Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published daily that focuses on stats that go beyond the numbers.
We’re not even to the midway point of the 2012 season, but that won’t prevent us from trying to analyze the 2012 season and what is going wrong with the Brewers.
Obviously the team has not played up to its capabilities (and the expectations that people had for them based on last year’s playoff run). The decline in play can be traced to several factors: the free agency loss of Prince Fielder, the season-long slump of Rickie Weeks, the slow start of free agent Aramis Ramirez, an inconsistent bullpen, and injuries to three Opening-Day starters (Lucroy, Gonzalez and Gamel). We can only hope that Shaun Marcum missing a turn in the rotation due to tightness in his elbow is not more than a one-time issue.
The season is obviously not over, and with 95 games left on the schedule the Brewers certainly have time to make up the seven-and-half game deficit they face in the NL Central. They have yet to string together a long streak of victories (the longest win streak this season has only been four games) and have been fortunate to not have a losing streak longer than four games.
That having all been said, there are still concerns from the Brewer faithful. The team has a 31-36 record (.463 winning percentage). When you compare it to the .593 winning percentage of last season, that is a .130 decline over last year. If the season ended today, that would be the second largest one-season decline in Brewers history.
Here’s a look at the largest one-season declines in team history.
Greatest one-year decline in win pct. in Brewers history
1992 (.568) to 1993 (.426) .142 decline
1983 (.537) to 1984 (.416) .121 decline
2001 (.420) to 2002 (.346) .074 decline
2008 (.556) to 2009 (.494) .062 decline
1979 (.590) to 1980 (.531) .059 decline
Looking at each of the five biggest declines above, a few of them involved managerial changes. It’s doubtful that ownership with make a change in managers, but it is interesting to note that drops of this magnitude do signal changes.
The Brewers .130 point drop in their winning percentage over last year is not the largest drop in the majors. In fact, the Philadelphia Phillies have seen a much larger decline in their winning percentage over the 2011 season. The Phils, who won 63 percent of their games in 2011, are at .456, a decline of .174 percentage points.
Following are the biggest drops in winning percentage from last season (through games of June 18).
Team, 2011 win pct./2012 win pct, Difference
Philadelphia: .630/.456 .174 decline
Milwaukee: .593/.463 .130 decline
Detroit: .586/.485 .101 decline
Chicago Cubs: .438/.343 .095 decline
Arizona: .580/.493 .087 decline
San Diego: .438/.353 .085 decline
Colorado: .451/.385 .066 decline
Boston: .556/.500 .056 decline
St. Louis: .556/.507 .049 decline
It’s interesting to note that the four teams that played in the National League playoffs last year (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Arizona and St. Louis) are each on the list above. Add in Detroit, which played in the American League playoffs in 2011, and we have five of the eight playoffs teams from last year having a winning percentage decline of 049 or more points as of June 18.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @Statsontapp
Sports Stats ‘on Tapp’ is a sports statistics blog published multiple times weekly focusing on stats that go beyond the numbers.
Rickie Weeks is venturing into territory that no major league player wants to reside. With another “o-fer” last night, Weeks saw his average drop to .154 for this season. But last night’s performance was even more painful in that his 0-4 included four strikeouts. He has struck out seven times in his last nine at-bats, and has struck out two or more times in 18 of his 35 games this season. His 48 K’s in 2012 leads the National League.
As Weeks tries to get his average up to the Mendoza Line (if you don’t know what the Mendoza Line is, go to Google!), a look at the Brewers history reveals a number of players who have had less-than-stellar seasons as Brewers starters. The list includes some of the best and best-loved players in team history.
Weeks is one of four players in the National League bating under .200. The others: Clint Barmes, Pittsburgh, .155; Nick Hundley, San Diego, 167; Ike Davis, NY Mets, .167. In the American League there are eight players with batting averages under .200. In fact, if it wasn’t for Seattle’s Brendan Ryan, Weeks would have the lowest BA in all of baseball. Ryan is currently hitting .137.
Here are the Brewers players who had a season batting average under .220 (minimum of 100 or more games played in the season to qualify for this list).
Season average, Player, Year (Games played)
.165 Ray Oyler, 1969 (106) * with the Seattle Pilots
.178 Craig Counsell, 2011 (107)
.179 Gorman Thomas, 1975 (121)
.199 Pedro Garcia, 1974, (141)
.203 Chris Magruder, 2005 (101)
.204 Mike Matheny, 1996 (106)
.208 Darrell Porter, 1976 (119)
.208 Chad Moeller, 2004 (101)
.209 Rob Deer, 1990 (134)
.210 Ellie Rodriguez, 1971 (115)
.210 Rob Deer, 1989 (130)
.210 Henry Blanco, 2001 (104)
.211 Ronnie Belliard, 2002 (104)
.212 Greg Brock, 1988 (115)
.213 Tim Johnson, 1973 (136)
.213 Franklin Stubbs, 1991 (103)
.216 Ted Simmons, 1981, (100)
.218 Rick Auerbach, 1972 (153)
.219 Jose Valentine, 1995 (112)
.219 Pat Listach, 1995 (101)
.219 Bob Hamelin, 1998 (109)
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp