The Milwaukee Brewers dropped their 3rd straight game, 7-2 against the visiting Chicago Cubs at Miller Park last night. Ryan Dempster pitched 7 innings for his 12th win of the season and Ryan Theriot's 2-run triple in the fifth inning broke open what was a close game.
The Brewers glaring problem has been their lack of hitting, especially with runners in scoring position (risp). The Brewers are 0 for 15 against the Cubs with "risp" and just 3 for 59 over the last 8 games.
The Brewers fell 4-games behind the Cubs in the NL Central, tied for 2nd place in the Division with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Why do the Brewers struggle so much offensively? They have a terrible hitting approach.
Look at the Cubs. They hit the ball to all fields, they bunt, they hit and run. With a runner at second, they'll hit the ball on the ground to the right side to advance the runner to third. Then a ground ball or fly ball could score a run. What do the Brewers do? They swing for the fences. Milwaukee is one of the top home run hitting teams in the majors, but when the ball isn't leaving the yard, the Brewers are usually struggling.
The RISP numbers above are unbelieveable, and they usually lead to losing. There's a lot of time left, but not that much time if the Brewers don't reconsider their approach at the plate.
I'm hearing a lot of grumbling around the office today. I chalk it up to typical fan reaction when things aren't going right. But part of the skeptism is justified. The Brewers have starters in their lineup that either haven't produced most of the year, or are inconsistent. Prince Fielder falls into that latter category. Fielder needs to get it going over the last two months if the Brewers are going to have a chance to catch the Cubs.