After two wins in Philadelphia, the Brewers’ starting pitchers opened the following games with first inning runs, leading to consecutive onslaughts by opposing bats. Behind the losses, a few of the Brewers’ previously struggling players continued their improvements. Upon Scooter Gennett‘s recall from the minors, Rickie Weeks smacked a two-run homer last night, and almost had a second homer (prior to official review). Not unlike Jonathan Lucroy in Philadelphia, Weeks earned an “official review triple.” If this pace keeps up, they’ll need a special category for the hit in the stats line.
Axford’s Scoreless Streak
John Axford continued his stretch of scoreless outings in the ninth inning of last night’s game. The former closer-and-set-up-man opened May with two blown leads and a few rough outings. However, after his May 1 implosion, Axford has limited the damage, allowing only two runs over 13.3 innings. Those innings haven’t been particularly clean, as his 14 K/9 BB and 14 hits allowed show. By limiting the longball, and clamping down with runners on, Axford has effectively limited the damage. Despite allowing 13 baserunners over his last 11 outings, the righty has not allowed a run in those games. Unfortunately, the Brewers’ record is 3-8 in those appearances, and only two of Axford’s last 11 appearances required the reliever to hold a lead (he also earned the win against the Cardinals on May 18).
While Axford has not had many opportunities to work in high leverage situations lately, it’s good to see the righty string together a strong scoreless streak.
From April 24 to May 7, Brewers’ second baseman Rickie Weeks combatted a rough start to the season with a sign of improvement. Over twelve games, Weeks homered and collected eight walks (against ten strike outs), producing a .244/.367/.366 line over those games. Unfortunately, the trend did not continue, and Weeks’s season-long batting average fell to .167 during a particularly rough stretch of 41 PA: .083/.195/.167.
After Weeks’s batting average hit .167, the second baseman put together a string of improved games to close May, and suddenly, his last two weeks look much stronger at the plate. In 34 PA over his last ten games, Weeks has ten hits (four for extra bases), and only one walk. This is notable, since Weeks does not typically build his approach around batting the ball in play. In lieu of his patience/discipline approach, Weeks is hitting .313/.353/.531 over his last ten games. Hopefully this is a hot streak that can help keep the Brewers’ bats afloat while their pitching figures out how to stabilize.
Weeks wasn’t the only Brewers batter struggling during May — it takes more than one struggling player for a team to score fewer than four runs per game over an entire month. From April 22 to May 20, Brewers’ catcher Jonathan Lucroy batted .169/.241/.225, leading his batting average from .260 to .208. Since that rough stretch, Lucroy is tearing the cover off the ball, providing one of the few sparks to the club.
From May 21 onward, Lucroy has been a red hot contact hitter. In 38 of 47 PA, Lucroy batted the ball into play, and the catcher claimed 14 hits during those plate appearances. Of course, he also has two walks and three homers in those 47 PA, which helps drive a .378/.404/.667 batting line after May 20.
PRESENTED WITHOUT COMMENT
Home (30 G): 129 RS (204 K / 69 BB / 37 HR in 1120 PA)
Road (26 G): 98 RS (214 K / 64 BB / 19 HR in 995 PA)
Home (30 G): 160 RA (!!!) (241 K / 89 BB / 50 HR in 1209 PA)
Road (26 G): 121 RA (165 K / 77 BB / 25 HR in 962 PA)
Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference, LLC. 2000-2013.
TexasLeaguers. Trip Somers, 2009-2013.