A few weeks ago, I was excited to see the Brewers in the playoffs. Now, I’m afraid that they’re just going to make fools of themselves.
The Brewers pretty much gave the Phillies a win on a silver platter tonight, falling to them 3-2 in 10 innings. It was their fifth straight loss, and gave the Phillies a series win.
There isn’t much to say about this game, as has been the case over the past few days. With the score tied at 2-2 in the top of the 10th and a guy on first, LaTroy Hawkins fielded a bunt by Carlos Ruiz. It was a great bunt, and Ruiz would have had him beat either way, but Hawkins just had to airmail it to first base and send the ball into the crowd. That gave the Phillies a 3-2 to lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, and sealed the Brewers’ fate. But you can’t do that to good teams like the Phillies, and, unfortunately, the Brewers have done it a lot this series.
This all wasted a solid start by Randy Wolf, who went seven innings while giving up two runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out one. But Wolf has been getting screwed over all year, and should definitely have more than 12 wins. Same goes for Shaun Marcum, who also has 12 wins, but the lowest ERA in the Brewers’ rotation.
Anyway, the Brewers are officially slumping. But, with the month of August they had, I kind of expected this. First off, the Brewers aren’t the greatest September team out there. In fact, in 2008, they had to ride on the back of CC Sabathia and a collapse by the Mets in order to get themselves into the postseason because of their awful September. Secondly, with the August they had, you just knew they couldn’t keep it going in September.
But another thing- just yesterday, Tom Verducci became the first person to notice that, during the Brewers’ great August, they beat practically all sub-.500 teams. He’s the first person I’ve seen publicly announce that. I knew it all along, but just didn’t say anything because I wanted to remain positive about the Brewers’ great August. But, with how they’re playing against the Phillies, it’s obvious that the great August was because of sub-.500 teams.
Now, you could make the excuse that the reason their offense has been shut down the past few games because they’ve faced four great pitchers in a row- Chris Carpenter, Cole Hamels, Roy Halladay, and Cliff Lee. But, that excuse is actually invalid, because, despite the fact those four pitchers are good, three of those four pitchers had ERAs over 5.00 against the Brewers going into their previous starts (and two had ERAs over 6.00). So, the offense actually should have acted up.
Rickie Weeks had his first at-bat since July today, and drew a walk from Lee. Yes, a walk from Lee. Not something you hear very often, especially from a strikeout-prone second baseman making his first at-bat since coming off the DL. Anyway, Ron Roenicke said that Weeks would be in the starting lineup tomorrow for the first time since July. Also, another roster move for the Brewers- they called up pitching prospect Mike Fiers from Triple-A. So much for making no more call-ups, I guess.
The Brewers will try and avoid a series sweep at the hands of the Phillies tomorrow, and will send Yovani Gallardo (15-10, 3.71 ERA) to the mound. He’s coming off two bad starts against the Cardinals, but, maybe facing someone other than the Cardinal will get him back on track. He has a 1.35 ERA in 6 2/3 innings in his career against the Phillies.
The Phillies will counter with ANOTHER ace- man, this rotation is unfair. Well, I guess you can’t call Vance Worley (11-1, 2.85 ERA) an ace quite yet, but he’s definitely pitched liked one. The Phillies have won his last 14 starts.
Oh, and by the way, the Brewers have fallen behind the Diamondbacks for the second-best record in the National League. That means if it stays this way for the rest of the year, instead of starting the postseason at home against the Braves, we’ll start it on the road against the Phillies. Hopefully the Brewers can re-take the lead over the D-backs so that we actually have a chance to make it to the NLCS.