The Bats Awaken

Before last night, the Brewers hadn’t scored more than six runs since April 22, a full 16 games.  Lacking offense, the Brewers stumbled badly during a disappointing 2-8 roadtrip against the Braves, Astros, and Cardinals, wasting respectable outings from Wolf, Marcum and Narveson in the process.  The team hit just .171 and scored only 17 runs on the trip.

Even a home game on Monday, their first in three series, couldn’t snap the Brewers out of their offensive funk.  They won the game behind superb pitching from Zack Greinke, but only four runs managed to cross the plate.  Weeks and Lucroy were the only starters to contribute RBIs.

weeks hr.jpegYesterday, though, the skies opened.  The most remarkable thing about the Brewers’ 8-6 defeat of the Padres is that not one Brewer hit a home run.  They’ve had that problem lately, further reinforcing this team’s image as a home-run club.  And as Bernie’s Crew pointed out, the team is trying to swing their way back into contention.

We have seen some very positive things, though, out of some players with question marks coming into the season.  Despite their recent struggles, there’s no doubt guys like Braun and Fielder are going to hit.  Indeed, they’ve provided the majority of the offense for the Brewers’ so far, knocking in 51 of the Brewers’ 134 total runs (nearly 40%).

But Weeks, Lucroy, and even Carlos Gomez have demonstrated that this is not a two-man show.

Weeks, whose breakout season came last year after he was finally healthy for a full campaign, is excelling once again as the Brewers’ leadoff man, hitting .291 with a .361 OBP.  He puts pop at the top of the lineup, too, with seven HR.  If last year was no fluke, the Brewers will be very happy having Weeks around for the next four years.

Lucroy, surprisingly, has the highest average of any starter on the team.  I say “surprisingly” because although we all suspected he could hit, he batted only .253 last season.  Lucroy is roaring after starting the season on the DL, though, hitting .324.  And some of those hits have come at key times, too; four of Lucroy’s ten RBI came in Monday’s and Tuesday’s games against the Padres, and essentially decided the contests.

I know Gomez is still an object of scorn, but even his detractors have to recognize that he’s exercising more patience at the plate and squaring around on the ball.  He has a modest four-game hitting streak going, during which he’s raised his average from .226 to .242.  Gomez has almost as many walks so far in May (4) as he had in all of April (5).  Good thing, too; with Nyjer Morgan again on the DL, this team needs his bat.


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