Milwaukee Brewers Start is Historically Bad

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The start of the 2015 season has gone completely against the script for the Milwaukee Brewers.  Yes, it is very early and I know there are another 159 games to go this year.  But, some of the things that Milwaukee has been doing is uncharacteristic from the Brewers teams of recent memory. They have had bad pitching and their offense has been slow out of the gates.

The Brewers have started 0-3 or worse in three seasons before this.  In 1970, the Brewers first year in Milwaukee, the Brewers started 0-3; in 2011, the Brewers would start 0-4; and in 2003, the Brewers had their worst start ever, beginning the season with 6 straight losses.

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Interestingly enough, each of these previous three seasons was the first season of a new manager for the Brewers:

  • In 1970, Dave Bristol managed his first season in Milwaukee and would coach until he was fired in 1972, 30 games into the season.  He finished with a record of 144-209, for a .408 winning percentage.
  • In 2003, Ned Yost became the manager of the Milwaukee Brewers and would coach until 2008, when he was fired 12 games before the end of the season.  Yost would finish with a record of 457-502 for a winning percentage of .477.
  • In 2011, Ron Roenicke took over as Brewers manager.  Before the season began, Roenicke has a record of 335-313, for a winning percentage of .517, as Brewers manager.

Starting the season on a losing streak hasn’t always meant the Brewers were going to have a bad season.  In 2003, losing their first 6 games of the season led to a final record of 68-94.  In 2011, losing their first 4 games of the season led to a final record of 96-66 and a trip to the National League Championship Series, where they lost in 6 games to the Cardinals.  In 1970, after starting 0-3, the Brewers finished up with a 65-97-1 record.

Losing their first three games at home has been a different tale.  In 1970, the Brewers lost their first 5 games at home, and would lose 97 games on the season.  In 2003, the Brewers would lose their first 4 home games and would lose 94 games on the season.  In 1989, the Brewers lost their first 3 games, and the finished the season at .500, 81-81.

Out of curiosity, I wanted to know if the 10-0 catastrophe on opening day was the worst opening day that Brewers fans had to endure.  The shutout to start the season was the fifth time that the Brewers have been shutout on opening day.  In 2001, the Brewers lost 1-0 in Los Angeles, against the Dodgers; in 1977, the Brewers lost 3-0 in New York, against the Yankees; in 1973, opening the season in Baltimore, the Brewers lost to the Orioles 10-0; and the worst season opener of all time, how about the Brewers first game in Milwaukee, ever.  In 1970, the Seattle Pilots moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers and their first game as the Brewers, and in Milwaukee, was a 12-0 defeat by the hands of the California Angels.

The Brewers 0-3 start is concerning as a Brewers fan, but I realize that this is something that the Brewers have bounced back from in the past.  It is way too early in the season to give up on them or to call this year a rebuilding year, but it would be nice if the Brewers could pull out a win, sooner rather than later.  They will attempt to do this as they welcome in the Pittsburgh Pirates for a three game weekend series.  Friday’s game will start at 7:10pm as the Brewers will send Mike Fiers to the mound to square off against Jeff Locke.

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