The Milwaukee Brewers have certainly struggled at the plate this year. An injury that kept their star, Christian Yelich out for a month and slow offensive starts by Lorenzo Cain and Keston Hiura have added to the misery. But their starting pitching has been absolutely dominating this year.
Already a highly regarded group, they are even better than advertised to this point in the season. Led by their ace, Lefty Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes, they are the main reason that the Brewers are just two an half games back in the highly competitive National League Central race.
While Burnes has been in the spotlight the most in 2021, let’s not forget about Woodruff. He has been one of the best pitchers in baseball since the start of the 2019 season. And he was not content to rest on his laurels. With some mechanical adjustments he made prior to the season, he is now getting more vertical movement on his slider, curveball, and changeup.
As mentioned before, Burnes is on fire this season. He made history at the time by throwing 58 strikeouts before issuing a walk. Despite having only two wins, he sports a 1.79 ERA and a 67:2 K/BB ratio in 40 1/3 innings. All this despite spending two weeks on the COVID-19 list.
Burnes had a disastrous 2019 season when he was mostly a fastball/slider pitcher. Now he is throwing his more effective cutter 54 percent of the time with devastating effects. He throws the fastest cutter in the game which is clocked at an average of 96 mph. The only thing missing from his outings so far this year is run support.
Freddy Peralta is off to the best start of his career. Batters have been swinging at and missing his pitches with great frequency so far. He currently has a streak of striking out at least seven batters in nine straight games.
Peralta is another Milwaukee Brewers starter who has changed his pitch mix to become a more effective pitcher. Predominately a fastball/curveball pitcher for most of his career, he has added a slider to his repertoire which has made him a more deceptive pitcher.
Veteran Southpaw Brett Anderson and Adam Houser round out this formidable rotation. While not having the dominate stats of their teammates, they certainly are more than competent as back of the rotation starters for the Brew Crew.
Tyler Koerth, host of the immensely popular Brewers Trilogy Podcast has this to say about the Brewers rotation. “I believe that Brandon Woodruff and Corbin Burnes will both receive Cy Young votes in 2021 and Freddy Peralta is emerging as a dark horse candidate to receive some votes as well.”
With the Milwaukee Brewers bats heating up, they should remain in the division race until the end of the season. At the very least, their accomplished starters should eliminate the chance of the team having any long losing streaks. If will be fun to watch this staff as the summer progresses as they continue to pound holes in opposing hitters’ bats.