Sunday, May 16, 2010

Rock Bottom Came Early This Season

Last year on July 28th, I went to Miller Park to watch a game between the Brewers and the Washington Nationals and did not get sent home happy. The Brewers lost 8-3 that day, but clearly in baseball you can't win every game so it wasn't the loss that bothered me so much. What bothered me was that the Brewers just didn't bring anything to the table that game. In front of their home crowd, they played so flat, it was appalling. It was one of the most disappointing nights of mine as a sports fan in Wisconsin.

The night was so depressing for me, when I got home I searched for a picture of a tombstone, posted it on the blog, and declared that the season was over. Sure, late July is a tad too early to declare that the season is over, but I felt like the Brewers had hit rock bottom at that point and there was no chance of recovering. This year, you gotta think that an 0-6 homestand is about as rock bottom as it gets. Thankfully though, if you're going to struggle it's a lot better to do it in the middle of May than the end of July.

I'd have to imagine that anyone that went to any of these games this week couldn't have had too good of a time (without alcohol) and may be feeling similar to how I felt at that game last July. It's one thing to struggle and maybe go on a losing streak on the road, but to do it at home in front of your home crowd is a little discouraging. I'm not taking anything away from the Braves or the Phillies, they are competitive squads, but for the Brewers not to have won any of these six games is a joke.

The series finale, and homestand finale, was lost by Milwaukee 4-2, despite a decent effort from the Brewers pitching staff. Dave Bush did nothing to help his WHIP giving up nine hits and four walks in six innings, but he did hold the Phillies to to three runs, which is respectable enough. The bullpen pitched well enough too, except for the part when Gregg Zaun couldn't handle a Carlos Villanueva slider. The ball got away from Zaun and the Phillies scored their fourth and final run of the game, even though Villanueva struck out Chase Utley for what should have been the third out with that very same slider.

Offensively the highlights were relegated to one inning, which was the 6th inning when Casey McGehee and Corey Hart hit back-to-back home runs. The Brewers brought the game to within one at that point, and I figured at the end of the inning they were going to get a pretty nice applause from the Miller Park crowd for their efforts, and for the optimism that a comeback was coming. But the crowd support seemed notably silent, and I guess that is to be expected when you're exhausted from watching your team lose six games in a row at home.

I don't know, I mean it's clear that this is a young season, but it's also clear that this team is not as good as we thought they could have been. If we're a bad team, we're a bad team, but to come and lose six straight games at home in front of a fanbase that wants nothing more than to root for winning baseball, it's frustrating. We'll leave the tombstone picture away for now as our record is still just 15-22, somehow it seems worse than that. I just don't think that at any point this season things will be worse than they are right now, so rock bottom has been proclaimed. Please don't prove me wrong, Brewers.

POTG: This was a tough one. I was going to give it to Hart on consecutive nights, but he swung at a 3-0 pitch at one point, got out, and ending the inning. Dumb. Let's give it to Casey Mac.


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