They Got in the Way: Brewers


Another one bites the dust.

As the post season ends for another team, Call to the Pen crosses yet another team off its list of potential champions.  Already bowed out are the Yankees, Phillies, Diamondbacks, and Rays, and here, Lou Olsen of Reviewing the Brew takes on the funereal duty of saying good bye to the 2011 Milwaukee Brewers.

The 2011 Brewers are not going to be playing in the fall classic, because the Cardinals are the hottest team in baseball right now.  From top to bottom, they are a great team.

Granted, the Brewers did not help themselves by committing an NLCS record nine errors.  Seven of which came in games 5 and 6… to go with their 7 runs in that same stretch.  Anytime you give a team like the Cardinals seven extra chances, you are probably not going to win said game.

Thus, “’Beast Mode” was laid to rest.

Now the starting pitching really doomed them from the start.  The Brewers NLDS series win was nothing short of a miracle.  I am not above acknowledging that the Brewers had a lot of things go their way in that series, accept for the two Grand Slams in back to back games.  Our starting pitching made it apparent early on that they were going to make things as stressful as possible.

I am talking pull your hair out, rub in Rogaine, repeat.    Zack Greinke was nothing more than pedestrian, Shaun Marcum could not help but throw his fastball down the middle 1 out of every 3 pitches, and Randy Wolf had a rough start but an excellent finish.  In my humble opinion, Yovani Gallardo was outstanding this postseason.  Going 1-1 with a 2.84 ERA in 3 starts is nothing to scoff at.

Was it legendary?  No, but it was enough to show that amongst all of the big flashy acquisitions, Yo is still the number one guy in Brew City.

Ryan Braun was otherworldly this postseason.  I could throw stats at you, but I have all off-season for that.  Here is the stat that defines his performance, Braun hit safely in the first inning for eight straight games.  That is a huge stat because that meant Fielder got to the plate in the 1st inning 8 games in a row.

Too bad Prince could not seem to cash in on very many of those opportunities.  Prince ended the NLCS hitting below .250 on the postseason.  You could see him start to press in Game 3, and that was when his bat went cold.

In my heart, I like to think that this leaves a bitter taste in his mouth and he will come back.  My heart has a history of being a dirty liar.  My gut says he will either go to the Marlins, Mariners, or the newest serious players…the Chicago Cubs.

I’m still very sad.  Not because they didn’t win the NLCS.  Not because Prince Fielder is probably out the door.  I’m sad because this 2011 team will never play together again.  They really had a great time playing baseball and it was infectious.  Sunday night was the last time that I could see this team take the field and that fills my soul with Smashing Pumpkins music.  By about the 3rd inning of Game 6, my brain and heart knew that the end was near.

So, rather than crying and moaning (like I had all season), I sat down with my dog and watched my guys.  It was very therapeutic.  I was given the opportunity to pay my respects to this season and say goodbye to my team.

Many of you reading this may not know that I have an affinity for Shakespeare.   On Sunday night as I watched Prince Fielder step to the plate in the bottom of the 8th inning, the Bard came to me:

"Now cracks a noble heart.  Good-night, sweet prince;And flights of angels sing thee to hy rest.–Hamlet, Act IV"

It is the perfect quote for the end of the Milwaukee Brewers 2011 season.