Kato Kaelin – Brewers Fan

Kato Kaelin, remember him? America’s Unwelcome Houseguest?

Well, he’s a Milwaukee Brewers fan. Surprising, isn’t it?

He’s also an avid tweeter about the Brewers.

And so on, and so on….

Yes, it’s been a tough stretch for Milwaukee lately. On July 15th, they were 52-41, in first place, up 5 1/2 games. Now, they’re 55-51 and 1 1/2 games behind the Cubs after losing a tough 2-1 game in 11 innings Saturday night.

A 3-10 stretch isn’t unusual for any team, and especially a team that has been overachieving all year long. Most everyone saw the Brewers as a team that was getting better, but most likely fighting for third with Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, not leading the division for most of the year.

Their Pythagorean record is spot on as well. They are a 55-51 team.

It makes sense that fans could be frustrated in this stretch. Everyone loves to believe that their team can continue hot streaks and stretches where they outplay their ability. Over 162 games, though, reality through regression to the mean happens.

What was even more impressive was that the Brewers were winning without Ryan Braun, who has been fighting injuries all season. Manager Craig Counsell has done a fine job keeping the team in it. They’ve gotten unexpected performances from Eric Thames, Jesus Aguilar, Domingo Santana, and Travis Shaw. Outside of Thames, the other three are younger players that had potential, but really have exceeded expectations this year. Thames, of course, came back from Korea hitting bombs.

Two of the Brewers expected starters, Jett Bandy and Jonathan Villar, are having disappointing years. But Hernan Perez, Manny Pina, and Eric “Bob From Accounting” Sogard have really stepped up, and Milwaukee snatched up Stephen Vogt for catching depth in a smart move.

Sogard has been a nice story all season. Though he’s in a slump coming back from an injury, the journeyman who missed all of 2016, and started the year on a minor league contract, has been a versatile weapon on both offense and defense.

Kato, though, begs to differ.

Pitching is where Counsell has done his best work trying to keep the Brewers in the race. Right now two members of their rotation are disabled (Chase Anderson and Matt Garza), and Counsell has plugged in such notables as Junior Guerra, Paolo Espino, Brent Suter, and Michael Blazek to try and tide them over. Former up-and-comer Wily Peralta has been the real disappointment, with a 7.85 ERA that’s earned him a spot at the DFA table.

Corey Knebel has done an oustanding job as stopper in the bullpen, with 15.8 whiffs per nine innings and an ERA under 2.00. The rest of the ‘pen crew has scuffled, but most of them were cheap, young, or cheap and young. Milwaukee got Anthony Swarzak just recently to help, but he’s not a budget buster by any means.

Needless to say, with the issues they’ve had, and the uncertainty of their talent, Milwaukee is still a pleasant surprise. Really, no thinking fan should be upset by this slump. It’s not like they’re the Giants or the Mets, teams that have their fans rending their garments in disgust.

But, fans be fans, and Kato…well…he’s got opinions.

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