MILWAUKEE -- Offense has not been the Brewers' problem in 2012. The Elias Sports Bureau dug up a stat to prove it. Aramis Ramirez, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are among the top four National League hitters in extra-base hits, with Ramirez leading the way with 57 entering Friday night, followed by the Reds' Jay Bruce with 55 and Braun and Hart tied at 54. According to Elias, if the Brewers' trio can surpass Bruce and finish as the top three, they would be the first trio of teammates to lead their league in extra-base hits since the Yankees' Roger Maris (64), Mickey Mantle (63) and Moose Skowron (63) did it in the American League in 1960. That's some serious company.
"Pretty cool," said Hart, who hit a winning grand slam in the eighth inning Thursday night. "I think the way our year has gone, we'll take anything positive. Every year, when the team's not going well, you find things to feel good about." The Brewers can feel reasonably good about an offense that ranked as a question mark in Spring Training because of the departure of slugging first baseman Prince Fielder. Those questions were amplified in May, when Fielder's replacement, Mat Gamel, and starting shortstop Alex Gonzalez were lost to season-ending knee injuries. Yet the Brewers entered Friday ranked first of 16 NL teams in home runs, fourth in runs scored and fourth in slugging. "We had questions coming in, and even with the injuries, we're right at the top of a lot of categories," Hart said. "Guys have stepped in and done great jobs, and other guys have picked it up. Like I said, it's not all bad. There have been a few positives this year."