Brewers didn't expect slow start on offense
Milwaukee had solid Spring Training with the bats, but it hasn't carried over
MILWAUKEE -- Exhibit A that the regular season is something entirely different than Spring Training: The Milwaukee Brewers' disappearing offense.
A day after being shut out by Kyle Kendrick and two Rockies relievers, the Brewers were limited to six hits in Tuesday's 5-2 loss at Miller Park. Through two games, the Brewers have been outscored, 15-2, and outhit, 28-14. It's a surprise to manager Ron Roenicke, who watched so many of his core players pile up hits in the Cactus League.
"Yes, because it wasn't just the [Spring Training] averages that were good, but it was the quality at-bats that we had," Roenicke said. "I expected us really to come in and swing well. It surprises me that we're not."
In the spring, the Brewers led the National League's 15 clubs with a .295 team batting average, ranked second with a .344 on-base percentage, fourth with a .448 slugging percentage and fifth with 166 runs scored. In 18 of their final 25 Cactus League games, the Brewers scored five or more runs.
In two games against the Rockies, Brewers batters are 14-for-64 (.219). They didn't collect an extra-base hit until Adam Lind doubled in the fourth inning of Game 2, though he was throwing out trying to stretch it into a triple. It was the first out of the inning, and the Brewers trailed, 3-0.
"I'm OK with that," Roenicke said. "I know ideally where the score is, you think, 'I can't do this with no outs.' But you're reacting out there to what you see, and they make two great throws to get him. I'm OK with that."
An inning later, the Brewers trailed, 4-0, but loaded the bases with nobody out. Roenicke called on his only left-handed bat on the bench, Logan Schafer, to face right-handed Rockies starter Jordan Lyles. Schafer grounded into a run-scoring double play.
Carlos Gomez added an RBI double the same inning, but the Brewers managed just those two runs.
"When you're coming off the bench, you want to get something early in a big situation," Schafer said. "You're looking to drive the ball there. I got decent barrel, but I didn't hit the ball where I wanted to."
With Lind representing the exception, the offense returned mostly intact from last season, when a team slump led to 22 losses in the final 31 games and bounced the Brewers from postseason position. During that stretch, the Brewers averaged only 2.6 runs per game.
"It's tough to lose the first two games of the season, but all of us in here learned a lot from last year, and putting these games behind is the best thing, and moving on and having a positive attitude the next day," second baseman Scooter Gennett said. "I think you'll see that [Wednesday]."
"We have great hitters on our team. It's going to take a while," said shortstop Jean Segura. "They're going to turn around."