Photo by Adam Ryan Morris
Would you believe that no World Series champion in the last 10 years started with a perfect 8-0 record?
Would you also believe that nobody who raised the Commissioner’s Trophy over the past decade started a perfectly pitiful 0-8?
Actually, the most common eight-game record for those World Series champs was a mediocre 4-4. Five teams came out of the gates with that mark, including the 2012 San Francisco Giants. Glance back through the past 10 years of World Series history, and you’ll also see a couple 6-2 clubs (2010 Giants, 2005 Chicago White Sox), as well as one that went 5-3 (the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals).
And then there are the 2011 Cardinals and the 2003 Florida Marlins, who fumbled their way to exactly two wins in their first eight games.
Which is exactly what the Milwaukee Brewers have done this season.
Don’t get me wrong. This is not a musing on why the Brewers will win the 2013 World Series. Not unless they fix the bullpen, get better starting pitching and get at least a little luckier when it comes to injuries.
But this is a reminder that things change.
Whatever thoughts you have about this current Brewers team, whatever curses you’ve hurled its way or vows you’ve made about its already-assured fate, they’re probably quite similar to the ones made by fans of those Cardinals and Marlins teams.
In 2003, the Marlins allowed 52 runs through their first eight games, an average of 6.5 per game. The Brewers, for all their pitching problems, have allowed 49 runs.
The 2011 Cardinals had much better pitching, but no offense to go with it, scoring a total of 21 runs through eight games and managing four runs just once. The Brewers, for all the injuries that have gutted the heart of their lineup, have scored 32 runs.
The Brewers team you see now, the one that’s performing so poorly, will not be the team you see all season. Personnel will change. Injuries will heal. Poorly performing players will do better. The few guys who are off to great starts will cool off. Things will even out.
Will it be enough to turn this team into a contender? Who knows? Nobody has a crystal ball, especially one featuring 108 double stitches.
But if crystal balls are out of stock, baseball has the next best thing. It’s called a season, and it takes awhile to play out.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter, where I tweet as howiemag. And listen to me chat sports with Mitch Teich monthly on WUWM's "Lake Effect."