Sep 11, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers (50) is restrained by pitching coach Rick Krantz after benches cleared in the fifth inning during the game against the Miami Marlins at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
No one knows what to say, usually, they say nothing after they hear my team is the Milwaukee Brewers. Sometimes a soft, “sorry”, but that’s really it. This is what it is like being a Brewer fan right now. This was not your typical season.
This one hurts so much more. This season was the worst case scenario.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL BREWER SEASON?
A. The Brewers come out of the gate strong for the first 50 games and then play average into the All-Star break, after they slowly drop off and begin building for next year.
B. Injuries decimate a typically not-very-deep baseball team, mathematically eliminated from playoffs by August.
C. It’s a rebuilding year, for small market teams, four out of every five seasons are deemed rebuilding years. (Note: Brewers are not spending small market money so this should not apply.)
WHAT EXACTLY HAPPENED NOW?
The Brewers were division leaders through approximately 130 games and then all fell apart. Had the team literally quit and forfeited all remaining games the result would not had been different. I could have pitched every game and the result would have been the same. Essentially, the team went first to worst (figuratively speaking) in a matter of 20 games and then got worse…
Yes, did I mention the first 130 games? That was a lot of fun. Of course Jonathan Lucroy’s break-out year and a plethora of starting pitching was nice to see and should be part of the foundation going forward. Mike Fiers. That was amazing.
This is what makes this so difficult. At 130 games you could praise everyone: Mark Reynolds was holding up his end of the bargain by hitting bombs and playing defense at first, the Scooter Gennett and Rickie Weeks platoon was working and somehow everyone was playing nice in the outfield. Then everyone stopped hitting and there were not enough fingers to point out the issues. Offensively, everyone stunk. Everyone. The defense wasn’t much better, but it wasn’t as dramatic as the offense. The pitching hit a rough patch, but came back to find its footing; however, the offense never did…left dead after 130 games.
You can debate (and we will) until red in the face over whether this is Doug Melvin, Ron Roenicke, or the players’ fault. All are somewhat responsible. Melvin put together a team that was all or nothing – the surprise was how they were “all” for so long. Roenicke wasn’t able to pull this team out of the one of the biggest tank jobs of all-time. As for the players, well, the lack of team runs and individual player stats (all nosedived in the final 6 weeks) speak for themselves.
Will Ron Roenicke be fired? Can the Brewers sign an impact first-baseman? Can Gennett be productive for a full season against righties and lefties? Was this just a down year for Jean Segura or is this what can be expected? Aramis Ramirez’s mutual option? Yovani Gallardo’s option? Does Ryan Braun stay in right and Khris Davis continues to start in left? Two months ago these weren’t questions that needed a lot thought given everything was working. Now, everything needs to be reworked.
Should the Brewers decide to stay status quo after the collapse of 2014 – then I stand corrected and that would be the worst case scenario.