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07/22/2004 - Brewers (Sheets) at Cardinals (Marquis)


Right now the Brewers offense is so frustrating that it puts a pall over the whole experience of watching the team. They're better than they were last year due to the pitching, but it's pretty clear they have a lot of work left to do. I don't think the offense is quite this bad, but it's pretty clear that the offense is bad, primarly due to a lack of slugging. Remember the team that used to at least hit some doubles?


BTW, the Brewers playoff chances are pretty close to zero now. The Brewers would have to go 43 and 25 the rest of the way for 90 wins, the usual playoff threshold. That calls for a .632 winning percentage the rest of the way. Maybe a couple of games less than that will do it this year, but I see no evidence that the Brewers are capable of playing much better than .500 ball the rest of the way.


At least Doug Melvin's decision making process is easier. Who knows, if he acquires some young talent that can hit a little, the Brewers might even improve after selling off some veterans. There are so many interchangable middle infielders on this team, that it's hard to see the team getting a whole lot worse if the only pitcher they trade is Vizcaino.



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Remember the team that used to at least hit some doubles?



It seems to me that teams are playing Overbay a good bit deeper now. His doubles pace has slowed down as a result. A lot of his doubles early in the season were of the warning track fly ball variety that short hopped the fence. Now it seems that teams are making a conscious effort to cut down on those and accept the dink and dunk singles that fall in.


Maybe it's just a perception issue, but that's what I'm seeing.

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FWIW, here are the team splits (BA/OBP/SLG) by month.


April .256/.336/.430

May .248/.316/.372

June .267/.343/.402

July .244/.312/.344

Overall .255/.327/.388


There's not much to say except the slugging is the big variable and April looks like the exception. This is basically a .250-ish BA team whose walk rate is fairly steady.


OBP-BA by month, .080, .068, .076, .068.


We knew that this team likely would have a problem with slugging going into the year and that's basically the team's major problem. Lyle Overbay is the only regular with a SLG greater than .435. For whatever reason, including tougher competition, the team's slugging has disappeared in July along with the remnants of the offense.



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If you want to see how powerless this teams is, just look at the players' IsoP. Over 200 is considered a decent power hitter. Currently no one is over that, with Overbay at 194. Jenkin is at 185 which would have some meaning if he wasn't hitting 247. After Jenkins comes Ginter at 171. But to get a true feel of how powerless this team is, look at the hitters that have IsoP below 100. Clark currenty is just above it at 102. Below it are Helms, Counsell, and Bennett.
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Well......The offense is starting to look like an NCAA softball game. Thank God for the pitching. Most of us remember the 1999 team that was almost the opposite of this one. They one, like 74 game and had serious pitching issues. Now we get to be the hitless, or rather the "anti-clutch" team.


I'm not sure if God or clutch hitting exists, but I do know that evil and anti-clutch does.



One other thought, since Ned had a interesting line up for tonight, here is my stab at a unique one for tomorrow against Roger:











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This shouldnt come as a suprise,the lack of power on this team has been glaring for a long time,you cant score without it.I certainly dont want to put undue blame on just the RF's for this considering the power shortage runs through the team,but our RF's have hit 1 home run in the last 2 months


A corner OF position with 1 home run in a month,Cristian Guzmán has 3 in that time span.Now that's sad.

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Well, last week someone said (JaNelson, I believe) "Generally, if you walk 9 times in a game, you'll at least score a few runs"


Actually, that was me, too.


And tonight,


"we DID get ten hits"


Yep, that was me.


Bill, I'm sorry if you feel like I'm picking on you today man!




I think we're beyond the point of making shallow excuses for the offense and believing an outburst is around the corner.


Are either of the above statements not true? Drawing nine walks in a game is a good thing. Getting ten hits in a game is a good thing. If we did either of those things every game, it would be an improvement over what we are doing now.


What, exactly, is the point of ignoring any positives in favor of unrelenting criticism? What is a reasonable reaction to our offense's ineptitude?






I just don't get the desire many people have for everyone to criticize the offense lest they be "accepting failure" or "making excuses". Can't one enjoy the team, look for positives, derive enjoyment from the wins, and yet still recognize that we are a terrible offensive club? What is the point of only emphasizing the negatives? Because they are more "true"? Who cares?


But EVERY TIME WE LOSE lately, there's a dozen posts about how "we shouldn't be dissapointed because we never expected to be this good in the first place."


I'm sorry. It's getting old. Of course we didn't expect to be .500 on July 22. But 6-13 in the last 19 games, against divisional foes no less, with an offense that's bordering on becoming the worst in the league...........


The fact that we're .500 doesn't mean I'm not sick of watching this offense squander runner after runner and fail to score on a nightly basis against mediocre to decent pitchers.


And you have every right to be "sick of watching this offense." But others have every right to enjoy the team's successes and point out the positives of otherwise-depressing losses. There's no need to enforce "negativity purity" on everyone. It's not like the negatives aren't getting discussed ad nauseam.


I like to focus on the positives. That shouldn't impact anyone else's enjoyment or lack thereof of the Brewers.


And really, your indictment of what I said is off the mark. After highlighting some positives, I added "I'm not saying we oughtn't complain, but let's try to keep this civil." That's all. No more, no less.


If you don't want to hear about the positives, like the fact that we got ten hits tonight or the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers are a .500 team in late July 2004, then just turn on your personal "ignore" button.



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If you don't want to hear about the positives, like the fact that we got ten hits tonight or the fact that the Milwaukee Brewers are a .500 team in late July 2004, then just turn on your personal "ignore" button.


Bill, nobody wants to ignore the positives. We are happy to be .500 considering our expectations at the start of the year. But to be a .300 ball club over the last 15 or 20 game reeks of what we did a few years ago.


Bill, just like the sky is not falling in, also, we are not a bunch of fairies dancing around the garden in blissful ecstasy. For you to treat us with such disdain is not very helpful.


We had a chance, we had a window of opportunity, we knew what our shortcomings were, and management have sat on their hands. Let us be unhappy about that. It stinks.

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Let us be unhappy about that. It stinks.


I'm not saying you can't be... I'm unhappy about it too. But that's not mutually exclusive with emphasizing the positives, and so there's no reason to get upset at me (or others) who do so.


Again, I never implied that anyone ought not be critical of the team. Quite the opposite, others (RoCo http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif ) implied that I ought not be positive about the team. That's all I'm taking issue with.



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Well I'll add the following opinions. I'm fairly impressed that many of us seem to be quickly moving through the morning phase as we eulogize the dream of the late June Brewers 2004. I think that's a positive, because at this point the year has been an unbelieveable success in team building.


Many are pointing back to Spring training when the popular opinion was that the team lacked power...... Boring! I want to talk about what the real weakness of the team was then pitching! Specifically starting pitching as we kind of thought the bullpen would be OK. What did we need absolutely the most to jump to contender status? A real my god we're glad we don't haveto face him ace. We'll surprisingly Ben finally turned into that player, and despite the minor league injuries we still have quite a few starting pitching prospects AA and higher who could fill in other spots in the rotation. But it gets better! Not only did we get ourselves an ace, but we found 3 other guys (Capuano, Davis, and Santos) who while probably not the #2 starters they've been this year will slot nicely as a middle of the rotation in the future, and were still finding out about Hendrickson. We could very well go into next year with the same rotation with no obvious reason to talk about wanting serious competition in spring training, just looking for depth!!!!!

And this all is more significant because the critic was yeah well the farm system has hitters (quite specifically some serious power hitters), but trying to build a pitching staff is tough whilethe hitters can come together fairly quickly.

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Bill, I did not mean to imply that others should share my woeful vision of the Brewers at this stage.


Rather than say that you should not look for positives, I should rather have said that I don't view 10 hits as a positive, when it nets zero runs. Normally, I'd agree that yes, when we're getting 10+ baserunners in a game, that's a good sign, but that's the 2nd time it's happened in less than a week, en course to 2 shutouts. That's not encouraging to ME that we get 10+ runners a game and utterly fail to bring them around.



I hope this clears things up a little, as I was NOT trying to convey that people (and specifically you Bill) should not look for positives, I was only disagreeing that 10 hits is a positive sign.


Knowing that you love to debate this stuff, I'm hoping my clearing up of this issue will allow us to continue to beat this subject around. http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/wink.gif

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