Here’s a little preview of a story set to hit MLB.com tomorrow:
Who could have guessed that Ken Macha, the self-proclaimed “boring” manager of the Milwaukee Brewers with zero ejections in his season-plus with the team, was such an adrenaline junkie? The Pittsburgh native is a big fan of Kennywood, a huge amusement park in his home state that features three wooden roller coasters.
“The Jack Rabbit, the Thunderbolt and the Racer,” Macha said. “I love that place. Love it.”
Good thing, because his ballclub is baseball’s version of a thrill ride. Up one week, down the next, and the only difference is that those downs have not been quite as fun as those dips and dives at Kennywood.
As of Thursday the Brewers had scored 186 runs, most in the National League and less than only the Yankees (190 runs) and Rays (189) in all of Major League Baseball. The Brewers’ 798 OPS also led the NL and trailed only the powerhouse Yankees (.805) and Red Sox (.799).
So Milwaukee is one of the most potent offensive clubs in the league, right? Yes, but only when they are not conjuring memories of the second-tier Brewers teams of seasons past, and there have been plenty of those games so far. Consider that the 2010 Brewers have already scored at least eight runs in a game 10 times, but have scored two or fewer runs 11 times and are 1-10 in those games. That’s only the start of the extremes; they have scored at least 17 runs in three big games, but have been shut out four times.
They have swept two series in dominating fashion, both on the road — from April 20-22 in Pittsburgh by a cumulative score of 36-1 and from May 7-9 in Arizona by a cumulative score of 26-6. But they have been swept in each of the subsequent series, both times at home — outscored 25-4 by the Cubs from April 23-25 and 27-7 by the Braves just this week.
“It’s extremely weird,” said Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun. “I don’t think there’s any logical explanation. I wish we could say, ‘Let’s score five today and then save five for tomorrow.’ It just doesn’t work that way.”
For more, including GM Doug Melvin’s take on this up-and-down season, see my story on Friday. In the meantime, which Brewers team do you think will shot up this weekend?