There is a bright side to all of this. There has to be. There is always a bright side, isn't there?
I'm having a lot of trouble finding it right now. And even if I do, I'm pretty sure the bright side isn't going to shed any light into this dark side that is lodged firmly in my soul.
How could the Milwaukee Brewers – our team of destiny, the better team, the team we love so much – lose to the St. Louis Cardinals?
You could hear the thud as this season, so full of expectation, came crashing down so unexpectedly.
We may have had some nerves about it and we may have had our belief shaken not stirred. Sure, we were worried about Shaun Marcum. But we had faith that our team was better than their team.
They barely made it into the playoffs while we locked it up early. Our pitchers were better than their pitchers. And everyone says pitching wins in the playoffs. And we went out before last season and improved our pitching. Aces? We had trip aces leading to the full house of our pitching staff.
Pass the Kool-Aid, please.
Our great pitching staff crumbled during the playoffs. It was the "Rockets Red Glare, Bombs Bursting In Air" thanks to the Cardinals.
How come we didn't intentionally walk Albert Pujols every time he even came near home plate? Or David Freese, whoever he is? I mean, has anyone ever heard of David Freese before this series.
Marcum won the Jeff Suppan award for surprisingly awkward performances during the playoffs. Zack Greinke is famous for a Cy Young Award a couple of years ago and a psychological condition that hinders his ability to talk to other people. He proved that just because people call you an ace doesn't mean that you are.
I am very hesitant to use the word "choke." I'm not even exactly sure what it means or how you identify it.
But I'll say this. Since 2000, the Cardinals have been in the playoffs eight times. As an organization they understand what this means. Here in Milwaukee we are still kind of "Gee Whiz Look At Us" when it comes to our playoff attitude.
In the six games of this series, the Cardinals scored 43 runs. The Brewers scored 26. You do the math.
And speaking of big bombers like Pujols and Freese, how about the names Braun and Fielder? Of course we wouldn't even be in this series if it wasn't for these two. But that was a pretty important game last night and we sure could have used some Chantilly Lace specials by one or both of them. (If you don't get it, think of the guy who recorded the song). Braun and Fielder in the sixth game of the playoffs: 0-8 and one ball out of the infield. Hmmmm.
By the time the fifth inning rolled around it had moved into the laughable area. Jerry Hairston, Jr. had two errors on one play, although one of them could have been charged to Rickie (Has Anyone Got a Glove I Can Borrow) Weeks. After that play, they had a shot from the blimp as all of the infielders, the catcher and the pitching coach marched to the mound. The score was 10-5 and there were runners on second and third and nobody out. What in God's name could they have been talking about?
It sure wasn't fundamentals, like "keep your glove on your hand if the ball comes to you." Ryan Braun made a catch in left and unleashed his rocket arm toward home to try and get the runner. The ball bounced a little and Jonathan Lucroy lost his glove trying to catch it. Really? Lost your glove?
I don't know about you, but if we had to lose the series I would rather have won last night and then lost in the seventh game. What I really wanted was for this team to go down fighting, scrapping. I didn't want to get blown out of Miller Park.
Ah, well. It was a great season, while it lasted. Just didn't last long enough.
With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.
He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.
This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as OnMilwaukee.com keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.
Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.