ARLINGTON, Tex. — On April 18, the Brewers were 3-6 and had lost their fifth game in a row. Two of the three wins were against the hapless Toronto Blue Jays. Needless to say, it was a jarring start to the season.
Milwaukee Brewers: 5-6 (4th in AL East)
Texas Rangers: 6-5 (4th in AL West)
Nothing like a series with the Toronto Blue Jays to rejuvenate your season. The problem so far, though, is that each time we Brewers fans get excited about our team after a series with the Blue Jays, a non-Canadian team brings us back down to earth.
The Brewers have won one non-Blue Jays game so far this season. They are 0-3 against the Rangers. Let’s turn the tide now.
The 3-6 Brewers have a day off today, and depending on how you look at it that’s either a good thing or a bad thing. They’re in the midst of a five-game losing streak, and everything possible is going wrong. Starting pitching is struggling. Relief pitching, including Rollie Fingers, has been awful. The offense, until the final game of the Rangers’ series, has done nothing of late.
On the other, it just gives you another day to think about how badly things are going. Many players will tell you that when in the middle of a losing streak, they want to get back out there as soon as they can to end it. Too much downtime can just make it worse.
At a time like this, we could dwell on the negatives. In an effort to keep our sanity, let’s first talk about what went right today…
1) For the first time in three games, the Brewers’ offense scored more than a run and collected more than four hits. Sure, three runs on seven hits is nothing special, but we’re remaining positive.
2) Larry Hisle broke out of his funk to get his first hit since Opening Day, including his first homer of the season. Nice to have you back, Larry.
3) Bob McClure is the lone bright spot on this pitching staff. He allowed two runs on five hits in 5 2/3 innings and now has a respectable 3.65 ERA.
Milwaukee Brewers: 3-3 (2nd in AL East)
Texas Rangers: 2-3 (6th in AL West)
So what happens when your offense can’t maintain it’s 10.0 runs per game average while your pitching continues to scuffle?
High powered offenses can’t consistently pump out gaudy run totals day after day. They just don’t. Good pitching beats good hitting. And even the best hitters can’t always find the holes.
Whether it was John Denny‘s greatness, a matter of bad luck or a combination, the Brewers never had a shot today. Denny was given a 3-0 fourth inning lead, and the Brewers bats struggled to squeeze out two runs on a total of seven hits. Not a single Brewer batter collected more than a hit.