Brewers on top of NL central at Quarter Mark of MLB Season


Kyle Hoeppner and Logan Winser

The Milwaukee Brewers, as of May 19th, find themselves sitting atop the National league Central in first place at 24-18 after winning 4-2 over the San Diego Padres on May 18th. That marked their ninth win in the last 11 games.
Arrowhead junior and hardcore Brewers fan Zach Kocher was glad to see Milwaukee on top.
“Milwaukee is doing great!” says Kocher. “Nothing makes me happier than seeing them at number one. Hopefully they keep their competitiveness and success through the whole season.”
The Brewers have been a lot of things this season, but bad is not one of them. Everyone is contributing on both sides of the ball on a nightly basis. They click better than previous teams. The odds of making it to the playoffs are tough though, especially in arguably one of the toughest divisions, the NL Central, where the Chicago Cubs haven’t yet played their best baseball.
In order to remain competitive this season, the Brewers need to look at what has made them successful.
New player and weapon on Milwaukee’s roster this year is first baseman Eric Thames. Thames was a star on the NC Dinos in Korea and hadn’t played in the MLB since 2012. He currently is tied for second place for most home runs hit this season, with 13.
Arrowhead freshman and Brewers fan Hudson King says he believes acquiring Thames was the best move the Brewers have made in years.
“Thames has turned out to be an amazing player,” says King. “The Brewer’s signing him was the best decision they have made in a long time.”
Thames is hitting .313/.432/.688 [average percentage, on-base percentage, slugging percentage] and he has slowed down a bit since the Brewers stopped playing the Cincinnati Reds. Manager Craig Counsell has kept him in the second spot in the lineup, maximizing his high on-base percentage.
Thames can’t be the only hot hitter on the Brewers though. The Brewers need help from the rest of their starting lineup, and so far they have had that. After struggling in the first weeks, center fielder Keon Broxton has become a consistent batter in the lineup. After hitting a team worst, .191 batting average, in April, Broxton is leading the Brewers in the month of May with a .350 average and has ten stolen bases this year.
After first Baseman Chris Carter wasn’t re signed by the Brewers in 2017, the team had an empty spot in the fourth spot in the starting lineup. That spot is now filled by Travis Shaw. Shaw is batting near .300 this year, and leads the Brewers in RBIs with 32. Like Broxton, he is starting to heat up in the month of May, as his home run total has reached eight.
The Brewers offense has carried them to their first place spot in the NL Central, leading the entire MLB in home runs and second in runs, slugging percentage and RBIs. While the Brewers are excelling on offence, its pitching staff have under performed.
After starting pitcher Junior Guerra went down with an injury on opening day, no star has come out of the starting rotation. After a hot start, Chase Anderson has cooled down. After a strong 2016 season, Jimmy Nelson and Zach Davies have struggled allowing the most home runs on the team, and veteran Wily Peralta has been demoted to the bullpen. For the Brewers to stay number one in the Central, someone from the pitching rotation will have to step up and help out the offense.
The Brewers will look to stay number one in the Central as they head to Chicago this weekend to face the defending World Series champion Cubs in a best of three series.
All stats can be found on ESPN.