Keep Reminding Yourself: It’s Just a Simulation, Not Real Life
One of the biggest surprises in the baseball world as we go to the All-Star Break is the Milwaukee Brewers.
Who among us thought that they’d be over .500, much less leading the NL Central? Only the most optimistic of cheeseheads who were still drunk after the Packers’ season, that’s who. The rest of us thought the Brewers would be better, but not in first place.
So, with that, I cranked up Out of the Park Baseball, and wanted to see if I could simulate the success these Brewers have had.
It’s not going well, and that’s an understatement.
The first thing I noticed is that most all of the starting staff had very low ratings by the game. I mean really low – replacement level or worse. Only Zach Davies had decent marks. Two of the pitchers, Matt Garza and Wily Peralta, were poorly rated AND expensive. Not a good combo.
The bullpen, at least, had some decent options, but in looking at the minor leagues, I noticed that the AA and AAA teams for the Brewers were old. Late 20’s and early 30’s old, even in AA. So there’s only emergency relief there.
Offensively, there were decent options throughout the diamond. Shaw, Thames, Braun and crew were going to score a lot of runs. The question is could they stop anyone from scoring.
I knew I needed pitching help, so I started to claim players on waivers almost as soon as they were available. At first, it seemed successful, as I floated around .500 for a while. But starting in late May, my squad has gone 3-17.
The problem? Starting pitching.
I jettisoned who I thought were the weak links, and thought I shrewdly picked up Brad Peacock, Mike Montgomery and swung a big trade to get Dylan Bundy by shedding an extra outfielder.
The results were less than stellar.
You know how hard it is to watch game after game where you fall behind by three or four runs by the fourth inning? The big problem is the gopher ball – the starters keep giving them up at the most inopportune time. Meanwhile, the offense keeps hitting solo home runs as some key cogs have decided that walking is poison.
My Brewers are 27-44. I recently traded Montgomery to the Dodgers for Brock Stewart. I’ve used 13 starting pitchers, and 31 total. That includes Nick Franklin who I threw in twice when the team was absolutely blitzed several games in a row.
There’s no help in the minors, either. The oldsters in AAA and AA aren’t getting many people out, either. The two class A teams are in first place, at least.
So the real-life Milwaukee Brewers are pacing their division, this simulated team is giving me anxiety like no other computer team has. If Jimmy Nelson gives up six runs in 3 2/3 one more time, I may quit and become a monk.
I think that’s definitely an option in Out of the Park, isn’t it?