Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy is a legit MVP candidate.
It's beginning to look like all my recent apprehension about the Milwaukee Brewers was just stuff to fill column space. They began the week with the best record in the National League, and although they still have half the season left to spit the bit (pause here to summon your own worst memory from 45 mostly futile years), the Brewers are now an odds-on favorite to make the playoffs.
Even if they blow their NL Central division lead to the Cardinals, the Brewers were 7-1/2 games clear of the Braves and Reds for the league's second wild-card berth as of Tuesday morning. At 27-15, the Brewers have the best road record in the majors. They had the best pitching in baseball en route to building a 20-8 record in April, and for the past month they've sported the best offense in either league, even with Ryan Braun having a meh year by his standards.
Center fielder Carlos Gomez is putting together another outstanding season. Jonathan Lucroy is emerging as a legitimate MVP candidate, even though he still trails Yadier Molina in the voting to start the All-Star game at catcher. Go online and fix that, fans.
Here's an example of how things have been going for the Crew. After the Brewers loaded the bases in the third inning Saturday in Denver, Rockies starter Christian Friedrich uncorked a high fastball that catcher Michael McKenry barely got a mitt on. Aramis Ramirez scored from third on the wild pitch. In their haste to try to tag Ramirez, McKenry and Friedrich again screwed up the throw, and Mark Reynolds scored from second on the error. While Friedrich stood with the retrieved ball in foul territory wondering what the hell had just happened, Milwaukee's Jean Segura rounded third, saw the pitcher was in dreamland, and scored all the way from first base.
One pitch, three runs without the Brewers swinging a bat -- such things happen when a team is on a roll.