Taking solace in the Brewer loss

Chin up, Marco.

No one likes to lose.  Baseball, however, is a game of failure.  The team that had the best record in the history of baseball still lost 46 times.  In baseball, you’re considered very good if you get a hit 3 out of 10 times, and considered an all time great if you happen to get hits 4 out of 10 times throughout a season.

This is something that Brewer fans may need to be reminded of.  The team has been so, so good over the past three weeks that we’ve almost forgotten what it feels like to lose.  Every single time the Brewers take the field, we, the fans, expect them to win.  And, for the most part, they have.  It’s been kind of crazy, if you think about it.  Prior to today’s loss, the team was 19-2 over its last 21 games.  19-2!  That’s crazy.  Almost ’07 Rockies good.  Even with the offense sputtering the last few games, the pitching has been so good that it didn’t matter.  The Brewers became just the sixth team since 1900 to win 5 straight games while scoring 3 runs or less.

Since the all-star break, Zack Greinke has looked like the Cy Young award pitcher of ’09 (despite worse peripherals – but hey, a balance had to be struck somewhere).  Even with Brett Lawrie raking for Toronto, Shaun Marcum hasn’t made me regret the trade for one second.  Yo has been Yo.  Randy Wolf is pitching out of his mind.  Even Marco Estrada has had a couple of very good starts.

Which brings me to this afternoon.  To stop the Brewers, it took Clayton Kershaw – one of the very best pitchers that MLB has to offer – vs. Marco Estrada, the Brewers’ sixth starter (who has only started 8 games in his major league career).  You can’t feel too badly when your sixth starter loses to Clayton Kershaw.  Losses have to happen sometimes.

One may say, “the Brewers offense has been bad – they haven’t scored more than 3 runs in a week!”  You would be correct.  However, it is rare that Brewer offensive slumps last much longer than 6 days.  And think about it – over this most recent Brewer offensive slump, they’ve gone 5-1.  There is no reason to expect a team to win 5 out of 6 games in which they fail to score 4 runs or more.  But the Brewers did.  There is also no reason to expect a team with Corey Hart, Nyjer Morgan, Ryan Braun, and Prince Fielder batting 1-4 to not score 4 runs or more for much longer than 6 games in a row.  Yes, Yuni is finally Yuni again, and McGehee is still questionable, and second base is still a question (although Hairston has looked good the last few games), but this is a good offense.  Don’t expect this slump to last much longer.

The only real issue could be the Brewers’ demanding schedule: they are in the midst of playing 17 games in 16 days, it’s late August, etc etc.  Not to worry.  The Brewers get 2 days off in 5 days starting next Thursday.  After that, Carlos Gomez and Rickie Weeks will probably be back, plus the September call-ups will arrive – plenty of time for Taylor Green to spell Casey McGehee at third.

Basically, I’m just happy to be a Brewer fan right now.  When it seems like the only way to beat this team is to throw Clayton Kershaw against Marco Estrada, then life is good.

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