With one month of the 2021 baseball season in the books, the Milwaukee Brewers enter May with a record of 16-10. They find themselves first in the National League Central Standings and tied with the San Francisco Giants for the best record in the National League. Only the Boston Red Sox, 17-10, have a better record than the Brewers.
There have been lots of key storylines with this team through the first 26 games. Early game offense, historic pitching performances, and a plethora of injuries on both sides of the baseball just to name a few. In this article we are going to take a deeper look into these three stories.
1) Brewers among the league’s best in first inning runs scored
Scoring runs in the first inning has been an area in which the Brewers have excelled at. With 18 first innings runs scored, this is fourth best in all of baseball according to team rankings. To go along with runs scored, the first inning is also possesses the teams highest batting average (.303), hits collected (33), and doubles (7).
One of the biggest first inning contributors is Travis Shaw. Of his 19 RBIs in April, seven of them have came in the first inning and 14 of them within the first three innings. Early game success is a career trend for Shaw. Hopefully he is able to continue this production going forward for early run production is helping set the table for this dominate Brewers pitching staff.
Especially considering the struggles this offense had last year with scoring first inning runs, this is a welcome improvement.
2) Corbin Burnes and the remainder of this pitching staff have been absolutely dominant
To begin the season, the Brewers starting pitchers broke a record dating back to the 2011 season in which the starting pitchers went at least five innings pitched with just one earned run or fewer. On top of that, Corbin Burnes, who was placed on the IL, has a chance to make history with the most strikeouts before issuing a walk once he is able to return.
The numbers back up the Brewers pitching as well for they currently have the sixth lowest team ERA (3.27) and the fourth highest strikeout totals (269). J.P Feyereisen has been a force in the bullpen with 14 consecutive scoreless innings and Josh Hader is tied for the second-highest saves totals this year at seven.
With how poor the offense was in 2020 it was easy to think that pitching being a strength for the Brewers was a bit of a fluke, but so far this season that is not the case. This pitching staff is filled with electric arms and should continue to carry this ball club going forward.
3) The injury bug seems to be hitting the Brewers the hardest
Of players on the 40 man roster, 14 Brewers currently find themselves on the injured list. This list incorporates superstar Christian Yelich, Corbin Burnes, Lorenzo Cain, and many more. Kolten Wong, an off-season addition, additionally spent some time on the IL but has since returned and has been providing a much needed spark.
Despite all the injuries the Brewers have one of the best records in all of baseball! In the month of April the Brewers went 5-0 against the NL West that included a sweep of the Padres and two consecutive victories against the Dodgers. Both of those teams are heavy favorites to make it to the World Series.
The Brewers should have a few players returning in the upcoming weeks, but the amount of injuries so far this year has been unlike any other year. This team is very exciting to watch, but once healthy they are showing the potential to be something special this season, so buckle up and enjoy the ride!