As I've said many times, the high-water mark last season was not when the Brewers started 24-10, as that record was accomplished by (at least) five incredibly fluky things: (1) Capuano starting 5-0 before teams realized "Hey, if you sit on his change-up, you can smack him around like a red-headed stepchild"; (2) Suppan pitching lights out for the first month of the season; (3) the Jenkench (a two-headed beast made up of one-half Geoff Jenkins and one-half Kevin Mench) hitting around .590 for the first 30 games, and about .780 with runners in scoring position; (4) JJ Hardy mistaking himself for a power hitter; and (5) CoCo's seeming inability to blow a save. (SB's Tony Gwynn and I were at a game where CoCo was pitching for, I believe, the eighth day in a row, and the bases were loaded, and Carlos Lee was up with one out -- and he still got out of it. It was a charmed April for Sr. Cordero.)
No, the apex for the Crew last year was when they were 44-30 near the end of June. Going 20-20 through a very rough stretch of schedule and not puking up any of that fluky-as-it-was start -- that was impressive. (The rest of the season need not be detailed, as it will cause me to break out in hives.)
So, the Brewers now sit at 42-34. Let's compare and contrast last year vs. this year. What stands out?
JJ Hardy has regressed to the mean.
Yeah, .251 / .324 / .370 with 5 homers seems about right, doesn't it? At least his defense is still top notch.
(Also: gag me. Did you see that play in the second inning yesterday, where James Jerry had to range to his left to snare the grounder? He moved, in my estimation, a total of about five feet, and still had to lunge (and almost fall over in the process) to glove the ball. I mean, good God. Even David Eckstein can make that play, and he's a 12-year-old girl.)
Ben Sheets in a contract year is a good thing.
He was good last year: 8-3 at this time, with a 3.19 ERA and 65 strikeouts. Then he got hurt and torpedoed the season. This year he's been Schilling-in-his-prime good: 9-1, 2.59 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 84 punch-outs. Just shows what happens when you give your cha-cha regular maintenance and keep it in good working order. Ahh, the Power of Douche.
That Ryan Braun, he's quite something.
His stats this time last year: .330 / .372 / .592, 5 homers, 17 driven in, 24 runs scored. Just starting to get an inkling of what he was capable of. Oh, I missed another fluke in the 24-10 start: for a team can play 14 games over .500 with CRAIG COUNSELL and TONY GRAFFANINO as its starting third basemen is nothing short of mind-boggling.
It's still not happening for Rickie Weeks.
I've heard your argument, King Ned. He's a "run scorer." That's what's supposed to happen when you actually get "on base" for "Ryan Braun" and "Prince Fielder" and "Corey Hart." To think, if this stumblebum could just hit .250, his OBP would be close to .400. And if his OBP was close to .400, he might have scored 60 runs by now. That would make him a "run scorer."
When he's raking, Prince Fielder is a sight to behold.
He's also a sight to behold when he's putting away his third bag of powdered mini-donuts in the clubhouse.
This team doesn't need Bill Hall. At all.
Think about it: the one year he put up decent numbers at the plate, we finished, what, 25 games under .500? Last year, he was putrid from start to finish. This year, he's been putrid from the start. And yet we continue to win. It's too bad the asshat publicly demanded a trade and killed whatever trade value he had left; we might have been able to get a minor league pitcher and a 12-pack of Coke for him before that.
That should get the discussion going. More to come this afternoon.