the Brewers are back.