Thanks to an easy schedule and a team that has executed, August has been a good month for Brewers fans. In 20 August games so far, we're 14-6, scoring 105 runs against only 57 given up. It hasn't made much of an impact in the standings--since the close of play on July 31, we've gained a whole half-game, but given the threat of a Wild Card challenge coming out of the east, it's nice to open up some space there.
As regular readers know, I'm on a permanent war against incorrect uses of small samples, but with that caveat, I thought I'd take a look at how the Brewers have succeeded this month:
- The starting rotation is just filthy. Altogether, they've posted a 2.83 ERA and averaged exactly seven innings per start. Speaking to that durability, they've notched 17 of the 20 decisions in August.
- On the offensive side, thanks go to Mike Cameron. He's been a monster. His line of 328/423/731 is best on the team in all three stats.
- Rickie Weeks isn't exactly on a tear, but he's been respectable. As usual, there's at least 100 points between his batting average and OBP: right now, his OPS sits at an even 800, fifth best among regulars and respectable for a second baseman.
- The middle of the order is slugging, even if they're not doing much else--Fielder, Braun, and Hart all have 500+ slugging percentages. On the downside, Fielder is having some bad luck (BABIP of .204) and Hart has walked only twice in 84 plate appearances.
- Even the bullpen has gotten into the act. It helps that they haven't been worked very much, so the middle relief hasn't been overexposed, but regardless of context, a 2.25 ERA from relievers is pretty darn good.
As is probably typical in 14-6 stretches, there just isn't much to complain about. It's a shame that Branyan is hurting and Counsell is starting every day--he's hitting just about like the pessimists among us expect him to--but it's hard to object to putting a good defender in the infield every day. Parra hasn't been as successful this month as he was earlier in the year, but if you're quibbling about a starter with a 4.94 ERA on the month, there just isn't much negative to talk about.
I like it.