09
Oct 09

THIS pitching staff wasn’t THAT bad

davebushhurtWhy do I do this to myself? Why do I read anything on the JSOnline, anything written by Anthony Witrado or anything someone paid Anthony Witrado to do? Do I hate myself? I read Anthony Witrado's last chat of the season and was constantly pissed off while reading it. People asking if Corey Patterson would be our 2010 centerfielder, Witrado fellating Lopez, Witrado saying that Braun or Fielder would net Halladay and just, well, everything. It was all bad. The thing that pissed me off the most though, was this quote from A-dub.

No manager in the history of the game could have taken this team to the post-season with the way the starting pitching was built. Nobody. As any manager does, Macha has fair criticisms, but he almost deserves and INC for this season because the tools weren't in the shed to properly live up to expectations. You will never win by hitting, alone. You NEED to be able to pitch. Some things people don't like can be pinned on Macha, but not that.

Apparently the Brewers had the worst pitching in the history of baseball this season and had no chance to compete. Which is funny when you consider that on July 1st they were in first place.

Now, I'm not saying that the pitching was good. It wasn't, but it was good enough to have them competing for the division crown at the halfway point of the season. It was good enough for them to be among the frontrunners in the National League Central and National League Wild Card races. Unfortunately, there were a few things didn't go their way. Continue reading →


08
Oct 09

SNEAK PEEK: Journal Sentinel 2009 Brewers grades

hail-satan-710567The JSOnline's Brewers season grades are always a lot of fun. In 2008 Gabe Kapler received a better grade than anyone on the offense. In 2007 JJ Hardy, Joe Dillon and Ryan Braun were deemed equal. The thought that goes into these rankings clearly takes at least 5-10 minutes. I have a few sources on the inside of the JSHQ and they were able to give me a few of the grades ahead of their publishing along with some preliminary notes. Not sure if it will be EXACTLY like this on Sunday (or whenever these come out), but I can guarantee it will make the same amount of sense. Hope you enjoy.

Jason Kendall: B- That one time he hit a homerun. Guys loved throwing at him. Also, hit a homerun that other time.

Prince Fielder: C+ If he doesn't tie for RBI lead he is sure B-.Would be higher if team was better. It's his fault for record.

Felipe Lopez: A+++++ If I was GM I'd pay him a million trillion dollars!

JJ Hardy: INCOMPLETE Team is stupid for sending him down.

Alcides Escobar: C+Dazzling defense, but the bat isn't there. Seems like one of the best

Craig Counsell: B- One of the best seasons of his career.

Casey McGehee: C True Rookie of the Year candidate filled the hole at third base adequately.

Rickie Weeks: F- Got hurt. LOPEZZZZZZ!!!!!

Corey Hart: B- Changed his at-bat music later in the season and I really enjoyed it.

Mike Cameron: D He may have been one of the Brewers' best hitters, but he struck out a lot.

Ryan Braun: C- Wasn't as good as I thought he'd be. Would be higher if team did better, it's his fault.

Frank Catalanotto: A One of the lone bright spots.

Jody Gerut: F+

Yovani Gallardo: C- Not enough like CC.

Trevor Hoffman: A+ Best. Free. Agent. Signing. Ever.

Braden Looper: C- Sure, it was the worst season of his career and he led the league in homeruns and earned runs allowed. He had 14 wins! 14!

Jeff Suppan: D+ If he would have pitched better Brewers would have won the World Series.

Manny Parra: Somewhere between B and F.

Dave Bush: D- Bring back Doug Davis.

Mark DiFelice: B Can't imagine where the Brewers would have finished without his 3.66 ERA.

Mitch Stetter: C- His 3.60 ERA was a pleasant surprise.

Claudio Vargas: D- 1.78 ERA with Brewers. Am I supposed to be impressed?

Mike Burns: C Did a good job with what he was asked to do.

Seth McClung: B- "We need to give a good grade to Seth because he's my friend on twitter. -Tom"

Todd Coffey: C+Pitched a lot of games.

The rest: F


03
Sep 09

Do the right thing Doug, bring back Mike Cameron

Mike CameronMy undying love for Mike Cameron is well documented and if you think I wasn't biting a few nails as the August trade deadline rolled around, well, then you haven't been paying attention have you? A lot of people were pining for the team to trade away Cameron and a few of the other veterans, but count me among the people who agreed with the team's course of action. The Brewers will once again be contenders for the playoffs next year and a sell off just to save money is pointless. In fact, it's probably counter productive because as has been pointed out ad nauseum the Brewers sold three million tickets this year, therefore the Brewers need to put a good product on the field for the rest of the season and a good product doesn't go by the name of Jody Gerut. (Whether that's a fair statement or not, I don't really feel like getting into.)

Anyways, I have no doubts that the 2010 Brewers will be better than the 2009 Brewers. I mean, there is no way that the pitching staff could be THIS BAD again. Even if you put the same guys out there next year they would have to improve (5 of the top 6 Brewers in innings pitched (Looper, Suppan, Parra, Bush and Villanueva) have the worst FIP of their career, which doesn't even seem possible when you really think about it). Beyond that you could hypothetically think that the offense, despite it's amazing-ness now, could be even better next year. A full season of Weeks, GAMEL, a halfway decent Corey Hart and anyone besides Kendall, it's exciting to think of the possibilities. The team will be good again next year and I fully expect them to be a contender. Well, as long as they re-sign Mike Cameron I do. Continue reading →


28
Jul 09

Sitting Waiting Wishing: The Zen of Miller Park Drunk

zenchaThe 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.


24
Jul 09

Miller Park Drunk vs the Brewers Pythagorean record

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.

Games remaining 67

Scored Allowed
Current Runs 442 448
Projected Runs 314.9 274.7
Projected total 756.9 722.7
Projected win percentage 0.511
Projected Record 82.87 79.13

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.

Games remaining 67
Scored Allowed
Current Runs 442 448
Projected Runs 335 234.5
Projected total 777 682.5
Projected win percentage 0.532
Projected Record 86.24 75.76

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.

(All graphs use this pythagorean record formula.)

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