Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Milwaukee Brewers’ May 2013: Historic for all the Wrong Reasons

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The Milwaukee Brewers have not had a good May.

Actually, that’s an understatement.  Coming into the final game of May, 2013, against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Brewers have won only five games, while losing 22.  And even if the Brewers are able to topple the Phillies later today (Friday, May 31, 2013, to be exact), they will still tie a Brewers record for the fewest amount of wins in May — tying the expansion 1969 Seattle Pilots with six wins.

As this article from MLB.com points out:

Mired in what might become the worst calendar month in franchise history, the Brewers have lost six straight and are 5-22 in May with one game to play. Even if Milwaukee wins Friday, it will match the worst winning percentage in a full month in 45 seasons as a franchise. The 1969 Seattle Pilots were 6-22 that August, a .214 winning percentage. The franchise record for losses in a month is 23, in August 1975 (7-23), September 1976 (8-23) and August 1977 (11-23).

And, of course, if the Brewers lose again on Friday, the 2013 edition of the Brewers will have set a low-water mark in Brewers franchise history by winning only five games in the entire month of May, and also will tie the three months listed above as the worst and most futile months in franchise history with 23 losses.

How can the Brewers stave off a seventh consecutive defeat, much less win a sixth game in May and avoid most of the negative publicity that currently surrounds the massively underperforming Brewers?  Well, de facto ace of the staff, Yovani Gallardo (3-5, 4.79 ERA), will be pitching against the equally underwhelming Cole Hamels (1-8, 4.43 ERA).  As both pitchers haven’t done particularly well in 2013, this would seem to be a relatively even match . . . one that even the 2013 Brewers should know how to exploit.

The only good news from the Brewers’ latest loss (Thursday night’s 8-6 showing against the Minnesota Twins, in case all of the Brewers losses are tending to run together at this point) is that every member of the Brewers starting lineup got a hit.  (Yes, even Rickie Weeks.)  That has rarely happened in May, so that legitimately gives fans reason to be cautiously optimistic.

The most important thing to remember about the 2013 Brewers, though, is that help is on the way.

Chris Narveson’s rehab start last night in Nashville (the Brewers Triple-A affiliate) was solid — he pitched two strong innings and gave up no runs — so once he’s fully “stretched out” again (the current estimate is three more rehab starts), Narveson should be able to return to the rotation.

And, of course, Corey Hart is about set to go on a rehabilitation assignment of his own.  Which means he may be back before the end of June, which will be good news for all concerned — especially Brewers pitchers.

And that doesn’t even mention the one group of Brewers who’ve quietly but competently done their jobs in May — the relief pitchers.  They’ve been extremely effective in keeping the Brewers in games thus far, so if they can keep that up once Lohse and Gallardo return to form, the Brewers should notch a few more wins.

So here’s the deal, folks: The Brewers had a great April, but followed it with a horrible May.  The starters mostly don’t have their acts together yet, but there’s still some time.  Despite this, the relievers have looked amazingly good.  Jeff Bianchi and Logan Schafer have been solid in small roles.  And, of course, Nori Aoki, Jean Segura, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Gomez have all continued to hit over .300.

When you add all of that up (minus the “horrible May” part), it seems to me that Milwaukee will win some ballgames.  (Especially once Hart’s big bat is back in the Brewers lineup.)  Providing Milwaukee’s starting pitching gets back on track again, June should be a much, much better month than May.

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Written by Barb Caffrey

May 31, 2013 at 2:35 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] else — no, not even the Brewers woeful 6-22 record in May — came […]

  2. […] And must I remind you about the horrible month of May, considering it was historic for all the wrong reasons? […]


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