It’s no secret that the bullpen has been one of the most glaring of a slew of problems with the Brewers in 2012. As a group, Milwaukee relievers are one of the worst in the league. They boast a second-to-last batting average against, at .276, the third highest walk total with 145, and have earned more runs than everyone save the Rockies with a grand total of 157.
It’s obvious that something to needs to change.
Ron Roenicke held a closed-door meeting early this morning with his bullpen staff to try and get that change moving.
Not that it helped, obviously – as the Brewers bullpen blew a lead AGAIN today in a 7-6 loss to close out another series at the wrong end of the broom.
Obviously, the term ‘closed door’ means we don’t know exactly what he said, but he did speak with Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about it. From the gist of the article and the little information given by RR to the press on the subject, it appeared that the meeting was mainly about expectations and confidence – namely, how to get those in line with winning ball games and protecting leads.
From the sounds of the meeting, it didn’t seem like it was a chewing out necessarily, but more a “What the hell, guys?” kind of thing. I like the thought of the former far better. There’s little to lose (except more late-inning leads) by really taking this group of guys to task for squandering what has been some very high-level pitching this season. But, it seemed as if it was more focused on how – or why – the bullpen has been feeling so downright awful lately.
"“The most important thing is to get the confidence back,…However we do it. And that’s why I wanted to hear from them, too. If I can do something on my end or Rick can do something on his end to either give them more confidence or maybe to help them execute pitches better, which builds confidence, then that’s what we need to try to do.”–Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke, via Brewers.com"
Whatever is going to happen, it needs to fast. One change, probably the only change that Ron Roenicke’s tied hands can do with the ‘pen right now, is moving John Axford closer to closing again by making him the eighth inning guy for the time being. The Ax man has seemingly found his form again – in four innings pitched, he has given up no runs, walked only one, and fanned four batters – doing everything you expect him to do in some very tight situations.
Everything is up in the air right now, and pretty soon it’s going to fall. Let’s hope the bullpen knows where they’re going to land when that time comes.