Monday, September 24, 2012

Brewers still in good position

      Despite the Cubs failure to steal winnable games from the Cardinals, the Nationals domination of the Brewers in game two, and the Crew's failure to make up any ground, the Brewers still have themselves in a great position. With ten games remaining, the Brewers are still just 2.5 games back.

      If you looked at the Brewers schedule a month ago, you probably wouldn't have given them much of a chance on their current road trip. With consecutive road series against the Pirates, Nationals, and Reds the Crew finds themselves 5-1 with four games remaining. That's nothing to complain about!

      If the Cardinals drop just one game in their series with the Astros, the Brewers can afford two losses in the remaining four games of this trip. This will put them just 3.0 games out of the second wild card spot (WC2). In the final six games of the season, the tables are turned on the Cardinals. The Brewers finish with two home series and six winnable games against the Astros and Padres whilst the Cardinals finish with the Nationals and Reds.

      For the Brewers to complete the climb to the postseason they will need help, but not luck. (Assuming they are only 3.0 games out) If the Cardinals lose both series, as they statistically should, they will drop four games. The Brewers then, need to go 5-1 in their final six games to force a one game playoff with the Cardinals.

See how doable this is? #WeBrewlieve
Shout out to Tien for inspiring me to blog more frequently, also for inspiring me to use the word “whilst” in this blog. I am easily inspired...

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

Uecker's County Stadium Closing Speech

This was hard for me to find online, so I thought I'd type it out and post it.

Bob Uecker was Master of Ceremonies at County Stadium's closing ceremonies. He closed with this short speech. The famous line "It was here that boys became men..." is heard before every Brewers pre-game show on 620 WTMJ. 

"Well, here you are, County Stadium. Fourty-eight years have slipped away like the blink of an eye. Yet the memories housed within your walls will live on forever. At first, you were called a jewel in the waiting, though soon a suiter would come calling. You promised to welcome all who visited and they came first by the thousands, then by the millions. A champion was born in your midst, and you stood proud when the rest of the world wondered how. Yet, those good times would not last. Broken hearted, unwanted emptiness, became sadness. Yet, you never asked why. For perhaps, just perhaps, you alone knew that the spring would bloom again. Oh, how you have changed in so many ways, yet one thing remains: a bond between heroes and fans and an ambition to succeed. It was here that boys became men, men became champions, and champions became legends. It is a very sad time for me. For I have been here as a fan, as a player, and for the last thirty years as a broadcaster. But tonight, tonight is the final curtain. It's time to say goodbye. We will never forget you, for what was will always be. So long old friend, and good night everybody."  

-Bob Uecker 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Road to the Postseason

The Brewers improbable fight back into playoff contention finds them 2.5 games out of the second Wild Card with 16 games remaining. The next 10, however, could decide their fate.

Beginning tonight at 6:05pm, the Crew begins a crucial, grueling 10 game road trip. Tonight is the first of three against the Pirates, who are tied in the standings with the Brewers at 2.5 games back. After three games in Pittsburgh, the Brewers play four against the NL best Washington Nationals and then three against the divisional leading Cincinnati Reds. For the Brewers to remain in contention, they will need to find at least seven wins on this road trip. They finish the year with the Astros and Padres at home.

The importance of the road trip is heightened when you examine other schedules. Only the Dodgers and the Cardinals (current Wild Card leaders) stand in the Brewers way. The Dodgers schedule is nearly identical to the Brewers. They will take on the Nationals, Reds, and Padres during a nine game road trip and finish the year with the Rockies and Giants. The incumbent Cardinals are a different story. They have nine games let with the Astros and Cubs and finish the year with Washington and Cincinnati at home. Their considerably easier schedule gives them a leg up and good chance to hold off the competition for the final Wild Card spot.

To recap:
Wild Card Contender Brewers Cardinals Dodgers Pirates
Opponent (number of games in series) @Pittsburgh (3) Houston (3) @Washington (3) Milwaukee (3)

@Washington (4) @Chicago Cubs(3) @Cincinnati (3) @Houston (3)

@Cincinatti (3) @Houston (3) @San Diego (3) @NYM (4)

Houston (3) Washington (3) Colorado (3) Cincinnati (3)

San Diego (3) Cincinatti (3) San Francisco (3) Atlanta (3)

I see each team finishing as follows:
Brewers: 9-7 (83-79)
Cardinals: 9-6 (86-76)
Dodgers: 6-9 (82-80)
Pirates: 6-10 (80-82)

The Cardinals have to be the favorite to hold on to the last spot. Whoever wins the Brewers/Pirates series will have the best chance to knock them out. The Dodgers have too difficult a schedule to make up ground like the other teams will. The standings will look like this at the end of the regular season:

The Brewers have relied on unknown pitching prospects during their run. If they can continue to get solid starts from guys like Fiers and Peralta and can maintain the consistency out of the bullpen, they'll have a shot. I believe that will unlikely, but we'll know for sure after this road trip.

Go Brewers!

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Young Bucks

      This season may be “playoff or bust” for GM John Hammond and head coach Scott Skiles, who are both entering contract years, but it is by no means the case for the rest of the team. Sure, the Bucks would like to get back to the playoffs, but so would every team. What I'm saying here is this: if the Bucks don't make the playoffs this year, don't give up on the team and blow it up. Here's why...

      The Bucks are young. If, by the end of this year, John Henson would make the starting lineup at center (doubtful, but for the sake of my argument we'll roll with it), their lineup would consist of Jennings (age 23), Ellis (27), Harris (20), Ilyasova (25), and Henson (22). (All the ages listed here are the player's ages at the end of the 2012-2013 NBA season). That is a young team with a ton of talent and upside.

      Not only is their starting line up young, they have a relatively youthful bench at each position as well. At the guard position, rookie Doron Lamb is just 21. At the forward position, Udoh is 25, Sanders is 24, and Mbah a Moute is 26. That's youthful depth at every position.

      The addition of veteran contributors at every position is why I think the Bucks will not only be good for years to come, but will make the playoffs this year. True point guard Beno Udrih is 30, forward/guard Mike Dunleavy is 32, forward Drew Gooden is 31, and centers Samuel Dalembert and Joel Przybilla are 31 and 33.

      If the Bucks can stay healthy, I think the Deer are to be Feared once again. I will boldly predict them to be 6th in the East this year.

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