Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Phillies Wash Away Brewers

Is it just me, or does it feel like something is just missing from this Brewers team? It's not CC Sabathia, or even Ben Sheets. It's certainly not Ned Yost, that's for sure. It's not the absence of guys like Brian Shouse, Gabe Gross, or Gabe Kapler either. But something, and I don't know what it is, something is missing from this club.

Even though I think they are playing smarter under Ken Macha than they ever could have under Ned Yost, I still think last year's team was more suited for a playoff run, even pre-CC. Last year's team had the unbelievable pressure of needing to be "that" team. The team that would finally squash all the talkings of the 1982 Milwaukee club, the most celebrated World Series losers of all-time. Last year, they had to make the playoffs, and even though they buckled under the pressure once they made the postseason, they still got there. I just feel like, right now at least, this team is lacking that same sort of fire, or passion, to be a memorable part of Brewers history. But even if I'm wrong, the fact of the matter is the Brewers lost again, don't look good at all, and are sitting at 4-9 and last place in the NL Central.

Tuesday's 11-4 loss to the Phillies was an extended night of pain. First, how could you not be reminded of last year's playoff series loss when the Brewers were once again back in Philly being dominated by 46-year old Jaime Moyer? It may not have had a playoff atmosphere, but the game certainly had the playoff look of it, as least aesthetically. It actually kind of felt like a strange case of deja vu, now that I think about it.

You could tell this one was over in the first inning, when the Phillies put up a four-spot against the Crew in the first inning. It wasn't all Manny Parra's fault - much of the blame can fall on J.J. Hardy's insane attempt at fielding a ground ball, in which he ran past second to try to scoop up the rock, only to accidentally run into the already injured jaw of one Rickie Weeks (who was then lifted for McGehee for the duration of the game, no word yet on his status). A five-run 5th inning by the Phillies, thanks to the erratic throwing from Jorge Julio and R.J. Swindle was also a big reason the Phillies took this one (Quick aside - Are we all aware that no Brewers starting pitcher has made it into the 7th inning yet? Isn't that just insane?)

With the Brewers down 11-3, the best thing for Milwaukee was to try to string a couple of hits together, lose Tuesday's game, but gain enough momentum to win Wednesday's. Well, their 7th inning rally was a bit disrupted thanks to a downpour on the Philadelphia region. Not that the Crew would have come back, I'm just saying it sucked to postpone a game another 78 minutes when we all knew it was over anyway.

Really, the only bright spot of this game was Ryan Braun, who went 5 for 5 with 4 RBI and 2 HR. That's a pretty solid. However, you don't win games because of one bat, and the Brewers offense couldn't do much aside from Braun. 

In short, it's only been thirteen games, but this team just doesn't seem to have it right now. It's not that they don't care - I firmly believe they do - it's just that they don't have anything to play for really. They've made the playoffs, which is the equivalent of winning the World Series for a small-market team. They know they don't have the club to win the whole thing, so with those two things, what's left to play for but fantasy stats and incentives. 

I really hate being "that fan", the one who cries the sky is falling after 2 1/2 weeks, but it's already almost to the point where I purposely look for things to do other than watch the Crew when the game is on.

Oh, how I wish that wasn't the case.

TBCPOTG: Ryan Braun.


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