Daily Archives: August 20th, 2012

Sixty-six losses: A comparison of the 2011 and 2012 Brewers seasons

Milwaukee Brewers

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published with a focus on stats that go beyond the numbers.

The Brewers lost 8-0 yesterday to the Philadelphia Phillies, splitting their four-game home series with another team that will not repeat as division champions. The loss gives the Brewers a 54-66 record.

For you astute Brewers fans, you realize that the 66 losses this season matches the 66 total losses from last year when the team went 96-66 and won the NL Central. So, if you want to take a short journey outside of reality, all the Brewers have to do to match last year’s record is go 42-0 the rest of the season.

The Brewers became the second team this season to already match their loss total from last year; the Phillies have already lost 65 games this season, compared to the 60 they lost in 2011.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what has gone wrong this year with the Brewers, especially with the bullpen. The club has not been able to hold late-inning leads and blown saves have become all too common this season.

Not to beat a dead horse, but here’s another statistical view of the bullpen’s failures. When have the Brewers lost their games this year? The early innings? The middle three innings? The late innings?

With the losses at 66 this season (same as last year’s loss total), let’s do a comparison of when the playoff-bound Brewers lost their 66 games last year with the 66 losses already this season.

Following is a comparison on when the Brewers lost the lead for good in their 66 losses in 2011 and 2012.

Inning opponents took lead for good, 2011 Games/2012 Games

Inning #1     2011: 15     2012: 8

Inning #2     2011: 5      2012: 7

Inning #3     2011: 5      2012: 10

Inning #4     2011: 9     2012: 7

Inning #5     2011: 6     2012: 2

Inning #6     2011: 3     2012: 4

Inning #7     2011: 6     2012: 4

Inning #8     2011: 6     2012: 6

Inning #9     2011: 4     2012: 8

Extra Innings:     2011: 7     2012: 10

Some of the first things that pop out from this comparison is that last year the starting pitchers gave up the lead for good more often in the first inning than this year. The other big difference is that the team has lost more games in the ninth inning and beyond more this year (18 losses) than last year (11 losses).

I think you get the picture. But let me offer you one more look. Go back to June 11th this season. The Brewers were 28-32, 4.5 games out of first in the NL Central and still very much in the race for the two Wild Card berths. From June 11 to August 19, the Brewers lost 34 games. Of those 34 losses, 16 of them came in the eighth inning or later, 47.1 percent of their losses. Seven of the losses came in extra innings, six came in the ninth inning and three in the eighth inning.

By comparison, the 2011 Brewers lost only 25.8 percent of their games in the eighth inning or later. In 2012, the team has lost 24 of their 66 losses in the eighth inning or later (36.4 percent). As I said above, since June 11, that percentage has climbed to 47.1 percent of their losses.

Again, Brewers fans don’t need reminding as to what has happened to the team. But these are just a few more numbers to confirm what we already know.

Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp