The Brewers released Randy Wolf today. A curious move considering they are about to shut down two starters, but an understandable move nonetheless. Randy Wolf has not been very good in 2011. He has been unlucky, but luck can only account for so much. Anyone who has watched him pitch this season knows that no matter how hard he worked or how well he was throwing, he was always hittable. I don't want to throw around the S word because Wolf was a lot better than that dude, but there was the same sense of "the Brewers are going to need to score a lot of runs today" when he pitched. Fair? Probably not, but that's the way it worked out.
When the Brewers signed Randy Wolf here is what we said:
Is it too many years? Not really. You can expect Wolf to be average to above average this year with a slight drop off next year and then anything can happen in the third year. (Hopefully.) He could age well or he couldn't. I've been staring at his Baseball Reference page like it was the Carrie Prejean sextape for about two weeks now trying to figure him out and I think I'm getting there. Randy Wolf has only been awesome twice, last year and 2002. Don't expect him to be awesome. Yet he's only been crappy twice, his rookie year (doesn't count) and 2006 when he was recovering from Tommy John surgery. Don't expect him to be crappy either. After that every season of his career has been average to slightly above average and if he can do that, the Brewers will be extremely happy and you should be too.
(Man, I'm like a drunk Nostradamus sometimes.)
Wolf got paid a lot to be an average to above average starter and that's exactly what he did. His ERA+ of 97 in 2010 is a bit misleading because of his two "take one for the team" starts (this game and this game). He did his job in 2010. Then in 2011 he posted an ERA+ of 107 and that combined with his gutty game 4 playoff performance made him successful at his job again. Perhaps most importantly Randy Wolf stayed healthy and threw over 210 innings in both of those years. We always knew this third year could have gone either way and unfortunately it didn't go the good way, but Randy Wolf still did a fine job in his time here. He wasn't the best, but he wasn't the worst. He was just there as an innings eating middle of the rotation guy. It was a good time.
A lot has been said about the Brewers releasing him on his birthday so this makes them BIRTHDAY BULLIES, but I have to disagree with that. For one, he still gets paid millions of dollars and for two, this gives him nine days to find a playoff team to jump onto. The Athletics who just lost Colon to a suspension are a possibility. Could you imagine a Wolftarras reunion!? A man can dream and by a man I mean Randy Wolf specifically.
I really can't think of anything else to say about it so I am just going to post my five favorite Randy Wolf Brewers moments.
5. August 15th, 2011. Randy Wolf pitches an eight inning shutout despite giving up 6 hits and 5 walks.
If Randy Wolf pitches an eight inning shutout it's probably because he got lucky. This is the quintessential Wolf shutout, but who cares? It was a shutout against a team with Matt Kemp.
4. The day I discovered this picture.
Pretty sure this was a Jimmy Buffett concert. Which makes sense because Randy Wolf was the most parrothead Brewers starting pitcher of all time.
3. The day the Brewers traded for Greinke after they traded for Marcum.
Because then it was like "holy sh-t this makes Randy Wolf is the best #4 starter in baseball!"
2. October 13th, 2011 Randy Wolf goes 7 innings in a Brewers NLCS playoff win.
Here's what I said after that game:
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.
1. This picture.
Always and forever. Never forget.