It was the final week of April and the Milwaukee Brewers had a chance to end the first month of the 2022 season on an extremely high note. They did just that. A five game winning streak to wrap up their third best April in team history cemented their status as contenders. Let’s take a look at those five games, plus a couple of others that weren’t as fun.
Game 17: 4-2 Loss vs San Francisco (10-7)
Corbin Burnes was dominant, again, but former Giant Trevor Gott struggled against his old club in the loss. Jake Cousins also had his own issues, namely command, in the single game against the defending NL West Champs. Willy Adames and Mike Brosseau keyed the offense, with the star shortstop hitting his second homer of the year in the eighth. It was the first game made up by the team due to the lockout and the travel back from Pennsylvania showed in their energy. It was then immediately back to Pennsylvania for three against the Pirates.
Game 18: 12-8 Win at Pittsburgh (11-7)
Brent Suter continued his trend from 2021, relieving a short start and getting the win, partially thanks to Willy Adames. After a slow start, the shortstop blasted two round-trippers and drove in a seven, tying a team record. The only Brewer who didn’t have a hit was Christian Yelich, though he would change that throughout the rest of the week. It was a slugfest, with 27 combined hits, 20 runs, and 9 extra base hits. After Jose Ureña struggled to close things out with a big lead, Josh Hader got his first call of the week to save the day. He did just that with a strikeout.
Game 19: 3-1 Win at Pittsburgh (12-7)
Aaron Ashby got the start, and he was stellar in 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one hit and striking out 6. Trevor Gott relieved him, got one out, and then got the win when Rowdy Tellez drove in the winning run in the seventh. Compared the day before when everyone and their brother had a hit, this one was a pitcher’s duel. Pittsburgh had just a single hit in the game, while Milwaukee had only four. After Ashby and Gott made it through six it was the familiar trio of Boxberger, Williams, and Hader to shut the door.
Game 20: 3-2 Win at Pittsburgh (13-7)
A chance to sweep the Pirates, again, was on the table and it took until the ninth for the Crew to get it done. The team scattered nine hits, but it was the former MVP coming home and leaving as the hero. Andrew McCutchen started the game off with a first pitch home run in the top of the first, then he won it in the ninth. His two run single off the glove of Josh VanMeter gave the team the lead before Devin Williams locked it down. Freddy Peralta got the start and dominated, allowing three hits and no runs through six. Most importantly for Freddy, he didn’t walk a single batter.
Game 21: 11-1 W vs Chicago Cubs (14-7)
Heading back to American Family Field, Milwaukee hosted their neighbors to the south with revenge on their mind. Their only series loss in April (the single game against the Giants doesn’t count) was to the Cubs, and that wasn’t about to happen again. After having a slow start to the year when it came to power, the Brewer bats did something to wake up their bats because this was a launching pad of a game. Jace Peterson, Andrew McCutchen, Christian Yelich, Willy Adams, and Hunter Renfroe (twice) left the yard against Chicago’s ace in Kyle Hendricks. With that run support, Adrian Houser cruised, throwing six shutout.
Game 22: 9-1 W vs Chicago Cubs (15-7)
After hitting six homers in the first game of the series, Milwaukee once again became a power station with three more leaving the field. This time it was Rowdy Tellez joining the party, joining Yelich and Renfroe. Eric Lauer continued to prove that Milwaukee won the trade with San Diego with another dominating performance. The left-hander went seven innings while striking out eleven and allowing only a single run.
Game 23: 2-0 Loss vs Chicago Cubs (15-8)
The offense was all burned up by the time Sunday hit and big ticket free agent Marcus Stroman got his first win as a Cub after throwing seven shutout innings. Corbin Burnes only had two blemishes in seven innings of his own but that was enough. The right hander struck out ten for the third consecutive start and has proven himself as one of the three best starters in the game today. Even with the loss, Milwaukee heads into May with a two game lead in the NL Central over St. Louis.
Takeaways from the Week that Was
The Power is There
After a slow start when it came to hitting home runs, this past week was a breath of fresh air for Milwaukee. In seven games, they hit 13 baseballs out of the ballpark, including a game with six. Willy Adames hit four out himself in the week. Andrew McCutchen hit his first two as a Brewer, Hunter Renfoe hit three, and Yelich hit two in back to back games. The offense is waking up and looking much like the lineup that was expected when the season started.
On the other side, the pitching has been consistently excellent from the start of the season. It’s no exaggeration to say that the Brewers have the deepest rotation in baseball and it’s not a competition. Their sixth starter is currently sporting a 2.65 ERA and has been dominant in his two starts. Brandon Woodruff has had his struggles, but Freddy Peralta had a strong week to get back on track. The other trio of Burnes, Houser, and Lauer have been stellar. Burnes has a 1.93 ERA, Lauer the same, and Houser at 2.53. Both Burnes and Lauer are allowing less than one baserunner per inning. It’s entirely possible that three starters could once again head to the All-Star game from Milwaukee. And this doesn’t even include Ethan Small who has a 0.77 ERA in five starts for AAA Nashville.
Don’t Let Opponents Fool You
A lot of critics of the Brewers will point to their competition as the reason for their 15-8 record. True, they’ve played Orioles three times, the Cubs six times, and the Pirates six times. However, they haven’t been just scraping by. They’ve been winning games comfortably, which should terrify the National League. Until the weekend series against Chicago they haven’t played a game with both dominant pitching and hitting. If the offense continues to progress at the rate they did this past week, they’ve got a case as the best team in the National League.