What the Brewers Need to Improve Upon in the Second Half
Well, to make a long story short, the Brewers need to improve upon pretty much everything. During the first half of the season, they have been bad in almost every way a team can be bad. They finished with a record of 38-56 at the All Star Break, which is good (bad) enough for second worst in the league, trailing only the Miami Marlins (35-58), who are pretty much a triple-A team.
It seems like someone gets picked off or caught stealing at least once every game and if the Brewers can make it a whole nine innings without making an out on the bases, it’s a large miracle. They are currently on pace to make approximately 96 outs on the bases this season. This is the equivalent of three and a half games worth of outs. That’s pretty pitiful. It’s one thing to be thrown out on a good throw by the catcher while trying to steal a base, but it’s another to get picked off because you aren’t paying enough attention. It seems like the majority of the pickoffs this year have been due to mental lapses, which is not something you want to see in your team, especially when it’s happening with multiple players on a regular basis.
The Brewers have made 66 errors in 94 games this season, which is good enough for a rank of 25th in the majors (the Giants also have 66 errors). Only the Dodgers, Nationals, Angels and Astros have made more errors this season than the Brewers. This number doesn’t even include all of the double play balls that were thrown away and not counted as errors because you “can’t assume a double play” (which I think is silly, but whatever). Gomez has been pretty much the only player who has been able to hold his own (and then some) on defense. Segura has been pretty solid, but he’s had his times when he just “loses it” on defense. It also didn’t help that the Brewers didn’t have a real first baseman playing first base until Sean Halton was called up a few weeks ago. Hopefully we will see more competent play from here on out.
Getting runners from third to home
The Brewers make it seem like getting a hit while someone is on third base is a truly impossible task. So much so, that I even started to think that squeeze bunting was our best option (don’t worry, I’m over that now). Their “situational hitting” is horrible in general, but it’s especially frustrating when they have countless runners at third during a game and less than two outs (a lot of the time, zero outs) and can’t seem to drive him in. Lucroy has been pretty much the only Brewers player who seems to be able to get hits when runners are in scoring position. Of course, Braun and Ramirez have missed a chunk of the season, so you’d have to think that it can only get better when they return.
Obviously, the starting pitching for the Brewers this season has been less than satisfactory, and that’s me being kind. Gallardo was a disaster for the first 6 weeks or so, Lohse was dealing with some nagging injuries earlier this season and not performing as well as he has been as of late. For the first couple of months, Wily Peralta could barely make it out of the fourth inning in his starts. The Brewers lost Estrada to injury and have been forced to use their bullpen for spot starts, which actually came as a blessing in disguise. With Gorzelanny now inserted into the starting rotation, they have a slightly new look for the second half. It was announced that after the break, the rotation is going to be Lohse, Gallardo, Peralta, Gorzelanny and Hand. We can only hope that they can all keep up the recent success that they have enjoyed; otherwise, we could be in for another long 68 games.