An argument I've made many times before on this blog is that a single week of games doesn't matter as much as the entire season does. When the Brewers had their "horrible" weekend where they lost 3 out of 4 to the Phillies many Brewers fans were panicking and assuming that this team was not good enough to compete in the playoffs. Remember that? Here is what I wrote then:
Remember when the Brewers won 22 out of 25? Did you think that was going to be forever? Teams have winning streaks and they have losing streaks, it's a part of baseball. Sometimes it's because the pitching stinks, sometimes it's because the hitting sucks and sometimes it's just because they get outplayed and maybe run into some bad luck. That's what this was, that third thing. Get over it. We're going to the playoffs.
And they did and it was fun for a little while.
The Brewers won 96 games during the regular season which makes them the 2nd best team in the National League and tied for third best team in all of baseball. They were the best team in the National League Central and there will be a sign going up that says "2011 NL Central Champions" which is something that nobody else can do next year. Those are a huge, huge accomplishments and they are reason alone to celebrate. That says more about this Milwaukee Brewers team than any single week of the season possibly could and that includes this past week.
The Brewers won 6 more games than the Cardinals during the regular season. They were the better team all season long and the record books will always show that. Then the Cardinals got into the playoffs because the Braves fell apart and they beat us in the NLCS. It sucked, but the playoffs do nothing to show us who is actually better. It just shows who won more games during that week and that is why baseball is stupid. Read the rest of this entry »
A lot can be said about Ron Roenicke's handling of the Brewers in the 2011 NLCS. I'm sure that much of it will key in on his stubborn decision to start Shaun Marcum in game 6 despite all signs pointing to that not working out very well. Some people will argue that it should have been Gallardo in this spot and that we could have just "figured it out" for game 7 and that is a good, popular argument. I am not here to make that argument.
Baseball is not a game of small sample sizes. Shaun Marcum should not be judged by his last two starts and Ron Roenicke had every reason to believe that the "real" Shaun Marcum would pitch in this game. Did I believe that myself? Absolutely not. I think Marcum has pitched too much this year and his arm has simply had enough. It's clear to me watching him that this is the case (the way he struggles, the way he avoids hitters), but nobody seems to want to acknowledge it. Or at least Ron Roenicke didn't. So much of being a baseball manager is "having faith in your guys" or some crap like that and in this case it screwed us, but Shaun Marcum starting this game is not what lost this game. (And no, it wasn't the defense either.) What lost us this game was this:
- Top of the third. 6-4 St. Louis.
- Narveson gives up a homerun to Pujols, obviously.
- Berkman's stupid face grounds out.
- Matt Holliday single.
- David Freese double. F this guy so hard, btw.
- Yadier (sweet neck tat, brah) Molina intentional walk.
- Punto sacrifice fly.
- LaTroy Hawkins enters the game.
I am not going to bore you with charts or WPA or whatever else, but let's be absolutely clear about this: THIS WAS THE GAME. To put it simply the Brewers scored six runs in this game and by the time the Cardinals scored number seven this game was over. Runs 8-12 did not matter. They sucked, but they did not matter. It was this and only this that decided this baseball game. It'd have been nice not to give up 4 in the first or another in the second, but that didn't kill us. This sequence did. It was the most important sequence of the game and Roenicke blew it. Read the rest of this entry »
And this is why we don't overreact to losses.
Before yesterday's game it seemed like the Brewers, losers of two in a row, were done. Who cared if it was a seven game series? The team that goes up 2-1 wins the series most of the time! AHHHWEARESOSCRWED ITS OVER But it wasn't because of one man. Randy Wolf walked in yesterday and it was WRITTEN IN THE STARS as he turned in the best playoff start of his career and saved the Brewers season. I love it.
Randy Wolf isn't the best Brewers pitcher in any category really. He doesn't strike people out like the other guys, he gives up more hits and walks than the other guys and he can't dominate like the other guys. He just goes out there with a game plan and pitches his ass off. He lives and dies with every pitch. He's not going to dominate anybody because that's not his job. His job is to eat up some innings and put the team in a good position to win. He does his job very well and yesterday it changed everything. I love him.
I don't know what's going to happen tonight or after that. We keep hearing that Zack Greinke's "peripheral stats" point to him being better than he has pitched, but that doesn't change the fact that he has been getting rocked. Can Good Zack Greinke show up? Just once? We're about due for him. We could really use him about now. No pressure or anything.
And then? And then? I don't know, man.
TWO MORE TO WORLD SERIES
SIX MORE TO YOU KNOW WHAT
Sorry that this took a little longer than I wanted it to, but it felt very inappropriate to post this on Friday when the Brewers were playing for their playoff lives and then I spent the next two days feeling the effects of that game and well, you know.
ANYWAYS, I polled a team of judges (wezen_ball, Tyler Maas, Jack Moore and some random chick I know) on which one of the Brewer Kid meme pictures was the best and the results were mixed. No two judges picked the same favorite and it was hard to even find a consensus of what the top four were. Therefore I am putting the judging up to you. I don't want to drag this on for much longer so you have today and tomorrow to vote and then I will email the winner. Thanks to everyone who entered. If you'd like to see all of the entries you can check them out here, but these were our favorites. Read the rest of this entry »
Yes, there was Braun.
And yes, there was also Prince.
And UGH, there was Greinke.
But when I think of where I was and what happened on 10/9/2011 in Game 1 of the 2011 NLCS I will think of only one person and that person is Yuniesky Betancourt. MY MAIN MAN YUNIESKY BETANCOURT. YUNI YUNI YUNI YUNIIIIIEEEEE.
Yuni has gotten a lot of crap from people throughout the season and rightfully so, but one thing we should never discount is that when he swings the bat at a (good) pitch and makes (good) contact he can do very good things. He has power in that bat of his which is probably why he swings it so damn much. We can argue the merits of Yuniesky Betancourt as a major league shortstop until we are blue in the face, but the fact remains that Yuni can hit a lot better than a lot of shortstops out there. Yes, other people have higher batting averages and higher OPS, but Yuni is always among the top half of ISO because he just hits the ball harder than most people. Yuni isn't the best, but he is not without value. He is a valuable member of this team. 0.5 Wins Above Replacement is still above replacement and we shouldn't forget that.
That being said, is Yuni the most MLB playoffs baseball player ever? Read the rest of this entry »