The Milwaukee Brewers have lost seven of their last 10 games, and the next time they lose they will not be blaming Ned Yost anymore. Milwaukee has fired Manager Ned Yost after being swept by the Philadelphia Phillies and falling into a tie in the wild-card standings with those Phillies.
Management felt that they had given him more than enough pieces to be flourishing at this time of year rather than collapsing, but I'm not convinced that is the case. The Brewers are still a young team, and they seem to have been overachieving early this year.
For example, Prince Fielder finished last year with a .288 average, 50 home runs. and 119 RBI. This year, he is hitting .265, with only 30 HRs and 87 RBI and has matched his strikeout totals from 2007 at this point in the season.
Ryan Braun missed time with an injury and has seen his average drop 30 points this season, and Corey Hart's progression from '07 to '08 seems has been minimal.
Before Sabathia, the ace of their pitching staff was an injury-prone Ben Sheets and their "big splash" was Jeff Suppan (four years, $42 million). The Eric Gagne Experiment has failed miserably and the rest of the bullpen has been equally disastrous.
They are a young, talented team that seems to have a bright future, but the Philadelphia Phillies are a better baseball team in 2008. They have the last two MVPs (Howard and Rollins) AND Chase Utley in the heart of an order that may be the best in the National League.
If the Brewers back their way into the playoffs, they should be dangerous, because they have a potent one-two punch in Sabathia and Sheets; however, Philadelphia is the better team at this point and will be a force in the playoffs.
Unlike last year, where they ran into the Colorado Rockies, who were playing out of their minds, this year they should be the team that will enter the postseason with the most momentum.