With their 23rd victory in their last 31 games, the Brewers drew even in the loss column with the first-place Cards, who will take a half-game lead in the NL Central into the series finale Sunday. In taking their second game in a row from the leaders, the Brewers moved nine games over .500 for the first time this season.
That 23-8 surge began on May 9, which just happened to be the day Zack Greinke won his first game for the Brewers. He is 6-0 since that day, and his team is 7-0 in his starts over that span.
Just coincidence that Greinke's winning streak coincides with the Brewers putting together the best record in the majors over that stretch? Not hardly.
"He's an exciting player," said Corey Hart, who capped the decisive four-run, sixth-inning outburst against Cards starter Chris Carpenter with a two-run double.
"We play good behind him. I don't know if that's coincidence. We all know since he got here we've been a really good team."
Greinke, who likes to talk about his hitting, had plenty to brag about after starting the winning rally with a leadoff single against Carpenter. Even with that hit, however, he paid tribute to his mound opponent.
"Zack came back in and said, 'His cutter's nasty,'" said Roenicke. "I said, 'How did you hit it?' He said, 'It didn't cut as much.'
"I thought we were in trouble, the way he came out throwing."
Greinke switched to the National League, as did Cliff Lee, because he is an all-purpose athlete and wanted his at-bats, which neither could get in the DH American League. Both Greinke & Lee are pitching much better than they hit, but they're still hitting quite well, as is fellow-Phillie Cole Hamels.
The Bosox are also clambering higher in the AL East after a dismal start---usually they start fast and do a September fade-to-black.
I wanted to make it to the Brewers/Marlins matchup the night Def Leppard & Heart played after the game last Saturday, but Niki was in finals mode on taking her LSATs, so no go.... I like the Marlins and the Cubs, but Chicago is in full tailspin even before the All-Star break and the Marlins have lost 7 one-run games, despite some good hitting from Logan Morrison. The absence of Josh Johnson & Hanley Ramirez hurts badly. I just don't know what we can do for the Cubs, who might try to outbid the Yankees for Prince Fielder at the end of the year....Milwaukee won't trade him & will try to stay in a bidding war, but as with Sabathia, it's small market versus the Colossus of The East Coast.