Thoughts on the Milwaukee Brewers Being Eliminated From Postseason Play in 2014
The Milwaukee Brewers have officially been eliminated from the playoffs.**
I knew this day would come, folks.
When the Brewers were not able to score hardly any runs in the second half of September, I knew this day would come.
But because hope springs eternal, I had considered some unusual possibilities that might lead to the Brewers making the playoffs anyway. Perhaps if they’d have won all their remaining games, and the Pirates had gone on a small losing streak . . . or if the Brewers had won all their games and the San Francisco Giants had gone on a small losing streak instead . . .
‘Twas not to be.
Anyway, here are just a few of my thoughts as I ponder the fact that my favorite team has been eliminated from postseason play:
- The Brewers were at least one and possibly two hitters short in the second half of the season, and it’s not always because of the same people (though Braun’s injuries definitely didn’t help). The biggest problem I saw, throughout, were the injuries; Aramis Ramirez can’t run any longer (at all), Braun at times could barely run, Scooter Gennett could barely run, etc.But if we’d have had someone consistently mashing at first base — perhaps if Kendrys Morales had been signed in the offseason, as he was the best available first baseman, and had a full Spring Training behind him — I think the Brewers wouldn’t have lost their lead in the NL Central and would still be going to the playoffs.
- What was Ron Roenicke thinking? Where was the urgency? He was always quiet, always understated, while the team sank and sank . . . in 2008, Ned Yost got fired when his 2008 squad did much less poorly than this one, yet Roenicke has thus far kept his job? What’s the explanation for that going to be? (Oh, I can see it now — “No one else could’ve done any better. We’re happy with Ron. See you in 2015.” Yeah, right.)
I’m not too happy with Roenicke’s managerial moves, either, to wit:
- He waited way too long to take some starting pitchers out, and he did this consistently. (Allowing Wily Peralta to get shelled back-to-back in August didn’t help anything, to show just one bad managerial decision.)
- In addition, why did Roenicke leave reliever Jonathan Broxton in so long in the second of Broxton’s back-to-back bad games? (When he did stuff like that, I couldn’t help it; I Tweeted stuff like, “Fire him. Fire him now.”)
Now, why did this team fall apart so precipitously? I blame injuries, mostly. But I also blame Roenicke’s inexplicable managerial moves, mostly having to do with the pitching staff.
Injuries — well, they’ll heal.
But will the team be any better this year if Roenicke stays? My guess is that it won’t.
That’s why I’m urging the Brewers to please, please, for the love of little green apples, fire Ron Roenicke and bring in someone who can instill a sense of urgency. (Much less pull the starting pitchers out a little faster when they obviously don’t have it.)
**Edited to add: San Francisco lost last night, so the Brewers technically can still get in the playoffs if they win all five remaining games, while SF loses all five of theirs. At that point, there would be one of the one-game playoff scenarios I’ve discussed between SF and Milwaukee; if the Brewers won that, they’d then play Pittsburgh in the official one-game Wild Card playoff.
I think there’s very little chance of this. But as Noah Jarosh of SB Nation says, it’s like a lottery ticket — it could happen.
So keep your eyes peeled on the scoreboard tonight.
And, of course, I’ll have an end-of-the-season wrap-up next week, as per usual, with my picks for Brewers’ team MVP, pitching MVP(s), and rookie of the year. Don’t miss it!