Remember when the Brewers won 9-in-a-row in 2013?
Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse celebrates his win with Ryan Braun after beating the Pirates, 4-1, at Miller Park on Sunday. Image by Rick Wood
Owners of the best record in baseball (10-2), the Milwaukee Brewers will look to extend their nine game win streak Monday night against the St. Louis Cardinals at Miller Park.
For those wondering when the last time the Brewers won nine straight games was - you don't have to dig too far. Exactly one year ago today, the Brewers started a nine game win streak with a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.
From April 14 through April 23, 2013 the Brewers beat the Cardinals, swept the Giants and Cubs, and won a pair of games at San Diego.
You might recall that particular stretch of games. You might also recall that the streak didn't exactly pass the eye test like the current streak does.
In 2013, the Brewers nine game win streak came after losing 8 of 10 to begin the season. Milwaukee managed to eek out a win over the Cardinals after being shutout in the first two games of the series.
The Brewers pitching was suspect, and the lineup was in a constant state of flux given injuries to Aramis Ramirez and Cory Hart. Keep in mind, Marco Estrada started the second game of the season in 2013, Mike Fiers was in the rotation, and Rickie Weeks was hitting clean-up from time to time. Fast forward to the present time and Estrada is a solid number-four starter, Fiers is in the minors, and Weeks is a platoon player at second base with young Scooter Gennett.
The 2014 version of the Brewers is leaps-and-bounds better than the 2013 version. The health of the club is a key component, as is the continued success of players such as Carlos Gomez, Estrada and Wily Peralta.
What Ron Roenicke has at the present time is the luxury of fielding a consistent lineup behind a pitching staff that leads the major leagues with a 1.80 ERA.
In my opinion, it will take 90 wins for the Brewers to make the playoffs. Regardless of the month, wins add up, and each fuels the playoff fire. Yes, it is early, but the Brewers are one-tenth of the way to a benchmark win total before taxes are due.