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2008 Brewers = 2006 Indians?


I was just thinking about how high mine and many others expectations were for the Brewers going into this season and couldn't help but think of the Cleveland Indians team going into the 2006 season. After the 2005 season the young Indians team had finished with a 93-69 record in 2nd place and were a popular pick to win their division in 2006. The core of the team was full of relatively young players, Martinez, Hafner, Sizemore, Pheralta, Blake. The pitching staff had one ace pitcher, Sabathia, and a few other decent pieces like Lee and Westbrook with a sort of cobbled together bullpen.

 

The team went out in 2006 and put up a 78-84 record and finished in fourth place. Their pythagorean W/L predicted a 89-73 record for them in 2006 but for some reason they just couldn't seem to win. The offense didn't drop off, but the pitching regressed a little but still the young team lost a lot more games than expected given the talent and stats.

Offense

2005 .271/.334/.453 as a team finishing 5/3/3 in the league in the respective stats and scoring 790 runs

2006 .280/.349/.457 as a team finishing 4/3/4 in the leage and scoring 870 runs

 

Pitching

2005 Team ERA 3.61 for 1st in league, #4 in K's, and #2 in BB's, allowed 642 runs

2006 Team ERA 4.41 for 6th in league, #13 in K's and #2 in BB's allowed 782 runs

 

Basically the offense improved but the pitching gave up a few more runs, K'd a few less guys but overall didn't drop to the worst staff in the league. Maybe this is just an example of a fairly young team learning to play the game and do the little things right that are hard to measure with stats like baserunning, defense, timely hitting/good AB's in late situations, not walking guys in key situations, etc.

 

I don't know what it means for the Brewers but the general disappointment many felt with the 2006 Indians drop off just seemed to push to look into it more since I remembered them as a young an upcoming team which I feel the Brewers are.

 

The early season Brewers problems seem to be running deeper than just missing a few of the little things as they have had some sharp drops in a few areas but again they are a very young team that may need to just play more to get it all going at once.

Brewers offense

2007 .262/.329/.456 good for 11 / 11 / 2 in the league. I guess I didn't realize how much they relied on the HR last year.

2008 .241/.319/.389 good for 14 / 11 / 12 in the league. Avg. is a little lower but wow what a drop in SLG

 

Pitching

2007 Team ERA 4.41 for 9th in the league, 3rd in K's and 4th in BBs.

2008 Team ERA 4.57 for 13th in league, 11th in K's, and 14th in BBs. Wow, not K'ing anyone and putting a lot on via the free pass. even with an improved D (which I know is a point of contention) more balls in play via no K's and more free passes is putting guys on base. Frankly I am surprised the team ERA isn't worse. I know Fatter than Joey has been pointing out the BB's issue quite a bit (as others probably have as well.).

 

The Brewers may be a young upcoming team but they need to seriously improve the offense even off of last year's numbers which outside of the big power really weren't that good. As dismal as this year's production seems the only real difference is the lack of HR's since the team really wasn't that great at BA or OBP last year.

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