Home, Sweet Home for the Brewers Again in 2012
Miller Park was the frequent refueling stop for the 96-win Brewers of 2011. The team won a franchise-record 57 games at home and led
all of baseball with a .704 winning percentage. Eventually, that home success carried over into the postseason, where the Brewers won all three divisional series games en route to a series victory.
While the season may end at 162 games for the Brewers this season, there is no question that Miller Park is where they are most comfortable–think legs up and reclining in a brand new leather sofa type of comfortable.
Through 61 home games, Milwaukee has posted a 35-26 record, good for seventh in the National League. Normally, being the seventh-best home team out of 16 wouldn’t be worthy of merit, but for a 54-64 overall team 17.5 games back in the division, that record is one of the season’s bright spots.
Each of the last eight games at Miller Park have gone the way of the Brewers, including a three-game sweep of the first-place Reds. They’ve only lost one out of their last 12 home series after taking the first two games in a four-game set against Philadelphia. There’s just something about the crowd, running sausage costumes, and rolling out of barrels that brings out the team that we expected to see before the season began.
But then there are the road woes.
At 19-38, the Brewers have the third-worst road record in the MLB. For some inexplicable reason, everything that clicks in unison at home falls apart at the hinges on the road; for example, the offense OPS’s .808 at home compared to their .678 mark as the away team (by comparison, Cody Ransom has a .701 OPS).
Ron Roenicke has to lose sleep at night over the fact that his team can sweep the division leader in front of their home fans, then go on the road and drop five of six to the two teams with the worst records in baseball, then return home and play like, dare I say, a Playoff team again.
The Brewers were by no means road warriors last season, either. Instead of flat-out playing befuddled on the road as they have this year, they managed a 39-42 (.481) record away from Miller Park. For the sake of hypothesizing, let’s say the Brewers were able to play .460 ball away from home (I mean, if the Royals can do it…), they would have seven to eight more wins. That’s a 61-57 record. Currently, they’d only be four games back of Pittsburgh for the second Wild Card spot. Hypothesizing done.
Corey Hart hits 68 points higher at home than away and 18 of his 23 long balls have come at home, as well. Braun has hit 19 of his league-leading 32 homers and owns an OPS of over 1.023 in Milwaukee. Aramis Ramirez is batting .318 with a .392 OBP, ten homers, and 43 RBI. Martin Maldonado is hitting .326 with a .944 OPS. Heck, even Bernie Brewer is batting .300 at Miller Park.
Regardless of the road woes, this has been a (for the most part) fun team to watch at home (minus all those blown leads). When they’re at the friendly confines of Miller Park, they win (knock on wood), so head out and check their misleading 54-64 record out in person!