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Pitching remains Milwaukee's backbone

The Sports Xchange
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It is no secret that pitching is what has put the Brewers in position to win their first divisional crown since 1982.

During their 27-5 surge from July 26 to Aug. 28, they scored less than four runs 12 times and went 8-4 in those games. It was pitching that carried the Brewers through much of that stretch, with the offense chipping in some timely hits to keep it going.

But, in getting swept by St. Louis in a three-game series at the end of their last home stand, the Brewers scored a total of eight runs. So, is this offense capable of carrying the team should the pitching falter for a stretch?

"We're certainly capable of doing it," said manager Ron Roenicke. "We've seen it in stretches. We just haven't maintained it over a long period of time. That's also why we won all those games when we were pitching well. Somebody seemed to stay hot.

"It would be nice to come out where everybody is swinging it and we go on a roll offensively. We're definitely capable of doing it and we have done it. That would be nice to see."

General manager Doug Melvin noted that even though his offense has been inconsistent throughout the season, the Brewers still ranked sixth in the NL with 609 runs scored.

"That's pretty high," said Melvin, whose team rallied for eight runs over the final three innings Friday to beat Houston, 8-3. "We've had some timely hits. The inconsistency, players up and down, that's going to happen.

"Offense is down all around baseball. Home runs are down. Pitching is better this year and offense is down. The Cardinals have been better than us with runners in scoring position (.292 to .267).

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