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Friday, September 19, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 68.0° F  Partly Cloudy
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Bumpy road for the Brew Crew
Wily Peralta and the pitching staff are a remaining bright spot.
Credit:Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club

Milwaukee Brewers fans know how Damocles must have felt with the razor-sharp sword hanging by a thread over his head as he sat in the king's throne. The Brewers' hold on first place at the All-Star Break was similarly tenuous. Sure, they're still on top, but after losing 11 of their last 13 games, first place doesn't feel much like the throne anymore.

The Brewers were so bad the last two weeks that their best news came in the form of someone else's injury. St. Louis Cardinals catcher and Brewer killer Yadier Molina tore a ligament in his thumb and will miss eight to 12 weeks. But if "hoping the Cardinals fall apart" was the plan, the Brewers are going to need a new one.

So, where's the silver lining? The Brewers' offense, while not forcing comparisons to the 1927 Yankees, is actually okay. They rank second in the National League in runs per game (4.41) and third in batting average (.277). Sure, the offense was bad in the recent skid, but so was every part of the game.

The biggest plus is starting pitching that, while far from perfect, is capable of carrying the Brewers' hitters through dry spells. Brewers pitchers have accounted for 60 quality starts this season, fourth in the National League. Kyle Lohse, Wily Peralta, Yovani Gallardo and Matt Garza each have sub-4.00 ERAs. While that won't win any Cy Young awards, their relative consistency gives fans hope that most nights four or five runs is enough to have a chance to win.

What did you expect, Brewers fans? A smooth ride to a division title? You know better.

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