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Has the turnaround already begun?


joepepsi

Maybe not the dramatic run we are anxious for, but....the last 12 games the Brewers are 6-6, averaging almost 5 runs a game. They scored 3 or less in only 3 of those games. They scored 16 runs against some pretty good Red Sox pitching. In the past 12 games Braun has raised his OPS 183 points, Hardy 46 points, Hart 36, Fielder 29. Weeks has raised his 42 points in the last 5 games. Cameron's OPS has risen 130 points in the last 5 games. It may not be earth shaking, but several players are closing on in on their career lines. I no longer expect the offense to blow every single scoring opportunity in the game.

 

Here's Rickie's line in the last week:.318/.464/.455

Prince: 292/393/542

Hart: 292/320/583

Cameron: 333/417/714

Braun: 357/357/857

 

The starting pitching, despite Villty's poor start and Ben's bizarre inning against the Dodgers, has actually been pretty good. Last 12 games, 3.74 ERA, 6-1/3 innings per start. 6 quality starts, not counting 2 of Parra's nice outings when he pitched 5-2/3ip, 0runs, and 5ip, 3 runs.

 

So, should we stop whining and pay attention to the good things that have been happening most of the last two weeks? Is it time to breathe a collective sigh of relief?

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I don't know if I'm ready to "breathe a collective sigh of relief" just yet, but I do think things are starting to look up right now.

 

I just refuse to believe my summer is over on May 20-ish.

 

I do think you can see little things starting to go their way.

 

Like when Parra was pitching the other day. Not too long ago some of those balls the Pirates were fouling off would have been doubles down the line. Now maybe it's just the Pirates not being very good but I do get the feeling our team's luck is changing.

 

As you said, Weeks is starting to get some hits to fall in there now, Cameron as well. As much as some people want to change up the lineup, I think if they are going to be successful this year, the lineup they are using right now has to be the one to do it.

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I'm not sure about a colletive sigh of relief just yet, we did leave 18 men on base last night.

 

And of course, we have McClung getting ready to make a start as well.

 

And, our 2 game winning streak is against the Pirates, but at least its a 2 game streak in Pittsburgh.

 

But there are visible signs that a bit of life has been in them for the past week or so. We'll still need to play a lot better than this to really turn things around I believe, but its a start at the very least.

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So, should we stop whining and pay attention to the good things that have been happening most of the last two weeks?

http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif The first month or two's worth of stats in a season often gets more attention than the small sample of ~200 PA should. I think this is due to it showing up explicitly on scoreboards, & it being readily accessible online & other stat sources (without having to sort for month-by-month splits). What's hard to keep in mind is that the first 200 PA are no more predictive than any other sample of such a size. When hitters have slow-ish starts (happens every season), fans will sometimes overreact out of (understandable) frustration.

You wait all winter, watch the club make its offseason moves, and have nothing to do but anticipate for months. When the team that takes the field has as much talent as this year's Brewers squad, early struggles are that much more frustrating imo. It is tough to try & keep the small sample thought in mind, and many fans just start to get irritated when reminded of it.

The most encouraging sign of late to me (since I don't find our hitters' surge all that out of the ordinary) has been the pitching, namely Parra. Imho the hitting is there & will be there, but how the SPing can operate for the next 4 months will be the key to our playoff chances. Ben's looked great this season, and especially last night -- as rluz pointed out in the IGT, he touched 95 or so with his FB & threw one of his best CBs of the night (last pitch of the game) on the game's last batter. As usual, his ability to make 30 or so starts is inextricably tied to this team's playoff chances.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I'm not sure about a colletive sigh of relief just yet, we did leave 18 men on base last night.

 

Down with the LOB stat, at least if it's going to have an automatic negative connotation!

 

http://rluzinski.blogspot.com/2006/04/lob-and-fox-sports-net.html#links

 

To give LOB any kind of value, it should be divided by the total number of base runners. That gives you the total % of base runners stranded. Otherwise, it's just mostly a function of OBP, which means that the higher LOB is, the better!

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This team has never been about small ball, SP that shuts down teams and RP that can hold onto 1 run leads. It's always been about hitting so many HRs that we feel we have something to complain about -- something that has truly yet to happen this season.

 

Thus, things will have turned around when:

1) Prince hits a HR every 3-4 days.

2) Braun and Hart continue doing what they are doing (well, Braun needs to bat his usual .320-ish).

3) Hardy and Hall are doing something with the bat (Hardy is beginning to).

4) Minimal injuries and at least one call-up that starts opening some eyeballs.

5) I can finally say, "Man, Rickie has been hitting the seams off the ball these last couple of weeks!" (no pun intended, really!).

 

Honestly, while I agree LOB is not necessarily a negative stat; right now, I would be happy with regular high LOB numbers. A little consistency there would only show the need for a simple shake up in the line up -- right up Nedly's alley.

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When the team that takes the field has as much talent as this year's Brewers squad, early struggles are that much more frustrating imo.
The reverse of this is true also. Kendall's hot April has given him a free pass, apparently for the season. Most Brewer fans think his signing has been a great move. I'm not down on Kendall at all; I like him too. But in May he's hitting .228/.323/.298. No one complains though because he was hitting .424 two weeks into the season.

 

I agree Parra's last 3 starts have been very encouraging. He's quietly performing like Yovani-Lite.

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IMO, Kendall's real value is in his handling of the pitchers, and his defense in general.

 

Anything you get from him at the plate is a bonus.

 

As long as he's not hitting .200 when August comes around, I'm fine with him.

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No one complains though because he was hitting .424 two weeks into the season.

 

Royce Clayton Effect. Kendall is a great example:

 

First 8 games: .538 / .567 / .731 / 1.298 (31 PA)

Rest of the Season: .207 / .298 / .267 / .565 (131 PA)

 

If instead, he had started off with a .207 BA over the first 38 games, only to turn it on over the last 8 games, the average Brewer fan would have a completely different opinion of him. Just the way it is, I guess.

 

His overall production (.268 / .348 / .352 / .700) has been better than his preseason projections (ZiPS said .257 / .332 / .313 / .645), so it's hard for me to be disapointed. Add to that his solid defense and he's been an asset to the team so far.

 

I'll say they've "turned it around" when they're at least 1 game above .500. They have a ways to go before they are even serious Wild Card contenders at this point.

 

Agreed. While they are finally playing like they were expected to all along, they actually have to play above their heads for some time, to get back into this.

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I'd say they'll have turned it around when they start to beat above .500 teams on the road. Their defense also needs to improve if they want to start playing better as a whole, too. However it's obviously very encouraging that the offense has picked it up over the last few days, but if they're going to make the playoffs they'll have to starting hitting home runs like they did last year.
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Kendall's hot April has given him a free pass, apparently for the season. Most Brewer fans think his signing has been a great move. I'm not down on Kendall at all; I like him too. But in May he's hitting .228/.323/.298. No one complains though because he was hitting .424 two weeks into the season.

 

Great point, joepepsi -- exactly what I meant with the 'scoreboard display' mention.

 

 

IMO, Kendall's real value is in his handling of the pitchers, and his defense in general.

 

Agreed. I had no idea that Kendall was this good defensively. Honestly, his RTO% has just been a bonus imo. I take some solace that his OBP has been around a .325 level while struggling. To me that points that he's actually a viable .340-.350 OBP guy this season.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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I'll be happy if Kendall can maintain his current rate stats over the course of the year. .268 / .348 / .352 / .700.

 

They have to play better on the road, and avoid those obnoxious sweeps. Even though "strength of schedule" is less important in MLB than other sports, it does seem they've been playing some pretty tough competition so far. They need to take advantage and go on a tear when they finally get the chance to play the struggling teams this year.

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I'm not sure about a colletive sigh of relief just yet, we did leave 18 men on base last night.

 

Down with the LOB stat, at least if it's going to have an automatic negative connotation!

 

http://rluzinski.blogspot.com/2006/04/lob-and-fox-sports-net.html#links

 

To give LOB any kind of value, it should be divided by the total number of base runners. That gives you the total % of base runners stranded. Otherwise, it's just mostly a function of OBP, which means that the higher LOB is, the better!

I'm pretty sure that this would cause Bill Schroeder's head to explode.

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IMO, Kendall's real value is in his handling of the pitchers, and his defense in general.

 

Anything you get from him at the plate is a bonus.

 

As long as he's not hitting .200 when August comes around, I'm fine with him.

To me the other benefit is just plain hustle and mobility. If Kendall can even run to first every time with an attempt to get there he will break up more double plays. It killed me last year when Estrada would walk or slow-jog to first on a double play ball and give the other team the DP.

 

Rp

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Nobody's talking about pitching...we have 2 starters with ERA of 6, and outside of Big Ben, Dave Bush is our only starter anywhere close to having a decent WHIP...Not to mention our $10 million closer is out "indefinitely" and our team ERA is good for 15th in the NL.

 

We'll get our runs, and our defense is better than last year (largely due to Cameron and our new 3B situation) but I think we'll pitch our way out of contention...again.

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We know what we have with Sheets and Suppan. Parra has a decent ERA and FIP and "should" be OK this year. I hope that Bush can still be that mid to high 4 ERA pitcher that he used to look like. Big question mark for that #5 spot but frankly, how many teams don't have that same problem?

 

The startin rotation is by no means a strength but I don't know if it will be the undoing of this team, either.

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I believe the pitching will look a whole lot better once the offense becomes more consistent and starts hitting like everyone, including themselves, thought they would.

 

I'm not saying they'll magically be the best staff in the league by any means. But it helps a pitcher out a ton when they're out there with a 5-1 lead instead of only a 2-1 lead or being down 0-1. It's a lot easier to pitch when you have a bit of a cushion.

 

I do think they make a trade at some point to bring in more pitching. I wouldn't mind seeing Greg Maddux in a Brewer uniform.

 

Also a few more series against some bottom feeders, like Pittsburgh and Washington, wouldn't hurt either.

 

If Parra could be close to what Gallardo was last year, man that would be cool. He has shown some good things his last few outings, so it's not completely crazy that he could.

 

I hope they are somehow able to leave Villy in the pen, that would help some. I didn't think he was ready to be a full-time starter at the beginning of the season and I for sure don't think he is now.

 

The closer situation? I don't know. How about they just win games by 4 or more runs from now on? http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

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