Originally written on Midwest Sports Fans  |  Last updated 7/14/14
Memorial Day is past and May has come to a merciful close for the Milwaukee Brewers, a month that will live in infamy for the organization and its fans. With Friday night’s win in Philadelphia over the Phillies, the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers tied the 1969 Seattle Pilots for the worst month in franchise history, going 6-22 in May, for a .214 winning percentage. You can’t lose that many games in a month without everyone contributing. Too many bad at-bats on offense combined with poor fundamentals on defense and the National League’s worst pitching staff have sunk the Brewers season like an iceberg to the Titanic. And with four months of the season still to go, the club’s focus needs to shift to what needs to change for it to have a chance to compete in the future. Yovanni Gallardo has struggled in 2013 posting a 5.05 ERA through 12 starts The focus of those changes must revolve around the pitching staff. A team ERA over 4.50 is unacceptable for a squad that is expected to compete year-in and year-out. Last year the bullpen struggled all season and general manager Doug Melvin completely overhauled it during the offseason, adding six new arms to the relief corps. The ‘pen struggled to open the season when roles were unsettled thanks to the struggles of former closer John Axford. But as Axford has improved, so have the rest of the relievers and they have become a strength of the team. But the team’s starters have not fared well all season. Staff ace Yovani Gallardo has vastly under-performed thus far and Kyle Lohse has pitched closer to his career averages than the dominant seasons he had with the St Louis Cardinals in the last two years. And having traded away Zach Grienke last season and electing not to re-sign Shaun Marcum in the offseason, Melvin gambled on their young pitching developing this season to replace them. Thus far the faith he showed in the young hurlers has been misplaced. Marco Estrada has pitched better his last few starts, but that only lowered his ERA a shade below 5.00. Meanwhile, Wily Peralta and Hiram Burgos both have ERAs above 6.00 and haven’t shown significant signs of improvement. Neither player seems ready for the majors. But with no one at Triple-A pitching well enough to replace them, the Brewers are left with few good options. The situation at Double-A is better, with Jimmy Nelson and Ariel Pena both sporting ERAs in the 2.50 range, but they both need at least another full year in the minors to prepare them for the big leagues, so they can’t be counted on to help now. So with no internal options close to the majors the Brewers’ only option to make an immediate impact on their pitching staff would be a trade. That makes the next two months leading up to the trade deadline vitally important. The front office and scouting staff must identify players that will make an impact, then go out and get them. The team simply can’t go through another six-win month. The post Milwaukee Brewers Have a Mound of Problems appeared first on Midwest Sports Fans.
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