A Closer Look at the 2008 Milwaukee Brewers

Steve BlessingerContributor IJune 12, 2008

We are coming closer and closer to the All-Star Game, which, for all intensive purposes, marks the midway point of the MLB season. Now is a good time to gauge how the Milwaukee Brewers stack up with the other teams in the NL Central.

As of June 12, the Milwaukee Brewers have a 34-31 record and are 7.5 games back from first place, held by the dreaded Chicago Cubs. Just by looking at the standings, it appears that the St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs are in a neck-and-neck battle for the top spot in the NL Central.

Why are the Milwaukee Brewers barely hovering over .500?

Quite simply, it's the pitching. The Brewers have had a rash of injuries in their starting rotation and bullpen. Eric Gagne, who assumed the closer job for 2008, suffered greatly. He signed an unheard of, one-year, $10 million contract. He blew several save opportunities in the beginning of the year. He then gets injured, and he now is on the shelf for the remainder of the year! Yikes!

Several key starters and relievers have been bothered by injuries, and not to mentioned several position players as well. This past week, second baseman Ricky Weeks was put on the 15-day disabled list.

Let's hope that the injury bug doesn't persist into the second half of the year. Let's give the Chicago Cubs a run for their money after the All-Star break.

I just want to point out, that as the second half of the season falls upon us, as Brewers fans we should not lose hope for an entertaining 2008 season. It is very difficult to maintain a lead throughout the entire year.

Last year the Brewers were leading throughout the year, but in the end they came a bit short. Let's hope that they will make the playoffs and once again make Milwaukee a baseball-playoff city.