The Milwaukee Brewers have won eight straight games after beginning the 2013 Major League Baseball season 2-8. In fact, the Brewers are the first team in Major League history to accomplish the feat. There are several reasons why Milwaukee has not lost a game in over a week, with the bullpen being a huge part of it.
Anyone who followed the Brewers in 2012 knew that the No. 1 problem that had to be solved in the offseason was the horrendous bullpen. Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin accomplished that by overhauling the bullpen and keeping only three players from last year’s roster. The relievers began the season shaky, but they have gone on an incredible tear over the past eight games.
The bullpen has posted an unbelievable 1.33 earned run average during the win streak. That means the group of relievers have surrendered four earned runs in 27 1/3 innings. The four relief pitchers to each give up one earned run are Michael Fiers, Jim Henderson, Alfredo Figaro, and Tom Gorzelanny. Fiers is the only pitcher of the four who is currently not with the team as he is figuring out his mechanics in Triple-A.
The last time a Milwaukee reliever gave up a run was on Friday in the 5-4 win over the Chicago Cubs. Since then, the bullpen has gone 10 1/3 straight innings without allowing an opposing runner to cross home plate.
For those wondering where former closer John Axford fits in all of this, prepare to be delighted. The right-hander has tossed 53 pitches in 3 1/3 innings over a four-game span in which he has not allowed a single run. In fact, he has given up only two hits and struck out four batters. Axford improved his ERA from a dismal 23.30 to 10.57 during the win streak.
The Brewers are currently ranked sixth in the National League with a 3.51 bullpen ERA through 18 games. It will be exciting to see how much lower the ERA can get if Milwaukee can keep the win streak alive.