Time For A Move
Nine games do not a season make, but the upcoming Brewers homestand could tell us a lot as to whether there is any fight left in this team and, with that, the gumption to assert itself back into NL Central contention.
The Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros parade consecutively through Miller Park in the next week and a half. The Twinkies are 11 games over .500 but playing break-even ball away from their new stadium. Seattle is bringing up the rear in the AL West and is 10-24 on the road. The 'Stros? One spot behind the fourth-place Brewers in the division and an abysmal 12-21 away from home.
In short, if Milwaukee can't make up ground in the next nine games against this kind of competition, what hope is there of the Brewers becoming contenders ever again?
Milwaukee's 29-41 start is a disappointment. No one, not even the biggest Brewers basher, thought the team would be sitting 11 back as we head into the final week of June. That said, no one ran away and hid with the division as the Crew floundered. St. Louis (38-31) and Cincinnati (38-33) are the only two NL Central teams with winning records. Milwaukee could jet into the All-Star break in halfway decent shape by taking six, seven or even eight during the homestand and then facing the Cardinals on the road with a bounce in their step. The Brewers come home to close out the first half of the slate with four against the Giants and three more against Pittsburgh.
This is setting up nicely for a Milwaukee resurgence, but it has to start now. This is no time for holding place with a 4-5 homestand, or worse. A rotten four-game trip to St. Louis could doom the season, giving the division leaders an insurmountable edge on Milwaukee and decide if the Brewers are buyers or sellers as the trade deadline approaches in late July. With that will come ugly, franchise-altering questions as to whether it's time to--gulp--rebuild, a word no front office wants to say. Want to see turnstiles grow quiet? Just slap that label on your club. Plenty of good seats would soon be available at Miller Park.
These aren't the sexiest foes coming up--sure, the Twins always bring regional juice but the Mariners and Astros pack little marquee appeal. Houston and Seattle also are losing clubs, the kind of opponents the Brewers have to fatten up on, especially at home, if 2010 is still going to be a season to remember.