How quickly things change!
Now the Crew's in third place, only a game behind the Cubs in second. It seems like less than a week ago that the season felt like a lost cause, with too many weak spots in the lineup and not enough reliability on the mound, especially without Sheets anchoring the rotation.
All of the sudden, Overbay came back to lead the charge, hitting about 8.562 with an OPS of roughly two million, and not only have the bats awoken, but the bullpen is looking strong again. Jorge de la Rosa is pitching like he belongs most of the time, Derrick Turnbow may actually be a solution for the ninth inning, and perhaps most importantly, no one has yet pitched their way to Nashville.
Here's the best indicator of all, as I see it: even taking into account the disastrous losing streak, as of today the Brewers have outscored their opponents 115 to 102. Keeping up that pace, that's a pythagorean winning percentage for the year of .560, or 91 wins. I know it's still early, but this is a team that--even with a couple of position players batting like pitchers--can score some runs, and a pitching staff that, even with the ace on the shelf, generally manages to keep some of the most potent offenses in the league from piling it on.
And while you need a bit more to be a serious contender, those basics are all it takes to put together the Brewers first .500 season in recent memory. It's a lot easier to say this after a 4 game winning streak than after a 7-game skid, but I increasingly believe those 81 wins are within our grasp.
Let's make it five straight!