Baseball is long. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget just how mind-numbingly, frustratingly long a 162 game season can be. During that excruciatingly long season, it can get awful hard to see the forest from the trees. At times, the Brewers will go through hard times, but by the same token they can turn their season’s fortunes around in the span of just a few games (see: Brewers-Dodgers Series, 2012). I guess what I’m trying to say is that without an appropriate series of benchmarks, it can be awful hard to tell how the season is coming along.
Hence the birth of Reviewing the Month, an (slightly) objective look back on the Milwaukee Brewers’ month of May. I asked the staff here to put their thoughts down about how they felt about the last month, and what that meant going forward. What I got in return is a very real picture of the inside mind of a fan.And also slightly terrifying.
By The Numbers
We begin by simply laying out, in black-and-white, how Milwaukee fared in May.
Record: 12-16 (Total 23-28 by May 31st)
Games Back/Ahead: 5.5 GB by end of May
Runs Scored: 121 (Total 223)
Runs Allowed: 119 (Total 241)
BA: .246 (22nd in MLB)
RBI: 117 (15th)
HR: 24 (20th)
OPS: .706 (21st)
ERA: 3.65 (9th)
ER: 104 (22nd)
K: 233 (4th)
WHIP: 1.33 (15th)
Those are the numbers from May, which surprised me when they all kind of fell right in the middle of the pack. I had assumed that this team was nose-diving in the worst possible way, but the more I looked at the numbers the more confidence I actually gained. Here’s what some of the guys said about the month in general, including a letter grade for the team:
LOU: This month has been…hmm, the opposite of good. The Brewers May of 2012, is like the movie Cool Runnings, [except] everyone gets hurt and they are out of the race before it ever really starts. There have been some good things this month, but they are now on the DL thanks to a Samsonite full of his wife’s clothes (Lucroy). Overall Grade: F+ this team is failing top to bottom, everyone is to blame and injuries are making it worse by the day.
Brad: I agree with Steve; unless the Brewers get their crap together, we’ll be losing even more guys at the deadline.
But there is time. I think some of these injuries are being taken a bit too seriously. Obviously Lucroy is a huge blow, and it’ll be tough to score runs without his amazing RISP magic. But, in all seriousness, are we really going to miss guys like Izturis and Ishikawa? Maybe Ishikawa, but Izturis going on the DL was the only way RRR wasn’t going to put him in the lineup.
I would love to see them come back and contend with the team they’ve got now; what a season that would make for. But I don’t know if they can do it without a little help.
STEVE: Only problem [regarding injuries] is they aren’t going to be buying anytime soon. At this point, it’s much more likely they’ll be sellers. The next month is crucial. If they are 10 games out of the playoffs by July, you can kiss Greinke goodbye, and probably Marcum, K-Rod, and maybe Wolf too.
Ben: I don’t think the season is shot certainly yet, but it’s been very bleak thus far. Honestly, I don’t feel too concerned in losing anyone, unless it’s to injury. Greinke is obviously the big name, but if we do lose him at all, I feel it’ll be after the season. Now with Lucroy out, the Brewers are basically being run by Ryan Braun. It’s sad we have to rely on one guy but with a plethora of injuries it’s tough. The pitching needs to clearly figure it out. Greinke can only do so much and it’s evident. I don’t know if that’s a lack of run support (which does factor in) or just maybe the Brewers need an entire sweep (probably keeping Axford and Frankie) of the bullpen. Final Grade: F. It’s just been bad. Injuries aside, that doesn’t excuse the healthy guys. Everyone needs to figure it out, Ron Roenicke included.
Curt: Now that we’re down to our backup’s backups at shortstop, first, and starter, I think moving Hart to first is the best move for the team. That way Aoki can play almost every day in right and we don’t have to see Brooks Conrad, because Green backs up Hart when he moves to right. I’d like to see Aoki play 2/3 (maybe even 3/4) games in the outfield now because Morgan only seems effective with nobody on and Gomez is in a deep slump. The loss of Marco Estrada actually wasn’t that deflating a blow to the Brewers. He loss effectiveness around the fifth or sixth and we had to really on the bullpen anyway, if we still even held a lead. Fiers’ start Tuesday night gave me some hope for the future. FInal grade: D+. I’m the one teacher from high school whose class everyone takes because I grade a bit easier. But for as many bad games at the team had, there are glimpses that they can put it back together.
Lou:I would also like to point out that Curt has moved on from his man-crush to Brooks Conrad. And just in the nick of time. Because it turns out that Brooks Conrad sucks. Sorry, fact. I can’t believe what I am about to type on my phone (sigh)…Brooks Conrad makes me want…grrr…Mark Kotsay back.
And for clarification, every single day that Corey Hart is not playing first base, is a waste of time. We have no other true option. I hope and pray that RRR can put those pieces together for himself.
D+ is the best grade so far…ouch. Things are looking very 2002ish, wouldn’t you say?
Ben: I think (and really hope) things will turn out better than 2002. Talk about a nightmare season.