It is essential the Brewers get their first sweep of the season and it is critical it comes this weekend against the Cubs. Milwaukee needs something to rejuvenate the clubhouse and a sweep against their biggest rival could be just what the doctor ordered.
The Brewers almost swept the Cubs in their first and only meeting of the season April 9-12. Milwaukee took the first three games of the four-game series but starter Zack Greinke imploded on the mound for the loss on day four. That loss started a four-game losing streak as they were swept by the Atlanta Braves on the road.
Inconsistencies continue to build for the Brewers as frustration and humiliation begin to sweep over the players. A team with such high expectations is beginning to collapse on itself as players go down with season-ending injuries and others continue to not live up to the hype.
Every single one of Milwaukee’s power/clutch hitters (Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez, Rickie Weeks and Corey Hart) have gone into some sort of slump at least once in the first five weeks of the season. Hart is currently in one after getting off to a red-hot start (surprise, surprise) and I do not believe Weeks has really ever come out of one since the season began. Braun is being vintage Brauny and Ramirez is finally starting to live up to his name (he currently has more RBI than Prince Fielder but do not compare the other stats as frustration will overwhelm you).
The pitching staff has so much inconsistency I could fill an entire book with it. Greinke goes eight remarkable innings while only giving up two hits and the Brewers lose the game after closer John Axford allows two-earned runs in a non-close situation. Also, Axford has basically been pitching once a week because the starting pitching and bullpen have not been able to give him the ball. That basically sums up the pitching inconsistencies, right?
Milwaukee and Chicago will be heading into the series tied with a 13-18 record. This is a good chance for the Brewers to make up some ground in the division and find their team identity. This could also be a turning point in the season, good or bad. Milwaukee can either sweep Chicago to get back on track in their quest for a second-consecutive NL Central division title or they can lose another series and ride the bottom of the division for a few more weeks. There is still plenty of time to make it back to the top but if they do not make a break for it soon they might lose confidence in themselves.