Honestly, I don't know if I should be encouraged that things seem to be turning around, or a little depressed that the Brewers have had nothing but losing months for the past calendar year. Right now I'm feeling a little of both.
Here's your June recap.
The Good: Starting Pitching
Things finally started to normalize for the starters in June after giving up alarming amounts of home runs in April and walks in May. We saw starters induce more ground balls, which helped lower opponent BABIP from a season-high .352 in May to .299 in June. The team's ERA fell from 5.57 in May to 3.89 in June. For the most part, the starting pitching is what led the Brewers to the winning month, keeping the team in games even when the offense was struggling at times.
Specifically, Yovani Gallardo solidified his status as a bonafide ace, cutting down his walks while striking out more batters. Manny Parra also moved into the rotation, and while his future is still uncertain, he certainly made his case to stay in the rotation long-term with some of the strikeout totals he posted. Dave Bush wasn't especially dominating, but he threw a bunch of "quality starts" by keeping the ball in the park.
The Bad: Casey McGehee
McGehee was bound to regress -- he's not as good as the .305/.372/.573 line he posted in April, and probably not as good as the .297/.355/.468 he hit in May. I don't think anyone expected him to fall this far (or this fast), though -- coming into today's game, McGehee was hitting .209/.277/.341 in June. Despite the horrific slump, Ken Macha continued to hit him 5th because his overall numbers (specifically his RBI total) still looked solid. With McGehee in such a big slump, and Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder seemingly unable to drive in runs this year, is it any wonder the middle of the order had RISP problems this month?
The Ugly: Randy Wolf
Wolf's noticeably absent above where I talked about how good the starting rotation has been. That's because Wolf has been horrible, for lack of a better word. After being about as good as expected in April, Wolf imploded in May, walking more batters (23) than he struck out (22). The good news for him in June? He walked less batters (17), but he also struck out less (13). Of course, it was the second straight month in which he walked more batters than he struck out, and the decrease in the walk total may jsut be because he threw 4 less innings this month. His ERA for June was a single-month season high 5.93, thanks to giving up 9 home runs in June alone. Among all the talk of who should lose their rotation spot, his name should probably be coming up, but we all know that it won't happen. All we can really do is hope he can keep a few more balls in the park in July and finally strike out more batters than he's walking.