The Brewers are coming off a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh on Sunday which earned them a split of that two-game series and a 3-2 mark on their road trip.
Milwaukee is two games above .500 and just three games behind Cincinnati in the competitive NL Central. The Brewers were never above .500 last season and haven’t had a winning season since 1992.
“We’ve got guys here that still have big ceilings,” manager Ned Yost said. “They’ve got a lot of room to improve, and you do see them getting better, and even our veteran guys you see getting better.”
The Brewers have spent much of their money recently on building a farm system that Baseball America called the best in the majors. Management trimmed the big club’s payroll this season from $40.6 million to a major league-low $27.6 million, so they could further focus on the future.
But Yost says there is plenty of reason to pay attention to this year’s squad.
“I’m not so sure we’re not looking at this year a little bit,” Yost said. “We’re right in the middle of the pack with the guys we have.”
Utility player Keith Ginter hit a game-winning solo home run with two outs in the top of the ninth Sunday. Ginter, who hit .257 with 14 homers in 127 games in his first full season last year, is batting .259 with seven homers this season.
Lyle Overbay, who was acquired in the offseason trade that sent Richie Sexson to Arizona, also homered for Milwaukee. The 27-year-old first baseman is having a tremendous season, batting .363 with 39 RBIs and a major league-leading 21 doubles.
Overbay is 4-for-11 since his career-high 18-game hitting streak was snapped on Wednesday against Montreal.
“Lyle’s been phenomenal all year,” Yost said. “If you make the slightest mistake against him right now, he’s hitting it hard somewhere.”
The Dodgers have lost nine of their last 10, including Sunday’s 5-1 defeat to Atlanta.
“When you get one run and 13 hits, you have a definite indication of what our problem is,” manager Jim Tracy said. “We continued to squander chances all day long.”