Dear Ken Macha

Same as it ever was

By - Apr 19th, 2010 06:16 am
The racing sausages display one of many numbers lower than the Brewers team ERA (photo by Brian Jacobson)

The racing sausages display one of many numbers lower than the Brewers’ team ERA (photo by Brian Jacobson)

Dear Ken,

That didn’t take long.

Two weeks into the season and you’re already giving fans a serious case of heartburn. Two LaTroy Hawkins blow ups, being shut out by the Washington Nationals (!!!) and the return of Jeff Suppan— all in one week— will do that to people.

A three-day festival of afternoon frustration awaited you in Chicago, where a shorter leash on LaTroy might have saved the series from being such a frown. But, you didn’t do that on Wednesday. Instead, you displayed a Yostian sense of patience with Hawkins, which really ought to have been worn out by the time he walked the bases loaded, or when Ryan Theriot’s single put the Cubs within one run, or when Kosuke Fukudome’s subsequent single gave the Cubs the lead for good.

It would be easy enough to chalk up Hawkins’ bad outing as an inevitable aberration in the course of a long season, but two days later he did it to you again, and once again you left him out there to quickly throw away another 8th inning lead. Even worse, terrible pitching isn’t specific to LaTroy alone. Almost everyone in your rotation is laying eggs. The staff ERA is currently just a hair under 6.00, second worst in MLB. Coming off last season’s impressively terrible pitching, the general consensus was “how could it be any worse?”

Well, Ken, so far it is.

Last year’s pitching staff put up a 4.83 ERA and a below average ERA+ of 84. This year’s “new and improved” staff is currently boasting the aforementioned 5.97 ERA and an even more abysmal ERA+ of 77. You have one more win (5) than you have pitchers with ERAs over 10.00 (4). Not only are these numbers not sustainable if your team wants to remain competitive, they’re also not going to help your job security.

But let’s not be too rash here, Ken. A few better innings from your bullpen and instead of carping about so much bad pitching, we’d be marveling at the team’s ability to lead the division in spite of their horrible pitching. But wishes are not ponies, so let’s just hope this will pass. For your sake, it better — after a series in Pittsburgh you’ll be returning to Miller Park to face our lovable losers to the south, the Chicago Cubs. It’s bad enough hearing drunk Cubs fans argue with drunk Brewers fans, but throw in Friday/Saturday starts from Jeff Suppan and Doug Davis and we might be witnessing a veritable train wreck.

So … enjoy Pittsburgh!

Best regards,

Rob Vosters

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