With their 4-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates Sunday afternoon, the Milwaukee Brewers completed their third consecutive sweep. Milwaukee's first six wins of this streak came on the road in Boston and Philadelphia before they returned home only to keep their winning ways going against the Pirates.
Kyle Lohse continued a string of effective starting pitching that the Brewers have seen recently, with an 8 2/3 inning performance in which he gave up only four hits and one earned run. Lohse could have finished the game, but manager Ron Roenicke took the ball from his starter and brought out Will Smith to record his first career save. Smith struck out Pedro Alvarez on three pitches to end the game, but Roenicke knew the decision to pull Lohse would not be a popular one.
"Sometimes the decisions aren't very popular, but they're decisions as a manager you need to make," said Roenicke. "I think he (Lohse) understands. When you get to 100 pitches, that starts to put pressure on a pitcher and we've got a long season to go."
Lohse's stellar start came at a much-needed time for Milwaukee, who's league-leading bullpen was in need of rest. Francisco Rodriguez and Jim Henderson both pitched in the first two games of the series, and Brandon Kintzler was placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday as well.
"What those starting five have done for us to start the season has been unbelievable. They've been throwing the ball well and keeping us in games," said Smith.
The Brewers have been fueled by their pitching with a 1.80 ERA through the first 12 games, good for best in the majors. It is very safe to say that Milwaukee has a lot to be happy about, with this streak looking to expand to a tenth straight game in the series opener against St. Louis.
Back to the Milwaukee Brewers Newsfeed