Milwaukee Brewers Massive Downward Spiral

Keston Hiura
Benny Sieu – USA TODAY Sports

The Milwaukee Brewers (33-28) have gone from one of the best teams in baseball to one of the most embarrassing as they continue an eight-game losing streak. After starting the season 32-18 they have now lost 10 of their last 11 games putting them on one of their worst stretches in recent history. Let’s dive into what has ensued with the Brewers.

A Hideous Switch

The Brewers started the season 4-5 with some shaky pitching and unreliable offense. They turned that around quickly as they proceeded to win nine of their next 12 series through late May. Outside of their back-to-back series losses against the Atlanta Braves and Cincinnati Reds, there were very few teams that could win against the Crew.

Their pitching and hitting were both working extremely well and did everything possible to propel this team to a solid lead in the National League Central. Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader, Rowdy Tellez and Hunter Renfroe were just a few that made this team one to watch out for.

Unfortunately, June came at the Brewers like the biggest wrecking ball they had ever seen.

Cubs

After taking both games of a doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs in the windy city, they followed that up on the final day of May with an 8-7 loss which was a horrible display of pitching from one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. It definitely foreshadowed what was to come in the next two weeks.

They wrapped up their series in Chicago on June 1st with another brutal one-run loss which meant a split of the series.

The last time the Brewers lost back-to-back one-run games in Chicago was April 26-27, 2018.

The Brew Crew then went back home for two big series against the Padres and Phillies, both of whom the Brewers had taken the series from on the road in San Diego and Philadelphia earlier this season.

Padres

The series against the Padres started with a spectacular come-from-behind win for the Crew. Down 4-1 in the bottom of the 9th, Jace Peterson hit a game-tying three-run triple and was immediately brought home on a walk-off single by Andrew McCutchen for a 5-4 victory. After two rough losses in Chicago, this was a much-needed victory. To the Brewers’ dismay, it would be the last one for a while.

Padres’ pitching did not crack at all in the rest of the series. In games two and three the Padres shut out the Brewers 7-0 and 4-0 respectively.

This was the first time since May 11-12, 2016 against the Cubs and Brewers that the Padres threw two straight shutouts. Also, it was the first time since July 3-4, 2019 against the Reds that the Crew was shut out twice in a row in the regular season.

The Padres completed the series with a 6-4 victory. They not only took this series but won the season series 4-3.

Padres’ pitching definitely showed why they should get a lot of recognition. Their four starters went a combined 23 innings where they only gave up two runs on 10 hits and struck out 29.

The Brewers did not have a ton of chances to score but when they did they struggled to do anything about it. They went a combined 4-24 with runners in scoring position (RISP) and stranded 30 men on base.

Phillies

Following the Padres series, the Phillies came into town for their final games against each other for the season. The three previous games in late April featured three incredibly tough and close games in which the Brewers were able to take two of three including a 1-0 victory.

This was a much different series. It started with a game where the Brewers held a 2-1 lead going into the top of the 9th which meant an appearance from Josh Hader. Coming into this game Hader was 18 for 18 in save opportunities with an era of zero. Yet even the best have bad days. Hader gave up two massive homers in the 9th, an extremely rare occurrence. The Brewers stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and lost 3-2.

Even Hader, the most reliable player on the Brewers failed in a big spot. The last time Hader gave up multiple homers in an inning of work was September 12, 2020.

The Phillies did not give the Crew much of a chance after game one. They won games two and three 11-0 and 8-3 respectively.

Once again the Brewers were absolutely destroyed by the starting pitching of their opponents. The three Phillies starters went a combined 19 innings and gave up three runs on 14 hits and struck out 13.

This makes back-to-back years where the Phillies swept the Crew, but the first time since June 7-10, 2014 that they did it in Milwaukee. Once again the Brewers were shut out which made it the first time, in the regular season, since April 26-29, 2018 against the Cubs that they got shut out three times in five games.

Nationals

After a rough homestand, the Brewers went on the road to D.C. to take on the Washington Nationals. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Crew as the Nationals came into this series with a 21-38 record. They had also just gotten swept by the Miami Marlins.

Just like the Brewers’ last two opponents, their previous series was won by Milwaukee. Just like their last two opponents, this was a much different series.

Despite the Brewers’ bats finally scoring some runs it proved fruitless due to abysmal pitching. The Nats came away with a convincing 11-5 victory and followed that up with an 8-6 victory.

This was the first time in a while that the Brewers scored more than a couple of runs in two straight games. This marks the first time since July 22-23, 2019 against the Reds that they scored five or more runs in back-to-back games and lost both games.

The final game of this series is Sunday afternoon where the Nationals look to keep the Brewers losing streak going and gain their first series sweep of the Crew since April 15-17, 2011.

More Irregularities

These past two weeks have been unprecedented considering who their team consists of both on the mound and in the batter’s box.

The Brewers are currently on an eight-game losing streak and have lost 10 of their last 11. The last time both of these happened was in September 2015.

Additionally, the Brewers have some of the best pitchers in baseball. Coming into this season some predicted they had the best of any team. Somehow their pitchers gave up six or more runs in seven of their last 11 games. As well as eight or more runs in four straight games. The last time they did either of those was July 12-25, 2018, and May 11-15, 2010 respectively.

In an age where home runs are king, the Brewers’ pitching has given up a ton during this stretch. Over this eight-game losing streak, they have allowed 19, 14 of which have come in the last four games. Prior to this, the Crew had only given up 45 homers in their first 53 games.

On May 30, the Brewers were in first place in the NL Central with the Cardinals four games back. Almost two weeks later, the Brewers sit in second place, 1.5 games behind the Cardinals.

All of this does a decent job of explaining just how odd this losing streak is for the Milwaukee Brewers. It feels like everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for a team that is supposed to be a serious World Series contender. It is still early in the season, but it can be extremely difficult to bounce back from a streak as detrimental as this, especially with a tough schedule ahead of them which features the New York Mets, St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays.

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