Let's Not Lose Sight of What Really Matters
And this is really what baseball is all about.
This guy reminds me quite a bit of this Milwaukee legend:
We haven't had a Brewers post in quite a while. I can't figure out why people are so down on the team right now. The Brewers have a 5.5 game lead with 12.5 games left. It would take an epic collapse to miss the playoffs. I'm not worried. Just because the offense has staggered for over a week does not mean anything. The Brewers' offense has been up and down all season. If anything, we can take the current struggles as a sign that they will be peaking in two weeks when games matter a lot more.
I admit I am biased that I want the Brewers to finish behind the Diamondbacks. But I can't figure out why fans are so desperate for the Brewers to have home field advantage and play the Braves in the first round instead of the Phillies. First, when does home field advantage matter? Only when a series goes to its final game. It does not matter if a series ends early, even if the team played more games on the road than at home in a series ending in 3 or 5 games. Most series do not go to a final game, even 5-game series. And we likely are only talking about one series because the Brewers will finish ahead of the Braves no matter what and behind the Phillies no matter what. Further, I think the recent slump at home helps show that the Brewers' home/road split was not sustainable. In reality, the Brewers are better at home but not hugely better at home. So we are talking about a small advantage that home field may bring, but the chances of that advantage to come into play are still below 50%. So we should not be so concerned about home field advantage.
Second, people are terrified to play the Phillies in the first round. Why? The Phillies admittedly are the best team in the National League. But if you think they are so great, then you have to assume you'd play them in the NLCS, right? The reality is that the Phillies have won only 7% more often than the Brewers this year. That is a significant difference, but consider that that is over 150 games. Take any 5 game sample, and the Phillies have only slightly better than a 7% advantage to beat the Brewers. The more games that you play in a series, the more likely it is that the Phillies win. In an infinite game series, the Phillies win every time. In a one-game series, the Phillies win only 53.5% of the time. Of course, if the Brewers do not play the Phillies in the first round, perhaps they get lucky and the Diamondbacks beat the Phillies. But, if that's the case, then the Brewers certainly could have beaten the Phillies. So, what are we really worried about?
I guess I'm still married to the "playoffs are a crapshoot" notion. I don't care how the Brewers get in, I just am happy if they get in. And right now, despite slipping a lot in the standings against the Cardinals over the last two weeks, I'm very confident they will be in the playoffs.
But before you start thinking the Brewers don't piss me off, I am not going to forgive the Brewers when they put a shitty postseason roster together. It is unforgivable to keep Kotsay or Wilson on the roster given the better options available. The only way those guys make the roster is if Hairston or Green don't make it (there's no way Counsell or Betancourt get left off). That's not okay. And it is unforgivable to continue to play Betancourt at shortstop every game and to have him starting in the playoffs. The options to replace him aren't great, but my God are they better than him. The Brewers need to use the next two weeks to get Hairston prepped at short.