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Roenicke has seen hitting win in the playoffs

October 13, 2011

ST. LOUIS — It was their pitching that helped the Brewers to the National League Central title and got them to the NL Championship Series. And pitching typically is the key ingredient to winning championships.

But can the Brewers advance to or even win the World Series without it? Manager Ron Roenicke thinks so, because he has seen it happen before firsthand.

“When I was with the Angels, we won the World Series in 2002 [with] hitting, great hitting,” Roenicke said. “We absolutely killed the ball in the playoffs. We had a great bullpen. Starters, OK. So I’ve seen it where you don’t have to have great pitching. It doesn’t happen very often.”

In 2002, the Angels — with Roenicke as third-base coach — averaged 6.3 runs per game over 16 postseason contests. And their pitchers allowed 5.06 runs per game. Through eight games this postseason, the Brewers were outscored 47-38, averaging just 4.75 runs per game while giving up 5.88.

NL Most Valuable Player Award candidates Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder helped the Brewers put up strong offensive numbers this year, but the additions of starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum, along with a solidified back end of the bullpen, made Milwaukee a playoff team.

Since they’ve reached the postseason, though, the Brewers have seen the offense carry the pitching staff more often than not. Yovani Gallardo was dominant against the D-backs in the NL Division Series, but even he struggled in Game 3 of the NLCS against the Cardinals.

Every other starter has struggled.

“The playoffs, you don’t know what’s going to happen,” Roenicke said. “[In Game 3], I thought [it would be a] low-scoring game, and [after] the first three innings, I’m going, ‘Wow, where is this thing going?’ … I think it’s going to be pitching, and sometimes it isn’t.”

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