Don't look now but the National League may have found another contender for the world series. Not the Chicago Cubs, who themselves don't know the word "lose", but the Milwaukee Brewers are steaming hot, putting increasing pressure on the Cubs to continue winning.
The Milwaukee Brewers, just not too long ago were on the brink of an early season burnout. After losing five straight games on the road including an embarrassing sweep by the defending world champion Boston Red sox.
When Heading to Pittsburgh, there soon after, the brewers were down on themselves and tension was running high.
Ryan Braun spoke out, "You've got to expect to win. I almost feel like we never really expected to win any of these games." Those were big time words coming from a second year player, but wow, did the brewers take their teammate seriously.
After losing nine straight road games, the Brew Crew buckled down and took two of three at Pittsburgh and split a series with the Nationals to salvage the road trip heading back to Milwaukee with a boost of confidence.
The Brewers matched up with quality teams while at home including Atlanta, Houston, and Arizona. So how many games did they add to win the column? Try eight of nine, just proving that their hype this year would not go to waste.
First up were the Atlanta Braves who had talent of their own with the likes of Chipper Jones who was batting a remarkable average of .416. This had no effect on the Crew who were out to prove critics wrong and focused on turning their season around, taking two of three from the braves.
Series heroes included: Mike Cameron, who knocked Bill Hall in with a sacrifice fly to win game one. The pitching staff besides ace Ben Sheets had major problems, mainly due to the loss of starting phenom Yovani Gallardo for the year.
Jeff Suppan had hit rock bottom, losing five of his last six starts coming into game two of the series. In this six game span Suppan has allowed 18 runs, eight were from a April 30th game against the cubs. Did he ever prove us all wrong, going eight innings, four hits, and no runs for the braves in the win.
After sending the Braves home with a series loss, the Houston Astros rolled in. Last time these two ball clubs matched up it was in Houston and the Astros swept away the Brewers quickly posting 21 runs on the crew's pitching staff in only three games.
The Brewers had redemption on their mind this time around in Milwaukee returning the favor to Houston, sweeping the Astros away quickly. The Brew Crew dominated the Astros offensively and defensively only allowing a total of three runs while scoring a mind boggling 19 runs in three games.
The pitching staff continued to progress, young Manny Parra allowing only one run in a 5-1 victory. Then the ace Ben Sheets took on Houston in game two, allowing only one run through eight, almost nine. This wasn't even the most impressive performance of the series.
Struggling Dave Bush in game 3 allowed only one run though seven strong innings in a outstanding 10-1 victory. The Brewers finished up their home-stand with a series against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They decided to keep the sweeps going and Arizona became the Brewers third sweep.
Their offense continued to surge, scoring 21 runs once again in only three games while only allowing a mere five runs. The Brewers are firing on all cylinders and it will be interesting to see if they can keep this momentum going, otherwise the Chicago Cubs have no choice but to keep on rolling through the division.
If the pitching staff can be a constant force and allow players like Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to continue to surge offensively I see no reason why the brewers cant compete for a long stretch while making the playoffs, they sure have the talent, all they need is consistency leading them back to a long awaited World Series.