DAN: On Their Way?
By Dan O'Donnell
Maybe, maybe not. But that's the beauty of baseball. One week, the Brewers look like the worst team in the Majors; the next, they look like one of the best. Which week do we believe?
In truth, both.
Baseball is a game of averages, and the Brewers are neither the best nor the worst in it--right now, they're average. Winning 4 of 5 at home after dropping 6 straight on the road is the dictionary definition of an average baseball team. 11-7 at home and 9-12 away on the season? Average.
To break the cycle of mediocrity that has plagued them for more than a decade and a half, the Brewers must win on the road as easily as they have at home, and they must lose the streakiness that seems to plague all mediocre teams. A home series win against the slumping Dodgers would propel them back into the NL Central race, a road series win against the dominating Red Sox would prove they belong there.
Would either prove definitively that this is really an above-average team? No, but that's the beauty of baseball--greatness or lack thereof isn't measured in series, weeks or even months. It's measured in the season's body of work as a whole. 162 games, home and away, and consistent hitting and effective pitching in each.
The wins will come, and so will the losses, but if the starting pitchers toss as many quality innings and the hitters look as sharp as they have in the past 5 games, the Brewers really will be on their way to fulfilling the sky-high preseason expectations.
Right now, though, they're average and will be until they start playing as well on the road as they have at home, just like all great teams do. Except maybe the Boston Celtics.