Brewers doomed to sub-.500 season
After Colorado reliever Franklin Morales struck out Alcides Escobar to end Thursday’s 9-2 Brewers loss, slugger Prince Fielder sat on the dugout and watched the Rockies celebrate their ticket to the postseason.
“I didn’t mind watching,” Fielder said. “It reminds you of what you’re missing.”
The dogpile on the pitcher’s mound came 369 days after Fielder and the Brewers celebrated their own Wild Card clinch last season. Now, with 82 losses and three games to play, the Brewers are guaranteed a losing record.
Manny Parra, who endured an awful final start, saw the last out on a clubhouse television. He immediately turned it off.
“That’s the last thing I want to watch,” he said.
The Brewers aren’t the first team to follow a playoff appearance with a losing season. Since the Wild Card era began in 1995, 21 teams have endured such a slip, plus two more — the 2008 Indians and the 1996 Reds — who came close but finished 81-81.
Three of those 21 teams had a fall more devastating than Milwaukee’s. The 1998 Marlins, the 2003 Angels and the 2007 Cardinals followed World Championships with losing seasons.
Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio watched Thursday’s final innings in frustration and vowed offseason changes. Among the team’s pressing question marks is Parra, a 26-year-old with loads of talent who has been slow to put it to consistent use.
That was the case again against the Rockies, when Parra recorded five of his eight outs via strikeouts but also walked five — one was intentional — and surrendered five runs. He issued two of the Brewers’ three bases loaded walks. Two of them inexplicably went to Colorado pitcher Aaron Cook, a .116 hitter entering the game.
“I have games like the last game [a win against the Phillies] when I’m able to stick to the plan and execute,” Parra said “Today, I was trying to stick to the plan but I just wasn’t able to accomplish what I wanted to do.
“I just have to forget about it. I know I have the ability. It comes down to fastball command. That’s what it’s all about. I understand that and know that’s what I have to work on.”