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Brewers draw Dodgers' top arms in series


MILWAUKEE -- After a tough trip through the National League Central, the Brewers returned home Monday to face the Dodgers' top three starting pitchers: Clayton Kershaw in the series opener, followed by Zack Greinke on Tuesday and Hyun-Jin Ryu on Wednesday.

Ryan Braun thinks Major League pitching is the best it has been since he debuted in 2007. Manager Ron Roenicke stopped short of so strong a declaration, but noted a vast improvement in the NL Central.

"I think in our division, this is as good as pitchers as I've seen," Roenicke said. "There's not anybody that you say, 'Oh, we're going to get this guy.' Everybody's numbers are all good."

Those numbers bear out his impression. By the time the Dodgers series is done, the Brewers will have played 20 games in May and faced only two opposing starters with ERAs above 4.00 -- the Reds' Bronson Arroyo on May 12 (4.30) and Cardinals rookie John Gast on Sunday (6.00 after one Major League start) -- and only two others with an ERA above 3.00 -- the Pirates' Wandy Rodriguez on May 15 (3.62) and Ryu (3.42).

Arroyo, Rodriguez and Gast wound up logging wins against the Brewers.

"There's better 'stuff' now than there's ever been," Roenicke said. "There's still mistakes being made; maybe the stuff is better and the command isn't as good. Every bullpen, everybody's coming out throwing 95 [mph]. I think people are drafting just good arms now instead of command guys, and taking a chance on that stuff developing into a command guy."

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Kevin Massoth is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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