Reasons to Worry and Not Worry About The Brewers
Milwaukee Brewers did not play good baseball to wrap up the proverbial first half of the Major League Baseball season. They scuffled their feet finishing 9-16 in the last month. That’s not going to make it back to the playoffs. Luckily for Milwaukee, the entire NL Central stayed mediocre and Milwaukee is still in the hunt for a playoff spot. If the playoffs began today in the National League, Brewers are on the outside looking in. Are there things to worry about? Sure. Are there things to be positive about too? Yes, yes they are. Let’s go through both.
Reasons to Worry: Brewers can’t seem to find the pitching – Milwaukee had issues all year with their pitching staff. Whether it’s the starters or the bullpen, they have each been a problem for the Brewers at some point this season. Jhoulys Chacin is having a regression back to earth unlike most pitchers this year. Gio Gonzalez is hurt. The young pitchers, Corbin Burnes and Freddy Peralta, didn’t pan out. The bullpen isn’t much better. Jeremy Jeffress is a shell of himself. Matt Albers can have moments but he’s questionable, which I think describes most of the bullpen besides Josh Hader.
Reason Not To Worry: Everyone in the NL Central stinks right now – Here’s the saving grace of the season. The NL Central is bad. If it were not for the NL Central playing the role of a dumpster fire, Milwaukee would not be in a position where we could still talk playoffs. But since the division is so weak, Milwaukee is right in the mix. This also means that the Brewers could have one hot stretch of games where they open some distance from the other teams. As expected, this division will go down to the wire like it did last season.
Reason to worry: Everyone seems hurt – Sure, it could be the time of the year but every Brewers player seemed to have a bump or bruise. Josh Hader has a bad back causing him to not play in the All-Star Game. The same thing could happen with Christian Yelich. Lorenzo Cain has been dealing with a thumb injury for the last couple of weeks. Ryan Braun has a sore knee. Pitchers seem to find their way to the Injured List often. Craig Counsell does a poor job with the 10-day IL and it cost Milwaukee roster spots when these guys are there.
Reason Not to Worry: All teams have these stretches – I think it is foolish to assume Milwaukee would have a perfect season. They’re just not that good. Milwaukee faced easy competition and let their foot off the gas pedal. It happens from time to time. The hard schedule out of the box might have hurt Milwaukee who played run down and ragged in the past month.
Reason to worry: The run differential tells a story – Milwaukee currently sits with a -17 run differential. That is usually a bad sign. Sure, people can point to the Miami Marlins game where they lost 16-0 and say it’s flawed. Even with that game, it’s -1. That’s not winning baseball. Every team in last year’s playoffs had a positive run differential. Colorado Rockies had the lowest at +35. For Milwaukee to reach that number, they would have to make up 52 runs in the second half. This crew might not be the same.
Good news is we all get to take a break. All-Star Game will happen on Tuesday night but other than that, this team will get going again on Friday night with a chance to go back to the playoffs for a second straight year. The road after the All-Star Break isn’t easy for the Crew, but maybe, that’s how they like it.