Each Sunday evening we will review our favorite and least favorite events of the previous week, and share our perspective on how the team is doing. Please enjoy responsibly.
[Programming note: The Brewers Bar Weekly Hangover will be off next week, returning on July 27. Hopefully the Brewers have another five-game lead by then.]
Cheers! (Best event/news of the week)
Slump Prompts Overdue Changes: It’s hard to remember when Brewers fans weren’t talking about bringing up Jimmy Nelson to replace homerun server Marco Estrada in the rotation. Those fans finally got their wish on Thursday when it was announced Nelson would pitch Saturday and Estrada would be sent to the bullpen. Even though Estrada was hardly the only one not pulling his weight during the big slump, putting Nelson in the rotation at least gives the impression there are signs of life in this struggling ball club. (It was a pity he had to face the Cardinals and Adam Wainwright in his second ever big league start, but that’s life.)
Speaking of not pulling one’s weight, Wei-Chung Wang conveniently landed on the DL after the necessary 90 days had passed. Since every baseball fan assumes Wang’s “shoulder tightness” is fake, I think the Brewers should have had fun with it and invented a really outlandish ailment – something like sudden onset colorblindness, previously undiagnosed light beer anxiety disorder, wide awake apnea, irritable eyebrow syndrome, obsessive compulsive nose picking, etc. Ron Roenicke’s remarks to the media the next day would have been a great exercise in keeping a straight face.
Buzzkill (Worst event/news of the week)
Segura Family Tragedy: After Friday’s game, Jean Segura found out his nine-month-old son had died in the Dominican Republic. Horrible. There’s nothing more to be said other than surely all Brewers fans’ thoughts and prayers are with the Segura family.
Have One on the House (Brewers player who deserves a drink)
Elian Herrera: If you had to guess which Brewers player would go 5-5 today and help preserve a fragile lead in the NL Central going into the All-Star break, you wouldn’t have said Elian Herrera. That’s not because you’re not a savvy fan, because you totally are. It’s just that picking Herrera to get five hits would be like picking George Kottaras or Jody Gerut hitting for the cycle – sure, it could happen, but no one’s going to go on record with a prediction. Considering Herrera is likely to see a lot of time at shortstop for the foreseeable future, it’s great to see him heading into the break on a positive note.
Time to Sober Up, Pal (Brewers player who made me want to drink)
Everyone: When a team loses 11 out of 13 in two weeks, there is plenty of blame to go around. On the offensive side, one- and two-run outputs have become the norm. When the offense comes alive, the starters have blown big leads – Wily Peralta on Tuesday, and Yovani Gallardo on Friday. The bullpen has become unreliable – relievers let nine runs score on Thursday, and the next day K-Rod’s served up the go-ahead homerun against St. Louis. In terms of defense, the Brewers’ three errors yesterday demonstrated there’s no phase of the game the Brewers have a handle on right now. It’s amazing to think they’re still leading the division as I write this.
Back on the Wagon (Thoughts on the week ahead) The All-Star break couldn’t come at a better time considering how unwatchable the Brewers have been for the last two weeks. After leading the NL Central by 6.5 games on July 1, they’re essentially back to square one. With just over 10 weeks left in the season, there will be plenty of opportunities for the Brewers to compete for a playoff spot. Given the bad stretch they’re in, you could be forgiven for wanting to give up…but giving up is for Cubs fans.
Try to stay positive, and the team may yet reward us. They’ve already defied our expectations by having a big division lead to blow. Brian Anderson pointed out during yesterday’s broadcast that at the 2013 All-Star break, the Brewers were 18 games under .500. During spring training, if you told us the Brewers would be leading the NL Central at the break, we’d be happy. So let’s be happy.
(Image: Associated Press)