The Brewers just got swept by the Philadelphia Phillies. It's hard to saw which one was more unbelievable: the one where they gave up seven runs in the eighth inning, the one where Lyle Overbay hit a grandslam and they blew a 5-1 lead in the SECOND inning or the one where Roberto Hernandez pitched a three hitter. I'm going to go with the Overbay one because I was there and I did this:
On top of that, the Brewers have now lost 9 out of 10 and have only a two game lead over the Cardinals who just so happen to be coming to town for a three game series starting tonight.
Everything is not awesome. Everything is not cool when you're following this team.
The reasons for this are classic baseball problems that inflict every team during a season: our pitchers are belly itchers and our batters are broken ladders. Ryan Braun is hurting, the bullpen is struggling, the starters are struggling and everything else that could go wrong is going wrong. They are the worst.
Which brings up a ton of questions:
- IS THIS THE REAL BREWERS TEAM?
- WILL THEY LOSE NINE OUT OF TEN GAMES THE REST OF THE SEASON AND FOREVER?
- SHOULD THEY START SELLING NOW?
- IS THIS THE WORST SEASON IN BREWERS HISTORY, YES OR YES?
- CAN WE TRADE OUR ENTIRE FARM SYSTEM AND ALL FUTURE DRAFT PICKS FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS FOR DAVID PRICE?
- CARDINALS 2014 WORLD CHAMPS?
The answer to all those questions is NO. Relax, things are going to be okay. Jimmy Nelson is coming and he will be the second coming of Ben Sheets. The All-Star Break is coming and these dudes just need some rest. Wei-Chung Wang is finally on the DL so we can now operate with a full 25-man roster. There are good signs out there if you look hard enough.
Still, after starting the season 20-7 the Brewers have been a mere 32-34. (This number is correct, but it feels somehow wrong to do in the middle of this 1-9 run. A week ago they'd be over .500 since May. They only play the games once though so it is what it is.) While this is not encouraging it still shows them to be on the right path. If they play .500 the rest of the way they'll finish with 86-87 wins. That SHOULD be enough for the playoffs, but maybe not. If they can play like they played post-hot start and pre-ten game stretch from hell, they SHOULD win the division. I guess the point of this paragraph is that we can't know.
It's too early to freak out. The Brewers haven't had any major injuries to important parts of the team and they haven't had any major suspensions. They've just been playing that stupid Bob Marley song too much lately. The team that has looked awesome all year, that has dominated the National League, is still intact. That team deserves the benefit of the doubt. Baseball is long and it takes forever which means that really bad things can happen and really good things can happen. Sometimes they are spread out and sometimes they happen all at once. It's nothing worth freaking out about.
Personally, I think this is the best thing that could possibly happen to them. What good is it being the best team of the first half? Sure, you have a leg up on the competition and sell more tickets, but where is the excitement? Nobody cares about the team that plays consistently all season long and that team never seems to win the World Series. We want the team that is good, then struggles and then gets hot to end the season. We want Jimmy Chitwood's team. We want the team that puts it all together and has everyone getting hot at the right time.
The first half? That's for the kids voting for the All-Star Team. The second half is where champions are born. It doesn't matter what happens this weekend. The season starts Monday.