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The Brewers have lost five of their last six, staff ace Ben Sheets was bombed in his last start and wasn't healthy enough to make another, Dave Bush looks like he can't pitch very well on three days' rest, and what's more, Prince Fielder had to leave yesterday's game early.

Oh, and while we're at it, the Brewers are the most homerific team in the league, heading into Petco Park, the land where four-baggers go to die. And, hey, let's pile on: Brady Clark, after going 2-for-4 yesterday, is hitting .216. That ranks him among Brewers right between Dave Bush and Tomo Ohka. (But--don't tell Mike Rivera--well ahead of Chad Moeller.)

Is there any hope? There's always Chris Capuano, and Doug Davis may be righting the ship. Ben Hendrickson wasn't any better than most teams' fifth starters in his shot on Saturday, but he kept us in the game, which is more than he's done in most of his big league appearances. Prince's injury is minor, and he continues to be hot. And Carlos Lee appears to be on a quest to sign the richest contract even given to a guy named Lee.

I still think this is a good team--an 87-win team to be exact. But once again, we're hanging our hopes on the health of Big Ben, all the more so with Ohka out for the year. In a fairer world (or a better-managed one), we would've managed at least one win in L.A. All of the strength-of-schedule and power-rankings talk won't do us much good if we go visit one of those weaker teams and get swept. Two out of three in San Diego seems very doable...but I would have said the same thing about the Dodgers.

Also: John wrote a background piece on WPA, which explains a lot about what he's doing, why it's cool, and what there is to gain from it. In case you didn't check in over the weekend, be sure to check out the graphs and WPA stats from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Finally, my Minor League Splits database (described and previewed here) will go live either tonight or tomorrow morning for all affiliated minor leagues.

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Update [2006-5-8 12:12:9 by Jeff]: David Hannes at Brewers Bar has this hopeful tidbit:

WTSO-AM (ESPN radio affiliate in Madison) is reporting that Ben Sheets will start Tuesday night against the Padres, assuming his shoulder is not sore. This would return the rotation to 1-2-3-5-6 (in other words, the order set at the start of the season?with Dave Bush moving up a spot for Tomo Ohka, and Ben Hendrickson in the last spot)?of course, this only is relevant if the opposing team?s rotation is in tact.