The Milwaukee Brewers finished 2010 with a disappointing record of 77-85, 14 games behind the upstart Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central. Behind the bats of Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and Corey Hart, this was a team that fans expected to compete.
Instead of banking on their bats to carry them in 2011, the Brewers went out and added two top of the rotation guys in Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum, to give the team not only a great offense, but a rotation capable of dominance as well. Those moves have paid dividends, as Milwaukee now sits 10.5 games ahead of St. Louis and 15.5 games ahead of 2010 division winner, Cincinnati, with an 85-57 record.
In addition to Greinke and Marcum, pitchers Yovanni Gallardo, John Axford, Francisco Rodriguez and Chris Narveson have performed well for the Brewers, giving them the seventh best ERA in baseball (3.65) and fourth highest total in strikeouts (1,078). The offense, as expected, ranks in the top-ten in the MLB in batting average, hits, runs and home runs.
The Brewers will enter the playoffs a complete baseball team, which is exactly what management hoped for when they made those offseason moves. Making moves to improve a team (and having them actually work) always makes a fan base happy.