Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Run Continues

At the beginning of the month, I wrote how there's nothing more exciting in sports than your favorite baseball team going on a hot streak. Little did I know that the Brewers were only at the start of an epic run: They'd won 27 of 32 games coming into Tuesday's game with the  hated St. Louis Cardinals.

Those are same Cardinals that Milwaukee always seem to be chasing. Now it's the Redbirds and their cantankerous manager, Tony La Russa, who are desperate for some wins. In fact, they need a lot of wins to even make a dent in Milwaukee's 10.5 game lead.

As exciting as that early run was, the chance to bury a bitter and put away the division before the second week of September takes the joy up several notches. Going into the season, I thought the Brewers had a chance to win the division, but I never imagined they'd be so far ahead, building the biggest lead in the team's history.

The off-season moves to shore up the pitching staff—bringing in Shaun Marcum and Zack Greinke—have paid off. And then Doug Melvin, the club's general manager, took a bold chance in trading for New York Mets' closer Frankie Rodriguez. Not only was he able to rework a problematic contract, Rodriguez accepted his less-glamorous role as 8th-inning man.

That move shored up the bullpen and the team has ridden good pitching, timely hitting and some lucky bounces to the upper echelon of the National League.

It's been nearly three decades since Milwaukee has had a team playing at this level. The excitement just keeps growing.

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