Don’t Blame Everything on the Rotation

It’s been a rough week or so for the Brewers. Just about everything that can go wrong has, and the starting pitchers — the strength of this team through the first couple months of the season — have seemingly regressed all at once. Things during the recent losing streak haven’t been pretty, as Tom Haudricourt was quick to point out:

Assuming #Brewers don’t rally (hold laughter), they will be 1-7 over last 8 games with starting pitchers going 0-5 with 8.24 ERA.

That sounds pretty scary. No wins? An ERA over 8? Boy, this crew of starters has stunk lately. Of course, when you’re working with such a small sample size, the numbers are going to be skewed by a few terrible outings. The IP/ER numbers during this eight-game stretch:

7/5 Wolf vs ARI – 6 IP, 7 ER
7/4 Marcum vs ARI – 6 IP, 4 ER
7/3 Greinke @ MIN – 6 IP, 4 ER
7/2 Narveson @ MIN – 4.2 IP, 7 ER
7/1 Gallardo @ MIN – 7 IP, 3 ER
6/30 Wolf @ NYY – 7 IP, 4 ER
6/29 Marcum @ NYY – 5 IP, 4 ER
6/28 Greinke @ NYY – 2 IP, 7 ER

Three disaster starts (ER > IP), but otherwise things don’t look too terrible. These numbers definitely do not tell the whole story, but heaping the blame for the recent rough patch solely on the starting pitching isn’t totally fair. Poor defense has made those ER numbers look a bit more respectable, sure, but the bullpen has had trouble limiting damage once taking over, too. Ron Roenicke has struggled to put his relievers in positions to succeed, and until recently, the bats have struggled to keep up with the runs being allowed.

As frustrating as some of his comments have been lately, Roenicke is right when he says this recent stretch has been a total team effort. Let’s not peg this solely on the rotation.

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