Brewers Swept Out of Kansas City

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by Andrew Coughlin

Are the Milwaukee Brewers (28-35) in jeopardy of not making the playoffs in 2012?

After getting swept in a three game series against the Kansas City Royals, managed by former Brewer coach Ned Yost and supplied with a handful of ex-Brewers, I'd say the chances of them making it are getting smaller with each game.

Heading into the series with the Royals, it was surprising to see that Milwaukee was only 4 1/2 games back of the NL Central leading Cincinnati Reds (35-27).  They were a reasonable 12-15 on the road and heading into a stretch of June that consisted of matches against teams with sub .500 records.  Kansas City being one of them, along with Minnesota, Toronto and Arizona.  Given all of the injuries this club had sustained early on in the season, it's a wonder they were even within breathing distance for first place heading into June. 

After Wednesday's loss to the Royals, manager Ron Roenicke ripped his team, something he simply does not do.  They are losing to teams they should not be losing to and after the game on Thursday Roenicke looked perturbed.  He knows they have an opportunity to climb out of the hole the put themselves in.  "We've got to make a move here", he said.  "We just lost the last two games that we shouldn't have lost."

When asked about the team losing Thursday and having to play with little room for error, Roenicke said, "If you're not playing well, you're not going to get breaks.  We played O.K. for eight innings and Marcum pitched a great game.  We did not swing the bats again, but we're getting good starting pitching to keep us in games and Ax will get it going.  He's in a little funk right now, but he'll get it going."

Needless to say, June is a crucial month for this ball club.  A good June and GM Doug Melvin will be forced to keep all his players if the team is within striking distance of first place in the Central.  A bad June and he'll probably start unloading some highly sot after players by contending teams.  Most notably, free agent to be, SP Zack Greinke. 

It's unfortunate too, as a contending Brewers would be able to keep him until the end of the season, thus giving the organization a shot at resigning him before he hits free agency.

The Brewers need to climb back into this thing before they reach significant divisional play.  They are 13-14 in the division and need to be around .500 when they go head-to-head with the Reds and St. Louis Cardinals.  

I'm not saying the crew are out of it.  7 1/2 games back is far from being out of the race, but an easy stretch that is not taken advantage of is a recipe for missing out on the playoffs.  June is an advantageous opportunity for this group of guys to make up some ground, even with all of the bad luck this club has absorbed this season.  

They have a chance and the starting pitching to make the playoffs this year, but their window is getting smaller.

 

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