A season like no other: the disappoiting Brewers of 2013
I didn't think the Brewers were going to crack 80 wins this season, but I sure didn't imagine them being a club capable of losing 100.
I've lived and died with the team every season since the Pilots came to Milwaukee in 1970 and this 2013 campaign will forever be remembered as one of the most star-struck, unfortunate and vexing in club history.
There are injuries: Corey Hart, Mat Gamel, Ryan Braun, Aramis Ramirez and at least three pitchers who've tweaked hamstrings--how in hell does THAT happen? There werealso the cold starts by Jonathan Lucroy and Rickie Weeks.
Combine all that with the failure of several young starting pitchers GM Doug Melvin rolled the dice on along with Yovani Gallardo's spottiness and you've got a team exactly where it is today--at the very bottom, looking way up at the rest of the division.
What to expect after the All-Star break? I'm a committee of one, it seems, in hoping that Melvin pulls few if any triggers and keeps the team intact. It's been one of those years, but the parts are still there. Many thought this team would contend in '13--I didn't, but I think the club has the pieces to turn things around. Gallardo can be fixed, and Kyle Lohse needs run support. The young arms are getting on-the-job-training and should only get better. Ramirez will heal, and Hart hopefully will, too. Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez are All Stars. Lucroy is out of his funk. Nori Aoki rocks. The bullpen is solid despite recent Arizona yips.
And then there's Braun. Injured, caught in the vortex of a drug controversy, it's hard to know what Milwaukee will be getting from the face of the franchise either this season or next. Talk of a lifetime suspension swirls as MLB waits to drop the hammer, probably sometime after the break. Appeals will follow, mucking up the timing of any long-term sit. While Braun enjoys wide support at Miller Park, he gets jeered on the road and now may even be losing the support of players outside the Brewers clubhouse. It's one thing to beat the drug rap the way Braun did the first time. His defiance and suggestions about being the target of a conspiracy will only look more foolish if MLB indeed has the goods on him.
Braun's situation and all of the other things listed above combine to make 2013 a season like no other in the memory of this Brewers fan, one who hopes the team writes this campaign off for what it is--awful--and retool using much of what it already has on hand.