Milwaukee Lost 11 of 12 heading into Sunday
By RICK SOLEM
It’s finally here, the all-star break.
That’s what the Milwaukee Brewers are probably saying, anyway.
Milwaukee doesn’t just limp into the break, it’s in a wheelchair. And not one of those nice wheelchairs, either. This thing is old, heavy and losing its wheels – much like the Brewers.
Milwaukee saved some face Sunday night destroying St. Louis 11-2. Before that, the Brewers dropped 11 of 12 – losing close ones, blowing big leads and getting blown out.
The only win took a complete-game, 1-0 outing from Matt Garza – his first complete game since 2011.
How ridiculous does the question Sports Illustrated posed now: “Is this the best Brewers team ever?”
Three weeks ago, fans were on top of the world. It was the best record in Brewers history (49-32). On top of the world one day. Ready to jump the next.
Which team will show up after the all-star break?
You can’t lose 11 of 12 and call yourself good. And you can’t be the best Brewers team ever through 81 games and call yourself a fluke. Or can you? Somehow, the Brewers are both.
Nothing indicates the Brewers should be this bad, except they were bad last year and the expectation before the season was they were going to be just OK.
They still have the second-best record in the NL. St. Louis should tail off after losing all-star catcher Yadier Molina, but nothing seems to stop that team. Not even losing Nos. 2 and 3 starters (Michael Wacha, Jaime Garcia).
Calling up Jimmy Nelson now looks like it was a mistake. Nelson, Milwaukee’s 25-year-old Triple-A phenom, was rocked for eight runs – six earned – in 6⅓ innings by St. Louis during the fall.
But it’s a long season and teams slide, though this has been a free fall – except for hitting one tiny a branch a third of the way down. Regardless, it’s a good time for a break in Milwaukee.
The Brewers are a game up on St. Louis, only a 1½ games up on Cincinnati and 3½ up on Pittsburgh, which seems due for a surge in the second half.
It is odd how, on June 26, this team was arguably the “best team in Brewers history.” Now, there’s a real chance they could finish fourth in the division. At least there’s still Hank the Dog. He didn’t get hit by a car, did he?