The Brewers should win today. We're playing the Pirates.
The Brewers should turn it around today.
The Brewers are going to make a move to get better.
The Brewers should win today. We're playing the Nationals.
The Brewers should be making a trade today.
And so on. It's starting to feel like all I do is wait on the Brewers. Since the All-Star break they are 4-7 despite playing only one team with a winning record. They are below .500 and four games behind the Cubs. The Cubs, people. I'm just about as easygoing when it comes to this team as a person can be. Suppan gives up 5 runs against the Pirates in 3.1 innings? That's okay, we'll score seven. I know it. Then we do and then we lose. Dave Bush isn't coming back? That's okay we'll go out and make a trade. Only we don't. We're 4-6 since the All-Star break and at .500? That's okay, the Nationals are coming to town. Then Josh Willingham hits two grand slams. And honestly, I got a bit shook for a moment. I actually said things like "if they don't win this game, it's over". I started to go through my tickets and tried to figure out if I could break even selling the rest of them. I was on the verge of giving up IN JULY which is so ridiculous and unlike me that I had to sit myself down and tell myself to relax. Then I gave myself two Ambien and called myself in the morning.
Look, I don't know what the team should do. Well, actually I do. They should put together a winning streak. Stay close. Win the next 5 games against the Nationals and Padres (or at least 4 of them). The August schedule is ridiculously easy. After the Dodgers, the best team they play is the Astros (despite the better record their run differential is terrible). Other than that it's the Pirates, Padres, Nationals and Reds. This is the time. Win these games. Then find out what you're made of in September when they play 13 games against the Cubs and Cardinals. That's when we'll know if this team can do it, but to get to that point they have to beat these easier teams. Stop making the Nationals and Pirates look like the Yankees and Red Sox. They have to have a good August. It's not over yet, despite what the record or the numbers might tell you. Looking at the schedule the Brewers should be favored in 27 of the next 30 games so anyone who says the Brewers should be sellers at the deadline clearly doesn't know how to read a schedule.
So I am not going to freak out. I am not going to say that the team needs to make a trade or get rid of this guy or that guy. I am not going to call for anyone's head. I am just going to continue to sit and wait and wish and things should even out so that they're ready to do something when September rolls around. That's when things matter and that's my advice to you dear fan. Relax. We still got a long way to go and the road to get there is pretty smooth all through August. Now if you'll excuse me I am going to drink a six pack and do some yoga.
The Braves are one of those teams that are just kinda there. Chipper Jones has been around forever and he's been remarkably consistent, but you kind of forget about him. Escobar is having a breakout season and nobody is noticing and McCann is one of the best offensive catchers in the league but doesn't get much notice. Besides those three? They got nothing. Prado is having a good year and McClouth is alright, but there is nothing special about this team. They don't scare me.
SO FREAKING BEAT THEM ALREADY!!!
Have a good weekend. As you may have noticed the Brewers are starting to make me crazy.
To steal a page from Deadspin here are some deleted scenes, stuff not good enough to get their own post.
One of the first "big" posts we ever had was this tribute to Bob Uecker. We were linked on Deadspin and a lot of people found us for the first time thanks to that post. Originally there was a line in there that said "Bob has a stalker. Somehow I don’t see anyone stalking Ken Harrelson.", but this was later changed. Why? This email:
Created on February 12, 2009 is posting an expunged record associated with my name as part of a listing. I am asking out of professional courtesy that you please remove it from the article. The allegations that you reference in item ten were false, anyway, and the posting you make can be edited to use something else in item 10. Continue reading →
I am going to attempt to be smart. Bear with me, unless you're attractive then bare with me.
The Brewers currently have a run differential of 442 scored to 448 given up. Their record is 48-47 while their pythagorean record is 47-48. Their second and third order records (go to the link for explanation) have them being even worse at 45-50 and 44-51. With the Brewers being 4th in the National League in runs scored it's not hard to tell that this is completely the fault of the pitching which is also 4th in the National League, 4th to last. Their current average score of a game is 4.7 to 4.7. Even if the Brewers can maintain their offense and drop the pitching down to 4.1 per game (which is what the division leading Cardinals are currently doing) they would still finish around 83 wins. Things do not look good for the Brewers and a .500 record could very likely be a reality. Here is a graph.
Projected win percentage
Now, that does not look good. However, this team won't look the same through the last 67 games as it did through the first 95. There will be changes. Already Felipe Lopez has stepped into the leadoff spot and he should be able to add a few runs to the team. If Bush comes back and rounds into form and Parra continues to be good Manny or if the team trades for a starter, they won't give up 4.7 runs the rest of the way. Ideally the rest of the way the team will average 5 runs per game and give up something like 3.5. Here's what that team would look like.
Projected win percentage
86 wins.Will that be enough? It could be. The NL Central isn't that strong (using this same formula the Cardinals finish 83.79-78-21) and at the very least that would put the Brewers in the discussion for the Wild Card. Add in some luck and who knows? The Brewers sure haven't had any this year.
I know the idea of scoring more and giving up over a full run less over the rest of the season can be a tough pill to swallow, but the past is the past. It doesn't matter how they got here, it matters what they do from this day forward. ZiPs Rest of the season projections are favorable for Parra, Bush, Villanueva and whoever isn't Mike Burns on the pitching side and JJ Hardy, Corey Hart, Jason Kendall and even Ryan Braun on the hitting side. Say what you want about the Brewers this season, but as a whole they have underachieved a bit and should expect to be better from here on out. How much better? That is the question.
Part one was a bit more by the book and with part two we had a bit more fun. If you aren't already doing so check out Right Field Bleachers, it's a lot like this site only with more writers, more photshopping and less pretend conversations. Good stuff.
MPD: Congratulations on making me gag myself. Once with the clam chowder analogy and a second time at the thought of Vicente Padilla in a Brewers uniform (hang on.... yep, this one just made me gag a third time). I think we're all at the point now where we are getting antsy for the Brewers to do something. Earlier in the season Melvin was quote as saying he wasn't sure if he needed a bat or a pitcher and I think it has become painfully clear to anyone with even the slightest of baseball knowledge (Tom Haudricourt comes to mind) what the team needs. We're well past the point of wondering if this team will make a move and now we are forced to sit and wait for it to happen. We've actually been (seemingly) waiting so long that it's gotten to the point where people are wondering if they might actually need two starting pitchers. I'm all about waiting for the right deal/player/trade, but come on already. People are dying out there!
You mentioned that you wouldn't mind seeing Corey Hart leaving in a trade and my kneejerk reaction is to say "well, who would replace him?" (Catalanatto is probably a better hitter, but a HUGE defensive dropoff. Gerut is the opposite.) At the same time the two easiest positions to fill on the field are first base and corner outfield. There are lots of bats out there that could step in and do close to what he's doing so I could almost see it. Almost. I'm just not convinced the team is ready to give up on him yet (which is weird considering all the grief he gave them in arbitration.) Does his popularity have anything to do with it? I don't know, but the more I think about Corey Hart, the more he reminds me of Jeff Francouer of the Braves. No great batting eye to speak of. Power to spare. Perpetually underachieving. Short flashes of brilliance. Ends up league average or worse. Hart is older, but he's like Francouer in that he was a lot better two years ago. Hart's improved his walk rate quite a bit this year (which could easily come back to Earth), but so did his strikeout rate went up too and it's come at the cost of some power (which could easily not come back to Earth). I am not sure if he's ever going to be much better than he was in 2007 and considering his first half of 2008 was likely a serious outlier, maybe dangling him out there is the right move. If the team can get some value for him now, why not? Sure, a few thousand female fans would be upset but they had to have figured out he wasn't really attractive at some point right? I don't know if Corey Hart gets you Ian Snell of the Pirates or Erik Bedard of the Mariners. I really just don't know, but I'd like to see Doug try and figure that out. I suspect even the Moustache hates hearing that at-bat music three times a game.
Forget Hart for a second though, let's talk about another can't miss Brewer: Mat Gamel. He only spells his name with one T so you know he's bad ass. I understand (and love) that Casey McGehee has been playing out of his mind for the past month, but can this dude get more than one start in a week? He's shown flashes and in my arm-chair-scout-who-has-no-idea-what-he's-talking-about opinion his at-bats have improved since he first came up quite a bit. He deserves an honest shot out there before they switch McGehee into virtually full time 3B mode. Give him two weeks of starts, then we'll talk. It's all I ask really because I think Gamel could be one of the next great Brewers and he should be out there playing. Or if the team sends him down, it should be to practice right field in preparation for him finishing the season there. Where do you stand on the send him down/keep him up argument and where do you see him going in the future as a Brewer? Continue reading →