Like most dedicated Brewers fans, I have continued to follow the games out of a sense of loyalty, inertia, and because summer television programming leaves a lot to be desired. The relative lack of emotional attachment is unfortunate on one hand…but on the bright side I’m sleeping better at night than I was after some of those meaningful late summer games of a couple seasons ago. Although I’ve accepted 2013 will be a forgettable season, a dreadful thought popped into my head the other day – could the Brewers lose 100 games?
I wasn’t much of a fan during the late 90s to mid-00s, so I don’t have any particular memories of the 2002 Brewers, who distinguished themselves as the worst team in franchise history with a 56-106 record. But I couldn’t shake the feeling that the 2013 Brewers – with all the injuries, underperforming pitching, inconsistent offense, and simply appalling defense – might be in the ballpark (so to speak).
I’m not licensed to practice math in the contiguous U.S., but I did a few calculations. As of this writing, the Brewers are 48-65, which translates to a winning percentage of about .425. If that percentage were to hold up over the remaining 49 games, the Brewers would go 21-28, and finish with a 69-93 record. Much to my relief, it appears the Brewers are not on track to lose 100.
That being said, the Brewers have not lost over 90 games since they went 67-94 in 2004, Ned Yost’s second season as manager. That year, the Brewers most valuable player was Ben Sheets with a whopping 7.2 WAR (although the poor guy only had a 12-14 record). The most valuable offensive player was Brady Clark, who had a less eye-popping WAR of 2.2. Second base was shared by Junior Spivey, Bill Hall, and Keith Ginter. It was a different world.
And while it might be a longshot that the Brewers lose 100, it’s not totally out of the question. This is a team that went 6-22 in May. Losing 100 may be unlikely, but it is definitely within the realm of possibility.
Upon reflection, I feel I have a better understanding of how the judge this season. If the Brewers lose less than 90, it will be a triumph of lowered expectations. Here’s to being reasonably below average!