There’s not a whole lot that can be said about the current state of the Milwaukee Brewers. They’re bad. They’re depressingly bad. Off to their worst start in franchise history, the 2-10 Brewers are riding a five game losing streak that has been nothing short of agonizing to watch.
The week started off on a very high note, when the Crew was able to put together a nice win against the Cardinals in front of a sell out crowd during their home opener. Matt Garza turned in a solid start, the bullpen was able to hold the lead, and the bats did just enough (and I mean JUST enough, courtesy of infield hits and St. Louis errors) to earn the Brewer’s second win of the season. Five days later, they are still searching for their third.
It went from bad to worse on Wednesday, when Carlos Gomez pulled his hamstring hustling down the line to try to beat a throw to first. The next day, Gomez was placed on the 15-day DL, leaving the Brewers without their leadoff hitter, All-Star center fielder, and highest energy player. For a team that already lacked depth, Gomez’s injury has been catastrophic. It’s impossible to replace his speed, and back ups Gerardo Parra and Logan Schafer aren’t known for their offense. Hamstrings take time, and early reports out of the Brewers camp seem to suggest that it may be much longer than 15 days before Gomez returns to the lineup.
Most of the blame for the Brewers woes has been placed on the offense, and for good reasons. This team that is “built for power” has just three home runs all year- that is just one home run for every 122 at bats, the worst mark for any major league team since the 1981 San Diego Padres. To put that number into perspective, consider that the Dodgers hit three home runs in four plate appearances today.
The Brewers aren’t going to win games if they don’t start scoring runs by the bunches, but you can’t place all the blame on the offense. The Brewers starting pitchers have an NL worst 5.78 ERA, and they have never been under more pressure to turn in flawless performances. The bullpen hasn’t been given many chances to pitch in meaningful games, and all the while Francisco Rodriguez hasn’t pitched in a week (#moneywellspent). To top it all off, only the Nationals have more fielding errors than the Brewers in the majors, and is it just me, or does it feel like the Brewers are incapable of committing an error that does not lead to multiple unearned runs?
It’s bad, guys. It’s very bad.
If this team doesn’t turn it around quick, Ron Roenicke may not make it to the end of May. What’s even more disappointing is that in the midst of this train wreck, there are some players who are playing very well. Jean Segura is batting .350 and looks like the Segura of 2012 again. Adam Lind continues to surprise (even occasionally against left handers), and Khris Davis is sporting a new and improved approach at the plate that has him looking like the offensive threat everyone has been waiting for. It just hasn’t been enough.
We will have a very good idea what kind of a season this is going to be in about 14 days. At that point, the Brewers may find themselves at a place organizationally where they need to begin blowing up the lineup, shipping anyone with talent out the door for minor league prospects, and getting used to 10,000 fan crowds for a couple of years. The optimist in me wants to wait, but the realist in me sees the writing on the wall- it’s just not our year.