Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Reality bites

In reflecting on last night’s game, I had to ask myself: What were you expecting?

Honestly, what did I think was going to happen this season?

After 2008, I had certain expectations. When Sports Illustrated picked Milwaukee to finish third in the NL Central this year I was surprised. Really, only third? SI doesn’t know anything. This was based more on hope than any sort of analysis.

But with 84 games now played, I need to be realistic. The Brewers are not going to make the playoffs and they are going to have a hell of a time getting to .500.  Wow. It is sort of difficult to admit to that in writing even though it was probably evident from the minute they signed Doug Davis. Don’t get me wrong, I still want Milwaukee to win every game and I feel a certain level of disappointment every time they lose, but that expectation is probably just wrong. In other words, don’t trade for Cliff Lee.

After a couple of weeks of good baseball, the Brewers have dropped three in a row—the last two to the Giants who had won one of their previous nine games. The three losses can be attributed to poor defense and hitting. A botched double play ball by Craig Counsell in the sixth inning Tuesday night led to four unearned runs for San Francisco and an ultimate 6-1 loss. The Brewers have now allowed 12 unearned runs in the three losses. Meanwhile the Brewers were 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position on Tuesday, after going 0 for 12 on Monday and  0 for 2 on Sunday.  I cannot remember the last time Summer Boyfriend got a hit. His batting average is now down to .287.

So, what are my expectations? I expect major league baseball players to field their positions. (Yes, Alcides Escobar is a rookie so he isn’t going to make every play. I noticed he spent most of Tuesday’s game with Willie Randolph draped all over him. This is a good start. Rickie Weeks should be fighting Escobar for Willie’s love.) I expect Ryan Braun to pretend that he likes playing in Milwaukee and to put this slump to bed. Now. (He’s back to batting third in the order. I hate to think that the move from third to fourth has been the reason for the slump because we all know it’s just a matter of time until Fielder is gone …) The pitching has been better (although Gallardo was placed on the DL) so I want consistency. And I expect the Brewers to finish ahead of the Cubs in third place in the NL Central.

You know, if they could just win 10 in a row, they'd be right back in this thing. Seriously. The Cardinals and Reds aren't that good. 

Giants 6, Brewers 1
Game played 7-6-10

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