By Danny Mehigan
As a baseball fan, you know that every game matters the same whether it’s played in early April or late September. Technically, a loss counts the same no matter the date. It’s under a greater microscope at the end of the year because there isn’t five months to fix your mistakes like there is nowadays.
That being said, the people who think any team’s season is over on April 21 need to check themselves before they wreck themselves. Using the Brewers as an example, considering they have been atrocious to start the ’09 season and that Crew fans think seem to that last year’s Wild Card berth demands sustained success at all times, we shall analyze their chances for success in 2009.
At this point, Milwaukee is 4-9 to start the season. They never were five games under .500 during the 2008 season, but they were four games under many times – even as late as May 26 (23-27).
After some serious scientific calculations, I have deduced that the Brewers have played 13 games. That leaves them with 149 remaining. The Brewers have played 8% of their schedule. 8%!! If you really think the season is over with more than 90% of the games to go, well, I don’t even need to come up with a witty comment to make fun of you for your nonsensical ramblings. As my man Billy Madison said, “TAKE IT EASY, PSYCHO!”
For another comparison, the first game of a NFL season accounts for 6% of the schedule. Considering that the Brewers have had a tough schedule so far, my fair comparison is that the Packers played at the Chargers in Week 1 and lost by two touchdowns. Yeah, that would be frustrating, but not all is lost. You’re only 0-1. Nine wins can get you into the playoffs and 10 almost definitely will. There’s still a chance to win 15! GO PACK GO!
In their last 11 games, Milwaukee is 3-8. Sounds pretty awful, right? In 2008, 28 of the 30 major league teams had at least one stretch of only three wins in 11 games or worse. The only teams not to suffer like that: the Boston Red Sox and the American Angels of California and in particular Orange County, Los Angeles and Anaheim. Or whatever they’re called nowadays. Guess what though?? Both the Sawx and the Angels had 10-game stretches of 3-7.
The moral of the story is that nobody wants to start out the season playing like shit. But teams that struggle for a small percentage of the season are not forced to disband, not forced to play in AAA, not even forced to forfeit games against the first-place team!
To finish this section, we’re going to play a one question trivia game: By going 5-for-5 on Tuesday against the Phillies, Ryan Braun sent his average from a dismal, “he’s not even good” .222 to a robust, perennial all-star like .300.
Q: Do you know in which part of the season one game can skyrocket an average by 78 points?
A: The part that doesn’t mean shit!
Still, there’s a lot of shit that nees to get fixed as soon as possible. For one, they need to find some pitchers that throw the ball over the damn plate. It is literally disgusting how many walks the Brewers pitchers have given away. Most of those runs come around to score, and it’s no coincidence. The defense gets bored, everyone gets frustrated and the opposition doesn’t even have to try to score runs. They just stand there.
The bullpen needs to hold onto the lead on the rare occasion that a starter gives them one. Carlos Villanueva was never meant to be the full-time closer, but it would have been nice of him to lock down a few more scoreless innings while Trevor Hoffman was hurt. On that note, Hoffman will be joining the team this weekend in Houston after he finishes up a rehab assignment. Todd Coffey is a badass, and Mark DiFelice has been very good – but they rest of ’em are bums.
The Brewers need to start making contact. It seems like the hitters have been more patient and are striking out less, but after very limited research, either I’ve confused myself or the hitting was even worse last year. Before the Philly series started (so through 12 games), there were already six Brewers with 10+ strikeouts. Hit the damn ball! Literally nothing good can come out of a strikeout – at least make the defense field the ball.
There’s probably more to bitch about, but the Crew currently has a 3-0 lead in the 8th inning … plus I’m at work, so I probably should be, you know, doing something work-related.