Is this the beginning of the end?
It's so hard to stay positive and not think that this is the Brewers completely blowing it.
I know, I know. It's just a couple of games, step off the ledge, etc...
But when our manager continues to do things like bat Kendall and Counsell to lead off the ninth inning down by one run and we cannot at ALL rely on our bullpen, it's hard to remain optimistic and calm.
We are 2-6 on this homestand. We're heading to Philadelphia for 4 games and Chicago for 3 in the coming week.
It's hard to not have your hand hovering over the panic button.
That being said, we're still in the lead for the wild card. We've played EXCEPTIONALLY on the road this season. I'd still rather be where we are than sitting in the shoes of the Phillies or the Cardinals.
We're in the exact same place - 3 games ahead in the wild card - as we were on August 10. Sure, we had a spectacular August and should be in a better place, but if we take a step back - a full month has passed and we haven't lost any ground. We've whiled away 30 days and maintained our position. That's huge.
Remember, too, that merely taking the rest of the Reds series while the Marlins take the Phillies would put us up 5 games with 16 games left in the season.
See there - the ledge doesn't look so inviting any more, does it?
But the fact that only the Brewers can decide their own fate is actually scarier than if we had to rally. We can't seem to handle the pressure and there's going to be plenty of focus on us in the next 3 weeks. Our games our going to be nationally televised - something that hasn't boded well for us all season.
It's difficult not to blame a lot of this situation on Ned Yost. I'm an unabashed Ned hater and I try to keep my bias to a minimum here. But is there anyone out there that didn't have at least a tiny bit of fear about Ned being at the helm of a playoff chase team. His stubborn attitude, inexplicable decisions and strange, illogical philosopies seem to be at the core of our problem. Last season when we were still in the hunt, Ned got into mindgames with Tony LaRussa that he was ill equipped to handle and it ended up with us looking silly in a game of "who can hit the most batters?" When we were a crappy team, our crappy manager wasn't too much to worry about. Now that he's leading our possible collapse, the fear that he'll continue his hardheaded ways is making me worried about our situation.
Part of me is heartened by things like that we've only stranded 5 runners in the past 2 games. Of course, we'd have to have baserunners in order to strand them.....