The Pittsburgh Pirates have been the surprise of the first month of the season, but that shouldn't take away from what the Milwaukee Brewers have done
Milwaukee is 1 1/2 games behind the first-place Pirates in the National League Central, and if it were to be sitting atop the division, perhaps the Brewers' standing would be just as surprising as Pittsburgh's. Milwaukee has dealt with a rash of injuries but has gotten contributions throughout the lineup to keep pace
The Brewers will try to start May off right when they begin a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night in Denver
Freddy Peralta (3-2, 3.77 ERA) will get the ball for Milwaukee, while the Rockies will counter with Ryan Feltner (2-2, 4.68)
Tuesday marks Peralta's fifth career appearance and fourth career start against Colorado. He is 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in his previous four games against the Rockies, and in his one start at Coors Field, he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings to get the win
Those are the types of performances the Brewers have been getting from their pitchers this year. Brandon Woodruff was lost to a shoulder injury early on and won't be back for at least a month, yet Milwaukee has surged. Wade Miley and Colin Rea have anchored the back of the rotation and the lineup has produced enough to give the Brewers the third-best record in the NL
"Our depth ... has been critical, and it's going to continue to be critical because there are going to be some lengthy absences still," Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. "It's tested sooner than we would have liked. But so far, we've done a good job of withstanding it."
The Rockies have had their struggles, and while they've suffered injuries, it hasn't been the main reason for having the worst record in the NL. Colorado hadn't pitched well or been able to hit with runners in scoring position before exploding for a 12-4 win against Arizona on Sunday to end a seven-game home losing streak
C.J. Cron led the way with a three-run homer to avoid ending April on a sour note.
"Seems like we haven't hit our stride in any aspect this year," Cron said. "Obviously, it wasn't the month we wanted, that's for sure. So hopefully going into the off-day, this one will calm us down a little bit, give us a little bit of confidence, a little bit of momentum, and hopefully we start to play better baseball once that happens."
German Marquez and Kyle Freeland were counted on to lead the rotation, but Marquez is on the injured list for a second time with right elbow inflammation and Freeland has struggled after three solid starts to begin the season.
Feltner has stepped into the void, at least for now. He has won his last two starts and allowed just one unearned run between those outings.
Tuesday will be Feltner's second home start of the season and second career start against the Brewers. In his only other outing against Milwaukee, at home on Sept. 5, 2022, he took the loss after allowing four runs in 5 1/3 innings while striking out seven
--Field Level Media