Frugal Brewers Too Much For the Best Team Money Can Buy

The Los Angeles Dodgers pay their players more than any team has ever paid a roster of players, and it has pretty well paid off this season, with, as of a couple of days ago, the Dodgers compiling the National League’s best record and as they continued to increase their sizable lead over the second place Giants. But then the frugal Brewers, with a roster that costs their owners much less than one-half of what Guggenheim Baseball Management pays guys with “Dodgers” on their shirt fronts ($103 million compared to $235 million), came to town. Milwaukee began the season like a cannon shot, quickly going to the top of the Central Division, and for much of the season they were the team with the league’s best record. The highly touted Cardinals, Pirates and Reds have been playing catch-up all year, and just when it looks like the Brewers are falling back to the pack, they get hot. That was never more evident than over the last two days when they came to Dodgers’ Stadium and did not just beat LA in each of the first two games of the

series, but last night they also put to an end Clayton Kershaw's 11 game winning streak, with a 3-2 win.

With consecutive losses, the Dodgers now find themselves with the league's second-best won-lost record behind Washington, and another loss today will push them down to third, with the Brewers also then ahead of them. With their biggest winner Wily Peralta (14-7) set to
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start today against the Dodgers’ Dan Haren, the Brewers have a great shot at accomplishing just that. After a terrible streak, Haren has come back to win a couple in a row, but Peralta has been outstanding of late, going 5-1 with an ERA of 2.06 over his last six starts.

The Dodgers lost more than just a ball game yesterday, as third baseman Juan Uribe was placed on the disabled list with a re-occurrence of the right hamstring strain that kept him

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off the field for close to 40 games earlier this year. As shortstop Hanley Ramirez is also on the DL, the left side of the Dodgers' infield is now populated by subs, and those guys, primarily Justin Turner, Miguel Rojas, and at times Darwin Barney, figure to be there for quite awhile.

Uribe became the seventh Dodgers’ player to hit the DL this month alone, and the list now includes two starting infielders, two rotation starters, the original fill-in sixth starter, and two set-up guys from the bullpen. The Brewers, conversely, have only two significant players on their disabled list, starter Matt Garza and reliever Tyler Thornberg.

On a final Dodgers-Brewers note, much has been made of the events involving the 2011 National League MVP and runner up, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun and the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp. Braun was found to have violated MLB’s PED policies and served a lengthy suspension last year, and has fought a series of nagging injuries. Kemp has had serious injuries to deal with ever since that 2011 season, at one point lost his starting job, and has been the subject of constant trade rumors. Both have pretty well settled down now, and each is playing pretty much every day. That said, their stats still, like in 2011, are remarkably similar: They each have hit 15 home runs, and each of them is batting .278. Braun has come to the plate 399 times and driven in 69 runs, while Kemp has 407 at bats, driving in 55. Not nearly the numbers of 2011, but they are still hard to separate.

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