Can The Brewers Turn It Around?
With Zach Greinke on the mound the Brewers shook off a brutal road trip and opened the San Diego series with a win. However, since Easter weekend the Brewers are just 4-10. What's wrong and more importantly can it be fixed? Here are three areas of concern:
Number two spot in the lineup Carlos Gomez was back in the two hole on Monday after spending two productive days batting eighth. It seems natural to put Corey Hart here especially considering his numbers last year. But that was 2010 and this is 2011. Coming into Monday's game Hart was batting just .167 (and in a rare statistical oddity Hart's slugging percentage and on base percentage were also both .167. In other words Hart had all singles and no walks prior to hitting a double on Monday.) In time, if Hart's numbers rise he should return to number two. In the meantime without a reliable guy in that spot the top of the lineup struggles. During the previous four losses the 1-2-3 hitters combined to go 5-for-35, a .143 average.
A buzz saw of starting pitching In a nine game stretch opposing starters shut down the Brewers offense. During those nine games the starters gave up a mere six earned runs in 69 1/3 innings. That's equals an ERA of 0.78 to go with a K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) of 7.4. In some cases, you would expect a guy like Tim Hudson to put up those kind of numbers. Not so with Wandy Rodriguez or Kyle Lohse. It was just an incredibly tough stretch of dominant starting pitching.
Road woes It's a fact: the Brewers struggle on the road. While at Houston, Atlanta and St. Louis the Brewers went 2-8. Now consider the fact that in April the Brewers were 5-2 versus Atlanta and Houston but those games were at Miller Park. The schedule makers did no favors seeing as how 21 of the first 35 games were on the road. Looking ahead, however, the Brewers get 14 of the next 18 at home.