With the Philadelphia Phillies (31-30) beating the Milwaukee Brewers (22-37) 5-1 on Thursday, they pass .500 and increase their winning streak to five. Does their recent success make them a threat in the National League?

The Phillies got out to an early lead with scored runs by Michael Young (off of a hit by Ryan Howard) and John Mayberry, making it 2-0 in the first inning. In the top of the second Tyler Cloyd scored a run which brought the Phillies lead to 3-0.

Milwaukee Left fielder Ryan Braun returned to the Brewers lineup although he is still under investigation in the performance-enhancing drug scandal. Braun has, and still does, deny taking PED’s. If Braun is found guilty of lying to investigators about using PED’s, he will be suspended for 100 games; 19 other players face the same penalty.

ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” reports that the possible suspension would be the biggest in the history of American sports.

Braun was 1-2 in the first three innings. Brewers who were at .379 coming into Thursday’s game had high hopes for game one of this series and the rest of the season.

“I think for us to get on a roll — we’re pitching better now, and hopefully that continues,” Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. “But I’m concerned that the offense with [Jean Segura and Norichika Aoki] getting on base a lot, both [Braun and Ramirez] need to drive in runs, and both of them are trying to get by nursing some injuries that are really preventing them from playing well.”

But Milwaukee’s anticipated success seemed more like an unrealistic prediction as the Brewers continued to dominate. Dominic Brown’s scored run in the third and Delmon Young’s homerun in the fifth extended the Phillies lead to 5-0. Young’s homer was his sixth of the year and his fifth straight.

After two scoreless innings, Milwaukee finally got on the board in the eighth and scored their first run which was also the final scored run of the game. Braun scored off of a hit by Jonathan Lucroy, bringing the final game score to 5-1.

The Phillies entered this series on a four game win streak; a series sweep against the Marlins and one game win against Milwaukee. Last week the Phillies were defeated twice by the Brewers in a three game series.

“We’ll be over .500 tomorrow night [against Phillies] if we play good,” manager Charlie Manuel told the team’s website. “When you get to .500, if we can win some games, like four or five straight, or eight out of 10, we’ll be in a good position.”

The Phillies are now at .508 and the Brewers are 15-9 over the last 24 games.

Philadelphia is off to a decent start, but aren’t as consistent as they should be in order to confidently predict a postseason appearance. The performances of Ryan Howard and Dominic Brown will determine the outcome of their season.