I was mercifully locked in a classroom during this game; here are my impressions from the box and play log and things of that nature.
Manny had an average start. He gave up 8 fly balls and only 4 line drives. Unfortunately, with Joe Inglett, Corey Hart, and Jim Edmonds as your starting outfield, that has a very good chance of adding up to a lot of hits, and it certainly did for Parra today. The 10 hits are what killed him. Perhaps it was better contact than the batted ball types indicate, but it seems like Parra was more unlucky than bad. 5 K, 1 HR, and 2 BB in five innings is acceptable – certainly not great by any measure, but not as bad as the more superficial results seem to suggest.
Barry Zito is not that good of a pitcher, and it showed today. Despite the seven strikeouts, Zito walked six and allowed seven hits. Unfortunately, part of life is a baseball fan is living through the 3-47 drought with runners in scoring position that this team is enduring. It was a big reason why the Brewers lost today, and it’s very disappointing that this is happening right after the team put together a solid run last month.
The easy way out is to blame the manager. The truth is that things like this happen for every team under every manager. You can’t say for sure that the team is not playing with heart or focus or energy or whatever buzz word that you’re looking for because you watched the game on TV and the team is losing in a very disappointing fashion. Baseball is a game that is subject to loads of random variation in the course of one game and one series.
It may well be that firing Macha is the best thing to do, but I’ve come to understand that I, personally, have no way of knowing that. I don’t understand how managing in the major league works and, as long as his strategic decisions aren’t killing the team, it’s beyond me to say what is going on in the clubhouse. I realize this sounds hypocritical given that I called for Macha’s firing earlier this season. I regret that post, and really don’t think that it was my place to write it.
This sweep is certainly disappointing, but the Brewers aren’t a good team and as such, strings of poor luck and poor performance, especially when combined, inexorably lead to terrible results, as in the last five games. The problem is the talent on the roster. I don’t know if that problem is amplified by the man in the dugout or not, and, let’s be honest, neither do most of the talking heads that will be calling for his head on a silver platter over the next week or month or however long it takes for the Brewers to put together a winning streak.
We get just what we need next. A series against the Pirates and the All-Star Break. Try and enjoy both.