Brewers' offense really starting to pick up
PHILADELPHIA -- Better health and warmer weather has reawakened the Brewers' offense. Four games against the team with baseball's highest ERA didn't hurt, either.
The Brewers completed a four-game sweep of the Phillies with an 11-inning, 8-7 win on Thursday night at Citizens Bank Park, running Milwaukee's winning ways to five victories in a row and eight of 10. The hitters led the way, averaging 6.6 runs in the series as part of a larger stretch in which they have begun to climb from a surprising position near the bottom of the league's offensive units.
"It looks to me like we're playing our baseball again," said second baseman Scooter Gennett, who had two more hits on Thursday and went 7-for-15 in the series. "It reminds me a lot of the first half last year. We're looking to take that positive energy into the rest of the season and make something happen here."
Even with their recent victories, the Brewers are 15 games under .500 at 33-48. Only the 27-54 Phillies have a poorer winning percentage.
But the recent output nonetheless has been encouraging for manager Craig Counsell because of the way it has been distributed. Take Thursday, when the Brewers scored in the first inning for the fourth straight game, and six different players finished with multiple hits. After setting a season-high with 17 hits on Wednesday night, the Brewers added 16 more in the series finale.
"It's the ebbs and flows of the season, right?" said first baseman Adam Lind, who had two RBIs on Thursday including one on his game-winning single in the 11th. "It's been a fun last week, scoring a bunch of runs. It's nice to have everybody contribute and hopefully it will continue."
Health has helped. Left fielder Khris Davis is still rehabbing from right knee surgery (he is due back Monday), but the Brewers otherwise have their full complement of hitters. Gennett and catcher Jonathan Lucroy have endured extended stints on the disabled list, Ryan Braun went through a slump impacted by his right thumb, and center fielder Carlos Gomez has fought a right hip injury.
This week, they all contributed.
"We've got a lot of guys who are contributing right now, and that leads to a lot of runs," Counsell said. "I think we hoped all along that this offense would put up some pretty good numbers if we get some guys in the lineup going."
Said Gennett: "Now all the pieces are in play and we're winning ballgames. I'm just happy to be a part of it. It's nice seeing our team back."