I would like to be positive. I try very hard, in my Brewer fandom, to focus on why the Crew will soon turn things around, why this losing streak is an anomoly, why all of the bad signs are statistical aberrations. And why the crazy naysayers on message boards proclaiming that Doug Melvin and Mike Maddux should immediately be fired, and Carlos Lee and everyone else on the team over the age of 28 should be traded are wrong.
I'm not going that far just yet, and I do believe that this is just a run of really bad luck that has careened out of control. But it's tough to stay positive when the pitching is almost historically bad, the offense has gone from surprisingly strong to surprisingly absent, and compounding all that, management is panicking, pretending that shuffling in new (worse?) pitchers is a solution when the last mediocre arms weren't.
As I see, two things need to happen while Sheets, Ohka, and Helling are out:
- The replacement starters (and Doug Davis) need to be told very clearly what is expected of them. Those expectations should be very simple: throw strikes, throw low strikes, and throw strikes. It won't work every time, but it'll have to work better than whatever they're doing now. If our replacements can't follow those instructions, then the shuffling is in order.
- Apart from finding starters who can throw strikes, Ned, Doug, and Mike Maddux need to decide who their bullpen is and stick with it. It's an absolute joke to pretend like Chris Mabeus was given a fair shot, and I'd argue that Mike Adams, Justin Lehr, and Chris Demaria were shortchanged as well. Ned has said he knows what roles all these guys are playing--well, okay. Let's find out if they can play those roles, and give them more than one chance a week to prove it. Joe Winkelsas has gotten regular work, was a little shaky his first couple times out, and now looks like he could contribute.