The Milwaukee Brewers have lost seven straight games now. Should fans be panicking about the way this team is playing?
For the second straight season, around the middle of July, the Milwaukee Brewers have gone on a long losing streak and allowed the Chicago Cubs to gain about five games in the division standings. Brewers fans are having shades of deja vu.
In order to avoid the same result from 2017, where the Cubs win the division and the Brewers finish just shy of a playoff spot, the Crew is going to have to right the ship pretty soon. It won’t be easy as the Brewers face the Dodgers, Nationals, and Giants to start the second half.
With the Crew being three games out of first place after their slide, losing too much more ground will be tough to come back from over the final 2.5 months of the season. But should we panic already?
Reasons to Panic
Even during the course of a 162 game season, seven game losing streaks don’t happen very often to championship level teams. Every win matters, no matter what time in the season it happens, and losing winnable games can always come back to bite a team late in September.
The Brewers have also gotten little offensive production from several positions this year. Second base, shortstop, and catcher are all positions that are among the league worst in terms of offensive production for the Crew. They’re 10th in the NL at second base, 12th in the NL at catcher, and dead last at shortstop.
The bottom of the order has been a dumpster fire for most of the season. You can’t win too many games with half of the lineup being unproductive.
The bullpen has also shown some signs of breaking down lately. While they were mostly infallible for much of the first half, they’ve been giving up a lot more runs of late. Not to mention that manager Craig Counsell has been making some bullpen decisions that have been questionable to say the least.
Reasons not to panic
While seven game losing streaks are not common, past World Series winners have gone through streaks like this before. And once a team makes it into the playoffs, the regular season doesn’t matter anymore. Whatever losing streaks or struggles that happened during July don’t matter.
Also, the Brewers have several players on the disabled list. They haven’t been fully healthy all season. Stephen Vogt and Jimmy Nelson have missed the whole season. Eric Thames missed six weeks, Zach Davies has had a couple setbacks over the past two months, Junior Guerra and Brent Suter are on the DL, and Matt Albers has been out for over a month.
These are some big name players that could be contributing to Brewers wins this season but have missed time with various injuries. The Brewers are currently fielding a team that’s filled with more Triple-A backups instead of big league starters than most other teams.
Some may be calling for GM David Stearns to make an upgrade immediately to boost this team through their struggles, but there’s still time. The Trade Deadline is 10 days away as of this writing. Stearns will make some upgrades within these next 10 days. There’s no reason to think that Stearns won’t make a trade in that time.
Fans shouldn’t worry about whether or not Stearns will make a deal. There is enough time left between now and the deadline for him to improve the ballclub.
So how much should Brewers fans be panicking about the team’s recent performance? On one hand, several of those games were winnable and the mistakes made in those games were easily preventable. On the other hand, there’s still over two months left in the season and a three game deficit is not insurmountable.
With a panic-meter that has levels called: No panic, A little panic, moderate panic, severe panic, and clean-house-call-it-a-season-panic, Milwaukee Brewers fans should only be at a little panic. While fans really shouldn’t be panicking while there’s still time left in July, losing seven in a row when several games should’ve been won during that time is a little concerning.
There’s no reason to panic about Stearns finding a trade, however. He’s going to get a deal or two done. Stearns will improve the ballclub. He’s gone all in on contending, making that clear with his acquisitions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich. He won’t sit by and not make additional improvements to this team.
There’s still two months left in the season, and that’s plenty of time for the Milwaukee Brewers to find their footing. Trying to panic now will only stress you out more than necessary.