What Rock Bottom Looks Like in Hindsight

Let's face it: The last 24 hours or so have been a really, really awful time to follow Brewers baseball. As several people (myself included) have said in today's postgame thread, this sure feels a lot like rock bottom.

But the Brewers also hit rock-bottom points a lot like this one during May of each of their last two playoff seasons. I thought I'd look at back at what rock bottom looked and felt like* in those seasons, and how the Brewers looked after that point. Because unless you're following the 2002 Brewers, the best part about rock bottom is that the only place you can go is up.

*The quotes I picked out aren't meant to mock or call out the people who said them - just to give a flavor for how depressed we all were.

2008: May 18 - the Brewers drop one 11-7 to the Red Sox to finish getting swept and lose five in a row. Ryan Braun publicly called out the team's losing attitude after the game. Ned Yost was rumored to have been fired the next day.

Record: 20-24, 6th place, 7 GB

Choice BCB game thread quotes of doom and despair:

"I'm not sure I can take 4 more months of this."

"Look at the bright side Since we’ll probably lose a fair amount of our fan base, tickets will be a lot easier to get. And going to week day games and moving down to better seats will be easier."

"Losing is f***ing awesome. I forgot what it felt like. Thanks for the reminder, 2008 Brewers."

Record after this game: 70-48, second-best in the NL. And we got to watch this team go to the playoffs for the first time in 26 years.

2011: May 6 - the Brewers lose 6-0 to the Cardinals, their seventh loss in a row, during which time they score just seven runs total.

Record: 13-19, 6th place, 5.5 GB

Choice BCB post-game thread quotes of doom and despair:

"I think tomorrow instead of watching the game, I’ll try to dig those quarters out at the bottom of my jar of salt and razor blades. It’ll probably be less painful."

"Last place. Get use to it."

"I feel kind of dumb for ever having thought this team might be capable of great things."

Of course, NoahJ was quite famously not despairing after this game:

"Two months and 29 days from now, the Brewers will be up by three games in the division and I will post the link to this thread so we can laugh at how low we were feeling."

Record after this game: 83-47, best in baseball. Also, this happened.

The song I had in my head after today's game was the Beatles' "Getting Better," and the chorus seems particularly appropriate right now: "I have to believe it's getting better, it's getting better all the time - it can't get no worse."

I mean, obviously it can - the Brewers could go 70-92 or something ridiculous like that. They could lose their next 10 games, and then that would really look like rock bottom. The 2009 and 2010 teams started out looking bad - and then just stayed bad.

But once we've seen the Brewers get beat by Mark Freaking Kotsay and Jeff Freaking Suppan in consecutive games, once we've seen Mat Gamel tear up his knee and end his season on a freak injury, then have seen Ryan Braun leave the game the next day with a (hopefully minor) injury - then we've really been through just about the worst 24-hour stretch this season has to throw at us. And we all made it out alive and sane. If we've learned anything from the past few years, it's that we should almost be excited to see what's coming next.

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