Brewers Gain Ground, National League Central Week in Review


Aug 17, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Dan Haren (14) walks around the mound after giving up a 2-run homer in the first inning to Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy (back) at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

It was a good week to be a fan of the Milwaukee Brewers after they swept the Los Angeles Dodgers, who came into the series with the best record in the National League.

The Brewers went 5-2 last week, with their three wins against the Dodgers and a 2-2 series split with the Chicago Cubs.

In seven games this week, the Brewers never allowed more than four runs, and that only happened once. They allowed three runs twice, two runs three times, and one run once.  That is a recipe for winning baseball games.

The Brewers will host the Toronto Blue Jays for two games on Tuesday and Wednesday before hosting Pittsburgh in a three-game series over the weekend.

With off days on both Monday and Thursday this week, Ron Roenicke announced that the team will skip Kyle Lohse‘s turn in the rotation after tweaking his ankle in his loss to the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday.

St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis started the week two games behind the Brewers in the division. They finished three back after going 4-3 on the week. The Cardinals opened the week with a 1-2 series loss to the Miami Marlins and followed with a 3-1 series win over the San Diego Padres.

The Cardinals only made one roster move this week, optioning Kevin Siegrist down to AAA and calling up Carlos Martinez to replace him.

This week the Cardinals will get three games with the Cincinnati Reds and three with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Pittsburgh Pirates

Pittsburgh started the week 2 1/2 games behind the front-running Brewers and finished 5 1/2 back as the August fade that doomed them in 2011 and 2012 reared its ugly head.

The Pirates split a four-game series with the Detroit Tigers to open the week. They won the first two, and lost the last two. They followed by getting swept in three games against the Washington Nationals.

The Nats sweep, combined with the Brewers sweep of the Dodgers, gave Washington the best record in the National League.

On Monday the Pirates put Andrew McCutchen on the disabled list (retroactive to August 4th). On Thursday they acquired John Axford from the Cleveland Indians in a waiver-trade and on Sunday they put starter Charlie Morton on the disabled list.

Axford has a 3.74 ERA on the season, with a 4.58 FIP. He’s striking out 10.64 batters per nine innings, right in line with his career average, but he’s walking more than 6 batters per nine innings, which is easily a career high.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds started the week five back of the Brewers and finished it 8 1/2 back, falling below .500.

The Reds lost both games of a two-game series with the Red Sox, before going 1-3 in a four game series with the Rockies to make them 1-5 on the week.

In good news for the Reds, Brandon Phillips started his minor league rehab assignment on Thursday. In bad news for the Reds, Homer Bailey went on the disabled list on Saturday (retroactive to August 8) and Joey Votto moved from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list.

Chicago Cubs

The Chicago Cubs started the week 14 back in the NL Central and finished it 16 back.

After their 2-2 split with Milwaukee, the Cubs lost 2-of-3 to the Mets for a 3-5 week.

The Cubs had a pretty quiet week, transaction wise. They swapped a few guys between the big club and AAA, and they released outfielder Nate Schierholtz.