First Inning Runs a Problem for Brewers

The Brewers have done a lot of losing so far this year, but this game may be one of the hardest we’ve had to swallow. 

The game started off with a bang — Rickie Weeks hit a leadoff homer for the third time this season.  The good feelings were short-lived, though, as Chris Narveson coughed up 4 runs in the bottom half of the first.  Suddenly, almost all hope for a win was lost.

Of course, it wasn’t — the team went on to tie the game in the 6th inning and got great pitching out of the bullpen from Kameron Loe and Carlos Villanueva — but it was another example of a Brewers starter getting roughed up in the first inning and setting the tone for the rest of the game.

The Brewers have now given up 321 runs this season, and 49 of those runs have come in the first inning — the highest total they’ve given up in any single inning this year.  A lot has been made about the bullpen implosions earlier this season, but the starting pitching has been just as bad to start the game.  The Brewers’ inning-by-inning breakdown looks like this after today:

Runs Allowed by Inning
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12+ Total
49 28 25 37 27 38 43 32 38 1 1 2 321

Obviously, that’s a ton of runs being given up in innings 7 through 9, but I found the distribution for innings 1 through 5 to be interesting.  It certainly makes it look like my feelings about everyone in the starting rotation getting roughed up before settling down are accurate.  Of course, the first inning number could also be inflated by outings like the one Dave Bush had in Minnesota, but even if you take out those 7 runs, the starters are still giving up a hell of a lot of runs in the first inning.

Just another reason why this team is only a game out of last place in the NL Central and has the third-worst record in the National League.

FanGraphs Win Probability

W: Boggs (1-2)
L: Axford (1-1)

MIL HR: Weeks (9)
STL HR: Pujols (13)