The Brewers seem to be ahead of schedule in their rebuild. What did they do well, and what can they improve? Find out below.
The Brewers did a better job getting on base in May (.263 average and .337 on base percentage), but they did not hit as many home runs (29). The end result was that the Brewers scored the same amount of runs (135) that they did in April. They are still tied for second in the National League with 74 home runs, third with 258 RBI, fourth with a .444 slugging percentage, and tied for fourth with 270 runs.
The Brewers have 14 players that have hit at least one home run this year, and 10 that have had hit 4 or more. Eric Thames still leads the team, but he only hit 3 in May to bring his total to 14. Travis Shaw has 9 home runs and he leads the team with a .296 average and a team-leading 36 RBI.
Jesus Aguilar had a slow start, but found his groove in May. He hit .328 with 4 home runs and 12 RBI in the month in just 10 starts. His hot hitting has earned him more playing time and more plate appearances.
Domingo Santana also got hot in May, hitting .322 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI. He hit a grand slam in the Brewers’ 9-5 win over the Diamondbacks on May 28.
The Brewers are still striking out far too often. They cut it down to 243 this month, but the still have the most strikeouts in the National League. The Brewers did draw a few more walks and have drawn the sixth most walks in the league. Jonathan Villar cut down on his strikeouts from 37 to 28.
The Brewers did not hit as many home runs this month, but they got on base more often and still scored runs. The Brewers are still striking out too often, which is their Achilles heel. If they can turn that around, especially with runners in scoring position, their potent offense can get even better.
The Brewer pitching staff improved in the month of May. Their overall ERA was 3.92 for the month, bringing their ERA down to 4.17 for the season. The Brewer starters went 8-6 with a 4.14 ERA, but they are still not going deep into games. The bullpen had some issues, losing 6 games in May, but they also had 7 wins, 8 saves, and a 3.58 ERA.
Jimmy Nelson turned his season around in May. He went 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA in 5 starts. Nelson struck out 31 batters in 27.2 innings. Junior Guerra came back from his calf injury that he suffered on Opening Day and went 1-1 with a 1.84 ERA in 3 starts. Wily Peralta was sent to the bullpen to make room for Guerra.
Neftali Feliz pitched his way out of the closer’s role and Corey Knebel took over. Knebel has a strikeout in every appearance this year. He only gave up 1 earned run in 13 appearances in May while striking out 27.
The pithing improved in May. Many fans are still upset with the pitching staff, and they do have a lot to work on, but the fact is that they did well enough to finish the month with a 15-12 record. The starters need to start going deeper into games and the bullpen has had some rough finishes. But the fact is that the Brewer pitching staff did improve this month.
The Brewers cut their errors down considerably in May, only committing 11 as opposed to the 24 in April. They turned 35 double plays in May, and have the second most double plays in the National League with 62. The Brewers had another 6 outfield assists and are tied for first in the Major Leagues with 11 on the season.
The defense has really stepped up their game. That has helped the Brewer pitching staff and it has shown up in the win column.
The Brewers were 7 games over .500 on May 19, but they finished May by losing 7 of their last 10 games. Even so, they are still in first place and a game and a half ahead of the Cardinals. The Brewers do need to shore up their pitching, but they have been hitting enough to make up for that. For a team that was expected to lose 100 games, they have been overachieving. The rebuild seems to be ahead of schedule and Brewer fans are dreaming of reaching the playoffs this season.
One thing the Brewers have done all season and continued to do in May was get on the board early. They have outscored their opponent 50-16 in the first inning this season, which definitely has helped them get the Ws.