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The Milwaukee Brewers Replay: May 2011 Recap

Editor's Note: Jon Baas is the man behind Milwaukee Brewers Replay, a project using Baseball Mogul to replay the 2011 season, to see what might have happened if you and I had been in control of the roster and management decisions. What follows is a recap of the season through May, which Jon finished simulating this week. Become a fan of the project on Facebook to help guide the team down the stretch. - KL

The month of May has come to end in our 2011 Replay, and we are once again able to look back and assess the stats. Overall, the Brewers had a win-loss record comparable to last month. In April, the Crew went 19-7 (not counting their season opener in March, which they lost). In May, they closed things out with a 19-10 record.

As of right now, the Brewers still lead the NL Central with a record of 38-18. They are five games up on the St. Louis Cardinals, who have overtaken the Pirates for the number two spot in the division. The Pirates, meanwhile, have fallen to 25-31, thirteen games behind the Crew. The Cubs are 8.5 games back (3rd place), and the Reds and Astros round out the bottom of the division at 16 and 19.5 games back respectively. … (NL-Central Replay Standings)

In real life, the Brewers were 30-25 at the end of May, in 2nd place, and 2.5 games behind St. Louis.

The Replay Brewers currently hold a home record of 22-6, best in the National League.

In last month’s Replay analysis, we looked at the contributions of the five Brewers’ players that started the real-life season on the disabled list, but in our Replay, remained healthy. Of those five, Zack Greinke, Corey Hart, and Jonathan Lucroy continue to offer up good numbers.

Zack Greinke finishes the month of May with a win-loss record of 10-1, 95 innings pitched, and an ERA of 3.69. He has not lost a start all month. He’s struck out 78 batters, walked 23, and has held opponents to a .233 OBA. He continues to be the undisputed ace of Milwaukee’s rotation.

In real life, Greinke went 4-1, after having come off the disabled list at the start of May. He had a 5.29 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 34 innings pitched. Clearly, he’s had a much larger impact upon the success of the Replay Brewers to this point, compared to that of the real-life team we’re all familiar with.

Corey Hart has continued to put up great numbers as well. He too didn’t join the real-life Brewers until the last week of April. In our Replay, he’s been in the lineup since opening day. As of this posting, he has 13 home runs, 32 runs, 41 RBIs, and a .263 batting average.

In real life, Hart finished April/May with 5 home runs, 14 runs, 14 RBIs, and a .276 batting average.

Jonathan Lucroy continues to prove his worth too as the everyday starting catcher. In 49 games, he has 6 home runs, 21 runs, 25 RBIs, and a batting average of .291. He usually bats 7th in the lineup.

In real life, up to this point, Lucroy played in 37 games, hit 6 home runs, crossed the plate 16 times, drove in 25 runs, and held a batting average of .310. Roughly the same as in our Replay.

Elsewhere in our lineup, Prince Fielder has been putting up higher numbers than his real-life counterpart, but his batting average is lower. In our Replay he’s hit 16 home runs, has 37 runs, 45 RBIs and a batting average of .245. In real life, by this point, he hit 5 less home runs, slightly fewer runs and RBIs, and clocked in at a respectable .287 batting average.

Ryan Braun is another interesting note in our Replay. While his Replay stats are all-around slightly higher than in real life at this point, it is his steals that stand out. In real life, Braun had swiped thirteen bases, while getting caught only two times. In our Replay, he’s got 34 stolen bases already in 40 attempts. This has, or course, placed him in a better position to score runs with Fielder and Hart behind him.

Including Nyjer Morgan and Rickie Weeks who both have 11 stolen bases, as well as Carlos Gomez with 9, the Replay Brewers have a team total of 71 stolen bases at the end of May. This places them first in all of baseball, second only to the Seattle Mariners with 70, and the Los Angeles Angels with 65. No other team comes close.

On the pitching end of things, other than Zack Greinke’s continued dominance, Yovani Gallardo is also of note. In 92.2 innings pitched, Gallardo has a 6-3 record, 94 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.78. He leads the NL and AL combined in K’s, second only to San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum with 91.

In real life (at the end of May), Gallardo had a 3.89 ERA, with a 7-2 record, and 64 strikeouts in 76.1 innings pitched. He too has been much more dominant in our Replay.

John Axford leads both leagues with 19 saves.

So… stats aside, what can we glean from this 2011 Milwaukee Brewers Replay through the end of May? Clearly, they’re on a roll, leading the league in multiple categories, besting the St. Louis Cardinals a bit more than in real life, and proving that our what-if’s from last month really would have improved the Brewer’s fortunes.

We’ve started the month of June now. Upcoming events in the next 30 days include the real life trade of Jeremy Reed to the Minnesota Twins (for future considerations), Sergio Mitre will be sold the New York Yankees (as in real life), and the Crew will play a little inter-league ball (versus the Red Sox, Rays, Twins and Yankees). It’ll be an interesting month. The Brewers are on a roll – things are getting exiting!

If you’d like to follow along with the Milwaukee Brewers Replay, check the stats/standings, or you’d like to participate in managing the team, take a moment and check out the project’s Facebook page. Click "Like" and help us improve the Brewers’ fortunes even further. People are starting to take notice of our little project. We’d love for you to be one of them! Come join us!