How far do you have to be on the radar when you’ve won seven in a row, including two straight sweeps , won 21 of your last 26 games, exceeded pretty much everyone’s expectations, and the week’s stories about the Hottest Team in Baseball aren’t about you?
This isn’t another one of those east coast or west coast bias complaints. I live in Milwaukee. I’ve long since come to terms with the fact that no one cares what happens here. But really, can’t a team get any respect?
And yet, here the Brewers stand with a starting pitching staff that leads the league in quality starts, is tied for sixth in Starter’s ERA and is in the top ten in WHIP, K/9 and K/BB.
The situation is so bad that this Chicago Tribune writer has moved the Brewers all the way up to third in his Power Rankings, but still says that pitching’s an issue. Old stereotypes die hard.
Sure, it’s early, but I plan on enjoying every moment of this “bonus” time. When your team exceeds expectation, it’s like you can’t lose. If they start playing poorly, it’s what you expected of them in the first place, so you can’t be too disappointed. And every win is like finding money in the pocket of your jeans on laundry day.
Sure, the Brewers made the post season for the first time in 26 years last year, and that was wonderful, but that season began with a lot of expectations, meaning every loss and error were heartbreaking and liable to send any good fan into a deep depression.
That’s what’s so great about exceeding expectations – there are no lows.
And the best part is – it’s been fun to watch.
Our worst starter (Jeff Suppan) went from a 13.50 ERA and two straight starts of four innings or less (one in which he walked six batters in 3.2 innings) to throwing a seven-inning shut out in ten starts. His ERA is down to 4.63.
Mike Cameron is just 2 HR away from 250 career homers and 250 stolen bases – a fairly elite club of just 19 major leaguers.
Jason Kendall got his 2000th hit on Monday, making him just the eighth full-time catcher to reach that mark.
Mat Gamel, our most promising prospect, hit a HR in his first major league start on Monday.
There’s not a better place to spend a Spring or Summer night than the ballpark and it’s so much more fun when your team is loose, winning, and seeming to have as much fun as you are.