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The Brewers are one awful baseball team right now

Apr 7, 2013, 6:54 PM EDT

Kyle Lohse Getty Images

First of all, the Brewers are carrying 13 pitches, even though Ryan Braun can’t play because of a neck injury. That leaves them with a three-man bench that just doesn’t work in National League games.

Second of all, the Brewers are carrying 13 pitchers. Why on earth is John Axford pitching a second inning in a tie game against the Diamondbacks after getting through the first by the skin of his teeth? The first two batters Axford faced in the 10th inning today hit fly balls that were caught at the wall.  This from a guy who had already given up three homers in 1 2/3 innings this season. Yet Roenicke, even with his eight-man bullpen, sent Axford back out to start the 11th.

In the 11th, Cliff Pennington hit a leadoff double, at which point the Diamondbacks sent up pinch-hitter Eric Hinske. The Brewers declined to counter with Michael Gonzalez, and Hinske got into a curve, hitting it way out to center. Only then did Gonzalez come in. He got three outs to keep it an 8-6 game.

That’s when the Brewers had their stroke of luck: Heath Bell was going to enter the game for the Diamondbacks. And if there are two NL relievers throwing worse than Axford right now, well, one is definitely Carlos Marmol. The other is probably Bell.

Sure enough, Bell gave up singles to three of the first four batters he faces. That brought up Rickie Weeks with runners at the corners and the Brewers down 8-7. And who was standing on deck? None other than Braun.

What happened next was incredible. Weeks got ahead 1-0 and then took three fastballs that were called strikes. All three were in good locations, but they were straight, 91-mph fastballs. That Weeks went down without ever taking the bat off his shoulder was disturbing enough. If he knew what was about to transpire afterwards, then he should be truly embarrassed; it may well have been the low point of his career.

For what happened next was that Braun was called back into the dugout and Kyle Lohse was sent up to hit. The Brewers, of course, had already gone through their three-man bench, and Roenicke didn’t see it worth risking Braun’s health even with a victory one good swing of the bat away. Lohse, a career .152 hitter, struck out looking, and Bell recorded what figures to be one of the last saves of his career.

The Brewers are now 1-5. They don’t have a closer. Braun, Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart are hurt. Their ace, Yovani Gallardo, hasn’t looked quite right. They’re starting Alex Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt at the infield corners. Also, they’re starting Alex Gonzalez and Yuniesky Betancourt at the infield corners. That light at the end of the tunnel is very dim right now.

  1. kollin7 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    That was a really dramatic article for a team with it’s 3 best players out, as well as a starting rotation and bullpen that are way better than what they showed the first week.

    • ezthinking - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:15 PM

      It’s a Twins’ fan writing the article, so…….

      • umrguy42 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Is Pouliot a Twins fan? I thought that was Gleeman…

  2. dondada10 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    The only thing I like better than Best Shape stories are early sample size stories.

    • Kleinz 57 - Apr 8, 2013 at 5:32 PM

      But what’s your stance on bad game-managing stories?

  3. brewcrewchamps - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Every second point you made was the first point. No comprende.

    Maybe I’m just mad the crew stinks right out of the gate, but still.

  4. derekczajkowski - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    Yes we are awful. Axford needs to go.. Also we carry a lot of pitchers and not one is any good.. Rickie weeks always strikes out so that’s no surprise either.. The team has two players aoki and lucroy that can be reliable. Not counting Hart braun and aram who are all hurt

  5. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    I’ve got faith still. Obviously the injuries are troubling but at least it means once they get healthy things should be looking up. If they had all their starters healthy playing this bad I’d be scared. And Axford probably needs to be relieved of his closing duties until he proves he can still pitch, which maybe he cant.

    • brewcrewchamps - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:13 PM

      Pretty much the same case as last year unfortunately..

      • brewcrewfan54 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:20 PM

        Yeah and last year they got themselves back into it so it can happen again. It’ll be harder though this year without 16 games against the Lastros and the Pirates probably being a tougher win. I wont be giving up after 6 games.

    • tonyc920 - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:03 PM

      it WILL get better, the sky is not falling ! Ron just has to nut up and send Axfford packing. The guy has NO confidence. Send him to AAA and let him start over.

  6. ketchup1211 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:22 PM

    Why RR keeps giving Axford the ball in the closer role is mind boggling to say the least. Heck, why RR gives Axford the ball at all anymore is hard to figure out.

  7. theaxmancometh - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:25 PM

    They are awful right now, granted their three best run producers are out. But Roenicke bringing in Axford for a 2nd inning was inexcusable. He had 2 flyouts to the track the previous inning. He actually managed to get 3 outs, let him leave the mound with some confidence. He’s leaving everything up & his velocity is down. Perhaps it’s his mechanics, maybe it’s the pressure of his first big salary he’s had in his career at $5m this season. Either way he doesn’t have it. I need to change my user name to theaxmanbloweth.

  8. mybrunoblog - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Imao the Brewers don’t even look good losing. The gold softball style Sunday special or alternate jerseys they had on today are pretty awful. Only thing worse was the Dbacks jereeys today.

  9. wiguy25 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:32 PM

    Brewers are the worst team in baseball

    • Old Gator - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      All of Macondo begs to differ with you.

    • drone501 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:48 PM

      i thought the pirates were.

  10. kollin7 - Apr 7, 2013 at 7:54 PM

    Also I’d like to see ANY team in baseball score 7 runs on a solid Diamondbacks pitching staff minus their equivalent to Braun/Ramirez/Hart/Segura. Most teams don’t even have an equivalent to Braun/Ramirez/Hart/Segura

  11. aceshigh11 - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:41 PM

    I don’t know much about the Brewers, but this article cracked me up. Well-done.

  12. andreweac - Apr 7, 2013 at 8:51 PM

    Fantastic article. As Yuni doesn’t really qualify as being a positional player due to a complete lack of talent they really only have 9 non-catcher positional players on their 25 man roster. That’s unbelievably stupid.

  13. thekoobeyak - Apr 7, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Well, at least they got that homestand over with and now they’ll hit road for a…awh crap

  14. onbucky96 - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:15 PM

    Gooood. I can feel your anger…sorry, was watching Jedi after the Crew debacle today. Yes, the Crew is awful right now. What can they do however? Not much. Hunter Morris has the best bat @AAA, but he’s not on the 40. Grin and bear it fellow Brew Crew Nation. Help is on the way…Braun/Segura will be back by Wednesday.

  15. jiminthebay - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    absolutely nothing wrong with those ( lite ) beer colored jerseys.

  16. badgerbuck - Apr 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    Would not be surprised if the franchise is out of milwaukee in the next five to ten years

    • brewcrewfan54 - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM

      Stupidest thing written on the internet today. Well done, that’s hard to do.

  17. rcali - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:15 PM

    At some point the Cubs and Brewers ownership has to understand their cheap manager hires are over their heads. At least they’re cheap!

  18. chill1184 - Apr 7, 2013 at 11:48 PM

    People have a serious case of small sample size disease today, what gives.

  19. ultichiva - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:39 AM


  20. cktai - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:36 AM

    I think there is only one explanation for that 11th inning. Both teams were trying really hard to lose.

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