Best and Worst: Brewers vs. Reds
Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers may have had their first real look at potential this series, as the team both scored 10 runs in one game and allowed just two runs twice. Of course they lost two of those three games, and three of the four in the series, but Brewers fans are taking the small victories as they come right now.
That said, the team is now 3-13 on the season. They have the worst ranked offense and pitching staff, and have nearly the worst fielding percentage. It’s a worse combination than the 43-win 2003 Detroit Tigers, though that team kept it up over 162 games, which is unlikely to happen here.
1. Elian Herrera came to the team with the move that sent Scooter Gennett to the disabled list (see the THE WORST section). The move was an obvious one given Herrera’s .422/.500/.644 slash line in 11 games with AAA Colorado Springs.
His power surge continued when he hit a grand slam in the team’s 16-10 loss on Tuesday. In an unfunny way, it’s funny to see Herrera tied for third on the team with 5 RBI after playing just three games with the club.
2. Adam Lind had finally begun cooling off when he had another outstanding offensive performance yesterday, hitting an early home run and a double and single to go 3 for 4 and once again push his batting average north of .300, where it has been in all but the last two games.
3. Jimmy Nelson went 8 innings and gave up just 1 run, leaving Wednesday’s game with a tie, which Francisco Rodriguez eventually blew. Nelson has now given up just 3 earned runs in 20 innings (1.35 ERA), the only starting pitcher on the team with an ERA under 5.00 (!).
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4. Kyle Lohse had an important bounce-back start yesterday, when he went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs, striking out 4 and walking one. This brings his ERA just under 8, which speaks for itself, but the pitching staff has shown promise in the last two games.
5. The team scoring 10 runs was outstanding, and it hardly mattered to me that they gave up 16. Just like the team and fans are waiting desperately for the pitching to improve, they’re also waiting for the offense. Two-hit games for Herrera, Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, and Jason Rogers were satisfying.
1. The team. The team is the worst in the league.
2. Goodness, the injuries. With Carlos Gomez– arguably the team’s greatest MVP candidate– already on the DL, the Crew lost Scooter Gennett and then Jonathan Lucroy to injury. Gomez and Lucroy are the two best players on the team (thought they admittedly hadn’t played like it), and if the Crew was the worst team in the league with these guys, performing without them isn’t looking good.
3. Wily Peralta has given up 10 earned runs in his last 12 innings (6 in 7 innings vs. Reds) after opening the year with a quality start. Early on, just he and Nelson were sitting on good ERAs, and now Nelson stands alone.
4. Mike Fiers is off to a very disappointing start after speculation that he could be the team’s best pitcher in 2015. He headed the 16 run “performance” by the Crew, giving up 4 earned (and 4 unearned) runs in 4 innings while walking 3 and striking out 4.
So far Fiers’ ERA in odd numbered years is 6.69 over 39 innings. In even years it’s 3.16 over 199 1/3 innings.
5. While the team showed more fight this series than they have all year, these last four games have left the Crew with an unenviable position. Their pitching staff is bad, their offense is bad, and their two best players are on the disabled list.
Pete previewed the team’s series against the Cardinals, which begins tonight. The Red Birds have a top 5 offense and the number 1 pitching staff in the league. As Pete lays out, it’s the Brewers struggling pitching staff against a rolling St. Louis one. The Crew’s first series win may have to wait.