Brewers refusing to panic over rough start to season
Manager, players say Crew needs to relax, get things going
PITTSBURGH -- There was no sense of panic in Ron Roenicke's voice as he sat in the visiting manager's office Sunday afternoon at PNC Park. But there was clearly some urgency.
The Brewers lost their fifth straight game Sunday, a 5-2 defeat that completed the Pirates' three-game weekend sweep. The loss sent Milwaukee home with a 2-10 record, the worst record in franchise history through the first 12 games of the season.
"They're tired of it. We're tired of it. We need it to change," Roenicke said. "Whatever you have to do to just get the job done. These are good players, and we need to get it done."
The game played out in familiar fashion for the Brewers. Their pitching couldn't keep the Pirates' lineup in check. They didn't capitalize on a few early scoring opportunities, and their bats went quiet the rest of the game.
The Brewers had six hits, all of them singles, extending a long power outage for Milwaukee's hitters. The Brewers have gone six games without a home run, their longest homerless stretch since September 2002.
"I think the one positive we can take from what's happened is that we're doing everything poorly, so hopefully we start doing everything well at the same time," Ryan Braun said. "Obviously this isn't any fun for anybody."
Matt Garza, who gave up five runs in six innings, agreed that the players' desire to immediately end the losing skid might be hurting the team more than it's helping.
"We all want to be great, and right now, I think our want is overpowering our ability," Garza said. "We're putting too much on one play instead of just looking at the big picture. We just kind of need to step back and let our ability start taking over instead of our mental side. ... Start smiling again.
"It's a kid's game. We should be having a good time doing it. If we can start enjoying it again, we're going to be a lot happier in and out of the clubhouse."
But how do the Brewers start climbing out of this early hole as the losses and frustration start to pile up? Is it time for more dramatic changes, like Roenicke's lineup shakeup on Saturday?
They hope to start turning things around Monday, when they return to Miller Park to face the Reds.
"We're not going to panic, but these guys need to get it going," Roenicke said. "Not all the time do you start the way you want to. That's fine. But we shouldn't be doing this every night. And something needs to change.
"We'll get it going, but how far do you stay patient to where you're two weeks into the season and things aren't getting better?"