Brewers stay positive in face of dismal numbers
MILWAUKEE -- The early-season numbers are ugly for the Brewers, who have struggled to score, pitch and stay healthy on the way to the worst start in franchise history.
In the wake of a 6-1 loss to the Reds on Monday, here's a rundown of some key figures:
Eleven: Losses out of 13 games, giving the Brewers the worst record in the Major Leagues. In those losses, the Brewers have averaged 1.82 runs.
Nine: The number of games, out of 13, in which the Brewers have been held to two or fewer runs.
Seven: Games since a Brewers pitcher last put together a quality start. Wily Peralta appeared on his way Monday against a Reds offense that has slumped almost as badly as the Brewers, but he surrendered four runs in the sixth inning and two more in the seventh, including home runs for Zack Cozart and Joey Votto.
Six: Consecutive losses since the Brewers beat Adam Wainwright on April 13 to spoil the St. Louis home opener. The Brewers have scored three or fewer runs in each of those six losses.
Four: Brewers home runs, including Ryan Braun's ninth-inning solo shot on Monday. That ranks last in the Majors.
Three: The number of starting position players who won't be available Tuesday night. Carlos Gomez was placed on the disabled list last week with a hamstring injury. Scooter Gennett needed five stitches on his right hand after suffering a cut in the shower on Sunday. Jonathan Lucroy was placed on the DL late Monday after suffering a broken big toe on his left foot in the loss to the Reds.
One: The number of games in which the Brewers have out-hit the opponent.
"At some point we have to be near rock bottom," Braun said. "Hopefully, we start getting headed in the right direction."
Manager Ron Roenicke has stressed positivity while making some changes. He batted Braun leadoff during the Brewers' recent series in Pittsburgh. He dropped Aramis Ramirez in the order, first from fourth to fifth, then from fifth to sixth.
"I'm not going to sit and tell you I go home and I'm a happy camper," Roenicke said. "I know it's going to change, and that's probably the biggest reason to stay positive."
Is there a threat of players throwing up their hands and giving up?
"Negative," Lucroy said. "Never. I would never say that. Personally, I'm not going to dwell on the negative, and I won't let the guys in here do that either. We have to adapt to it, we have to overcome it, deal with it. These things happen. We have to figure out what we need to do and do the best with what we have.
"Of course [that is a challenge]. Playing the game healthy is hard enough. Whenever you're down some guys, it's going to be a lot tougher. But we still have enough talent here, I think, to win. That's the beautiful thing about baseball. It's not about being biggest, faster or stronger. That's why I love playing it. I definitely have full faith that these guys are going to continue to compete while I'm out, while [Gomez is] out. I'll heal back up and get back to them soon."