When it comes to evaluating my first season in Milwaukee after several years in Toronto, I would say that the switch has been really good. It has been smooth for me. The guys in our clubhouse are great. They welcomed me with open arms after I got traded here, and I enjoy the chemistry that we have. It is a good team to be a part of, which helps to make the transition that much easier.

This is also my first look at the National League. It is definitely different, with the biggest difference not having to the face the DH. But at the same time, I have had to do a lot more studying. In the American League, I knew all those teams, all those players. When I would watch film, I would focus on what those hitters had done in their last 15, their last 20 at-bats. Here, there is a lot more time in the film room. I am doing my best to learn these hitters, but the key remains to go out and throw strikes and locate your pitches.

I watch most of my film at the ballpark. I will usually start that process a couple of days before my next start. I will keep watching up until game day. I will try to break down my opponents' swings.

Coming to Milwaukee over the winter, I knew a couple things about the Brewers. I knew that they could hit, and I knew that they could score runs. They could also put up runs in a hurry. When you have guys like Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun, and then add hitters like Casey McGehee, Corey Hart and Rickie Weeks, it has the makings of a great lineup. Throw in the some speed, and you get the sense of what kind of baseball Ron Roenicke, our manager, likes to play. That is the kind of baseball that I like.

Since I arrived, what I expected is what has happened for the most part. Granted, we ran into some tough pitching there for a stretch when we weren't playing our best baseball, and we got beat. However, our hitters -- one through eight -- have done their jobs. Even our pitchers can hit, especially when you think of a guy like Yovani Gallardo, who last year won a Silver Slugger Award. We, as pitchers, don't ask for 10 runs a night. We just ask them to go out there and give their best effort, compete, battle and not give away at-bats.

The transition to the city of Milwaukee also could not have been any smoother. Playing in Toronto for five years, we lived in a condo in the city. I have a wife and two kids and some dogs, and we prefer not to live in the city. Rather, we want to live in a house outside the city, and that is what we have in Milwaukee. Really, it is just like home in Missouri.

We love being back in the Midwest. The fans here are great, and I don't think I could have picked a better spot for me -- the atmosphere we play in, the support that we get and, obviously, being on a good team.

Right-hander Shaun Marcum has been very impressive for his new club. A 13-game winner last year with the Blue Jays, Marcum has started 10 games and is 6-1 with a 2.37 ERA. He leads the team in strikeouts, and his win total is tied for tops on the Crew.