There are just 83 days left until Opening Day and today Reviewing the Brew is looking back at the Brewers 2012 when the Brewers won 83 games and finished 3rd in the NL Central. This certainly wasn’t the worst season in Brewers history (that happened in ’69 when the Brewers were still the Seattle Pilots and they compiled a 64-98 season) but it wasn’t a great season either.
They were 5 games out of the Wild Card that year so they weren’t really close to making the playoffs, posting an attendance of 2,831.385. Going into August 20, they were 19 games behind and in last. They did manage to win 6 games in September, so they sort of made a run at the Wild Card. It didn’t really make sense to, and really this year was really the beginning of the (undeniable) rebuild the Brewers are going through.
2011 saw a 1st place finish in the NL Central, the Brewers winning the NLDS and losing in the NLCS to the Cardinals 4 GM-2 Gm, so coming into 2012 the expectations were even higher than a 1st place finish and loss in the NLCS. Injuries and blown saves attributed to underachieving and saw Grienke shipped to the West Coast for Jean Segura.
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Hitting the ball really wasn’t an issue as the Brewers led the NL in home runs (202), runs batted in (741), slugging percentage (.437), runs (776) and finally led the league in stolen bases (158). Their starting rotation, however, TOTALLY different story. You can chalk it up to injures or beat up veterans (that’s putting it nicely if you were to ask some). Chris Narveson missed the entire season with a torn rotator cuff, it felt like Shawn Marcum always had a sore elbow, and Randy Wolf—yeah. Overall the rotation finished with a 3.99 ERA and struck out 875 batters.
Then there was the bullpen…it was horrible, to say the least. They had the worst ERA (4.66) and John Axford alone blew more saves than any other team in MLB (29), oh and yes that wasn’t a typo more than any other team-not player.
2012, was in my humble opinion, the start of the Brewers rebuilding process. One that continues into the coming season and that is why it made our Opening Day Countdown.