Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Back Under .500

We've discussed this at length many times, that baseball, yes, it's a humbling game. It's also a long season, one with many up and downs. But even if you have faith in the Brewers to turn it around, you can't deny that these last five games have been tough to watch. The Brewers drop another one tonight to the Marlins, 6-2. In fact, in five games against the Fish this year, the Crew have only scored 8 runs. What's this team's problem right now? Haudricourt thinks the Brewers go as Fielder goes. Others say perhaps the lineup needs tinkering. Who knows, maybe we're just not the same team without Gabe Gross. Personally, I just think that no one is performing to their abilities, and no one seems to have any urgency to do so.

Take tonight for example. 6th inning, two on, two out. Hall is at the plate with a 3-2 count. Is there honestly anyone out there that didn't think he was going to strike out? And Dave Bush is going to need to pitch a lot better than that if he is going to fill the void left by Yovani Gallardo.

The biggest problems to me are Weeks, Fielder, Hall, and Hardy. Our young infield of stars. Fielder is only hitting .248, and any success he's had this year has been quiet. Hall is hitting .210, and other than a few home runs, has done relatively nothing. Hardy is batting .231, and seems clueless batting in front of the pitcher. And what about Weeks, our leadoff hitter? .194. On May 7th. That's down right awful.

Should there be a radical lineup change, similar to what the Tigers are trying? My friend put together this lineup: Hart, Kendall, Braun, Fielder, Cameron, Hall, Hardy, Weeks, Pitcher. I'd say it's worth a shot, if not for one game. Any other suggestions, or should we stick with what we got? I'm interested in your thoughts, leave them in the comments.

I'm trying to stay as positive as I can, because again, I know it's early. I know this. But it's starting to feel like I'm writing recaps for the Bucks because of how rough things have been lately, and that's never good.

Lastly, is there an easier ticket to get in all of sports than a Florida Marlins game? How can they not draw a decent home crowd, even when they are playing well?

Box Score.

TBC's Player of the Game: Thought about giving it to Big Red, but we'll throw it to Weeks for the home run.

(AP Photo/Alan Diaz)


Unknown said...

how bout this lineup

1. CC CF
2. Sprades 2B
3. Coyne C
4. Lettau LF
5. Fred Slacks 1B
6. Willie SS
7. Winks RF
8. Gweeds 3B
9. Shep P


Unknown said...

Thats how the line up looks if we need to play any games down in Nashville.

Go pack

Anonymous said...

As much as it sucks, Weeks probably has to stay up top. He does score alot of runs and his OBP isn't good but its not really god awful either. Average isn't a good indicator for a leadoff hitter. I still would like to see him swing at the first pitch once.

Taking Hart, our best hitter with RISP, out of the 5 spot is dumb. Kendall should never, ever sniff the top part of the lineup, he hits too many ground balls(DP possibilities), and his 1st to 3rd speed sucks. Plus his .280 avg is still feasting off a huge first 2 weeks. Cameron has good speed and has decent patience, which makes him a good bet for the 2 spot.

Seriously, its not like guys at the bottom of the order are hitting better and warrant a move to the top. There really is no justification to change the lineup. And tinkering for the sake of tinkering is dumb. Plus I recall people bitching about that last year because Ned kept doing it.

And I still don't know why people are hung up on the pitcher batting 8th. According to stat-God Bill James, statistically it doesn't do any worse, and infact makes more sense when you have a leadoff hitter with some power, and a ground ball, contact hitter who can bat 9th.

Bottom line, when the entire lineup struggles whats the point in switching people around.

Winks said...

Travis, that is hilarious.

Although I'm not sure if CC could cover enough ground in center field.

Anonymous said...

haha coyne. Gweeds gets not only a spot 3rd but a bench spot as well. Multi-talented.

Anonymous said...

Hey winks I wrote the "humbling game" post yesterday. I like how you write and how you do not have a sky is falling mentality that is why I check your blog (Also you posted my 2008 Brewers video from youtube awhile back).

I agree with you, this lineup is stuck in the mud right now. Maybe shaking things up would help or possibly benching a few guys for a couple games to light a fire under their butt would work too. I do know that if this team does not turn it around sometime Melvin may pull an '82 on Yost and fire him like the crew fired Buck Rodgers and hired Harvey Kuenn.

Anonymous said...

first off i should never play 3rd second i must be real good if i can start and play the bench.

Winks said...

thanks for the kind words anonymous. that video you made was what really got me in brewers fever this year.

I agree, maybe this does fall on Ned. I really think the team is missing that one ingredient to be successful. They just don't seem to have either the drive or the urgency to put everything together, and that's troubling, because this is a talented team.

Jonk said...

I really don't think the batting order makes a difference.

Using this year's ZiPS projections for the numbers, the Lineup Analysis at finds:

The current lineup projects to 4.945 runs per game.
The optimal lineup projects to 4.996 runs per game.

Current, of course, being:
Weeks, Cameron, Braun, Fielder, Hart, Hall, Hardy, (Pitcher), Kendall

Optimal, apparently, being:
Weeks, Fielder, Hall, Hart, Braun, (Pitcher), Cameron, Hardy, Kendall

The difference between 4.996 and 4.945 is much.
As long as your best hitters are batting high in the lineup, and thus getting more plate appearances over the course of the season, the order in which everybody bats really doesn't make any difference.

Could the Brewers' lineup right now use some juggling? Probably. In the grand scheme of things, does batting order matter? Not much, unless you go crazy and hit Prince eighth or something.

(For the fun of it, I just checked Winks' friend's lineup. It comes out to a... 4.848. Seems it's a bad idea.)

Jonk said...

The difference between 4.996 and 4.945 isn't much, I meant.

Anonymous said...

i know its early, but man are these games frustrating.

Anonymous said...

The only way Rickie's going to lose the leadoff spot is if he stops scoring runs. I agree that it wouldn't hurt him to drop a bunt occasionally, even if there's no one on. I eagerly await the day he realizes he's not Alfonso Soriano.

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