Posted by Steve
I realized with the complaining about Counsell in the lineup so frequently I may seem like I’m trying to find something to complain about during a very good stretch, but that isn’t the case. The Brewers are playing well again—the pitching in particular has been outstanding. Against the lowly Nationals, the Crew’s starting pitchers had a ridronkulous 0.58 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. The most encouraging part of that series, to me, was the outing of Ben Sheets. It was his first great outing since June 23, and it put to bed any suspicions of a tired arm (I’m sure the extra day of rest helped too).
One last thing about the Nationals series. Yost had a comment about it being a no-win series, because even if they swept, big deal. They were “supposed” to sweep. Ned’s right, because a lot of people definitely had that attitude, but it isn’t accurate. Although the Brewers have been involved in three this season, four-game sweeps are rare. Even the best team in baseball will lose to the worst about 35% of the time. In other words, you can’t really “expect” a sweep. Sure, a split would have been disappointing, but a four-game sweep is icing on the cake.
Speaking of sweeps, the Brewers are now 8-2 since The-Series-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. They have gained 1.5 games on the Cubs since that series and three on the Cardinals. A three-game lead in the wildcard isn’t a big deal yet, but it’s nothing to sneeze at either (question: What is something to sneeze at?). If anything, I hope this once and for all stops the “Oh man, this is the type of loss that could derail a team” thoughts that keep popping up. Momentum, by and large, does not exist in baseball. Other examples: The horrific game in Arizona in which the Brewers allowed five runs in the ninth without recording an out was followed by three straight wins. A 19-5 drubbing of the Brewers by the Cubs was followed up with arguably their best win of the year—a 4-3 comeback win in extra innings over the Cubbies. Conversely, it doesn’t work the other way either. A big win won’t cause a winning streak. After that 4-3 win over the Cubs, the Brewers lost six games in a row. Simply put: A team isn’t more or less likely to win today because of what happened yesterday.
Anywho, an interesting road trip. Not great teams, but west coast trips are generally tough. 4-2 should probably be the goal, but you’d have to be happy with 3-3. Keep crankin’ up the temp!