Nobody’s perfect, I get that, especially when it comes to baseball. Things happen, guys get injured, a third baseman overthrows second base by a good mile, but it’s all part of the game. Unfortunately, it’s really costed the Milwaukee Brewers a shot at this season.
Now I’m not making excuses for the team, but there are few miscues that have really executed this team in 2013.
Yep, errors have been a huge thorn in the Milwaukee side this season. Currently, the Brewers lead the majors in errors with 85, as they committed two in last night’s game surpassing the Los Angeles Angels. They’ve made some truly bone-headed plays out there and last night, errors accounted for three unearned runs. I’m not saying that cleaning up on errors necessarily means the Brewers would erase their horrid 2013, but it would take away a lot of costly runs.
Had the Brewers not chucked the ball directly over a player’s head (yes I’m looking at you Juan Francisco and Jeff Bianchi), then at least two runs wouldn’t have scored. Sure, if John Axford hadn’t walked two batters, one of which he had a wild pitch during an intentional walk, a run might not have scored, but now I’m just nitpicking and that’s not healthy. It’s a team game and to solely blame or single out one player for the mistakes this season is wrong. That said, when your All-Star caliber shortstop makes a team leading 12 errors, you might have some problems.
Hitting with runners on
It still amazes me how this seems like a foreign concept to the hitters in the line-up. Not only do the Brewers rank first (which this is not the good type of ‘first’) in ground ball outs with 1552, they also rank 20th in runs scored (405) and 22nd in on-base percentage (.309). What’s astounding about that is when a team has the type of hitters that they do in Jean Segura, Carlos Gomez, Jonathan Lucroy and Norichika Aoki that they still fail to produce runs. This is a team not too long ago that was absolutely feared because of their offense. Now with all the rookies making their debuts and guys getting injured faster than you can blink, that obviously adds a tremendous strain to their production.
Hitting coach Johnny Narron really needs to light a fire under these guys, or I’m pretty sure he can kiss his job goodbye. Only Segura and Lucroy seem to know what to do with runners on base as they’re both hitting over .300 in those situations. When there’s days that the team literally goes 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position (July 12′s game for example), I’m surprised I haven’t thrown my computer and TV out the window. That’s just flat out unacceptable. Look, I know they’re professionals and clearly have more talent baseball wise than I ever will, but only ONE hit out of 12 attempts with guys in scoring position? Wow.
I’ll say this once, I like Roenicke, I really do. I don’t get all the hoopla I see on Twitter with the #FireRonRoenicke hogwash and what not, but the man does make his fair share of mental blunders. First and foremost, they need to check to see if the man has pulse. Much like our own Lou Olsen has alluded to before about ex-Milwaukee Brewer manager Ken Macha not having a pulse, I’m pretty sure Roenicke might be right there with him. The man literally has no fire and it’s kind of sad. I don’t necessarily want him to become the next Lou Piniella or Billy Martin, but for crying out loud Ron, you have to at least give the umps an earful every once in awhile. Defend your guys instead of letting things go by the wayside. Last night when Rickie Weeks hit that double-play grounder to second base, it’s pretty obvious he beat the throw to first, but was called out. Did you see Roenicke out there arguing? I sure didn’t.
The other issue I have with Roenicke is one I think most fans share, his ideas of when to pull pitchers. Now granted, some pitchers have really found themselves in tight jams this season, but others, I really wonder why Roenicke pulls them when he does. I’m sure if Roenicke saw the box score for a Texas Rangers’ game and saw how many pitches manager Ron Washington lets his starters have, he’d have a heart attack. Yovani Gallardo has potential, if he hasn’t already self destructed, to go 100-125 pitches a start and I feel the same for Kyle Lohse. Guys like Wily Peralta, Tyler Thornburg and Tom Gorzelanny need a little more time to get there, but for the last time Roenicke, I want to see our pitchers go into the seventh consistently, not every once in a while to where it feels like a special event.
So yeah, those are some of the costly things, at least in my mind that have affected the Brewers negatively this season. Obviously, the Ryan Braun situation and more injuries than we can account for are big factors as well, but these three really took the cake for me. What are some of your issues with the Brew Crew this season?