It made the Brewers the 11th team in the divisional era (since 1969) to lose at least 15 times in the first 18 games of a season, and the first since the 2010 Orioles started 2-16. There are only four National League teams on the list: The 1973 Cardinals, 1988 Braves, this edition of the Brewers (each of whom started 3-15) and the 1997 Cubs (2-16).
MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals lost Adam Wainwright to an ankle injury after four innings but won another ballgame, 5-3 over the Brewers, and opened a 10-game gap between the top and bottom teams in the National League Central.
Kolten Wong tripled home a run and scored on an error in the second inning, and Matt Holliday hit three-run home run in the seventh as St. Louis won for the ninth time in 10 games. The Brewers snapped a 25-inning scoreless streak against the Cardinals by scoring three runs in the eighth, but lost for the 10th time in 11 games.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke was ejected during a seventh-inning pitching change Saturday by home-plate umpire Dale Scott, with Roenicke still fuming about a called third strike against Ryan Braun during a critical juncture a half-inning earlier.
"I didn't like [Scott's] strike zone," Roenicke said, "so I told him he had a bad night."
MILWAUKEE -- While the Cardinals seek to end a six-game road trip with their second sweep of the season, the Brewers will take the field on Sunday looking to find some traction as they prepare to hit the road. Milwaukee will enter Sunday's 1:10 p.m. CT game at Miller Park having lost 10 of its last 11 games. The Cardinals, in contrast, have won nine of their last 10.
Milwaukee's Mike Fiers will take the mound for the first time since becoming the first pitcher in more than four years to allow two grand slams in a game. Fiers has lost all three of his starts this season, including one to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium on April 16.
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers manager Ron Roenicke spent time with reporters on Saturday musing about why his team is so inclined to go on streaks. Over the past two seasons, the Brewers have had separate stretches in which they have won nine games in a row and nine of 11, and losing streaks of seven, eight and nine games.
Roenicke was asked why he believes this particular team is so prone to extremes.
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers right-hander Matt Garza gave the Brewers their third straight quality start on Friday, meeting the minimum qualifications by allowing three Cardinals runs in six innings. It gave the Brewers more quality starts in their last three games than they logged in their first 14. It marked progress, both for the team and for Garza, but only a moral victory after a 3-0 loss left Milwaukee with a Major League-worst 3-14 record.
"I made progress, but it's about time for that progress to kick in to results," Garza said. "I threw the ball well, but not well enough. Their guy was better. You tip your cap and wear it."
MILWAUKEE -- Did the Brewers run their way out of an opportunity to beat young Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez on Friday? Manager Ron Roenicke wondered as much in the wake of a 3-0 loss at Miller Park.
"Really, the first four innings we had people in scoring position," Roenicke said. "First inning, third inning -- ran into outs. We can't do that. When we get people in scoring position and we have chances, we've just got to deliver better."
MILWAUKEE -- The Cardinals continued to feel right at home at Miller Park, as Jason Heyward and Jhonny Peralta homered and Carlos Martinez pitched seven scoreless innings for a 3-0 win over the Brewers on Friday.
Martinez scattered four hits and struck out eight for the Cardinals' 24th victory in their last 33 games here dating to the second half of 2011, including wins in two of the three games at Miller Park during that year's National League Championship Series. The Brewers have not won a series on their home turf against the Cardinals since '12.
Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, By Gosh, It's Langosch, follow her on Twitter @LangoschMLB and like her Facebook page Jenifer Langosch for Cardinals.com. Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez is making major progress in his comeback from a right hamstring strain, said manager Ron Roenicke, who told reporters that Gomez ran the treadmill at Miller Park this week on its maximum speed. Which prompted a question for Gomez: What is the maximum speed of the treadmill at Miller Park?
"Thirteen," he said with a smile.
Legendary Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker has seen it all. He's been working in baseball for generations, and has been the voice of the Brewers' radio coverage since 1971.
And so, when he has an idea on how to help the last-place Brewers rebound after a slow start to the season, we'd all do well to listen. Even if it's a bit ... unorthodox.
MILWAUKEE -- Aramis Ramirez never envisioned the Brewers being 10 games under .500 less than three weeks into the regular season, but he's sticking by his decision to retire later this year.
"This is going to be my last year, regardless of what happens," said Ramirez, who hit his first home run in Thursday's win over the Reds. "Regardless of what happens to me and regardless of what happens to the team. That has nothing to do with my decision. I've already made my decision, and this will be my last year."
MILWAUKEE -- It was clear after three perfect innings Thursday that this was a different Kyle Lohse than the one who lost his first three starts of the season and had a 10.34 ERA. Or rather, it was clear to his teammates that the old Lohse was back.
"The 'different' Lohse was the one we saw in the starts before," said center fielder Logan Schafer, who scored the go-ahead run in Milwaukee's 4-2 win over the Reds. "He even said, 'I'm feeling it.' When he knows where he's throwing his pitches and when the guys are going to swing and miss, it's going to be a fun day."
MILWAUKEE -- Jean Segura delivered the clutch hit the Brewers have so badly needed, a two-out RBI single in the seventh inning that sent Milwaukee to a 4-2 win over Cincinnati on Thursday at Miller Park.
Adam Lind and Aramis Ramirez hit solo home runs, but the Brewers needed Segura's single off Reds reliever Kevin Gregg to snap an eight-game losing streak. Starter Kyle Lohse allowed two runs in seven innings for his first victory, and Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez bounced back from a loss the night before to notch his second save.
MILWAUKEE -- General manager Doug Melvin weighed in this week on the Brewers' difficult start, echoing others' frustration about underperforming players and using for the first time in years a word that has been taboo at Miller Park: "Rebuild."
"There's a point where you may have to reset, retool," Melvin said during a Thursday morning interview on 620-AM WTMJ, "and those discussions take place a lot in the offseason, and currently, too."
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers became the first team this season to punish Reds speedster Billy Hamilton for stealing.
Crafty Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse kept Hamilton close by varying his deliveries in the sixth inning on Thursday, giving strong-armed catcher Martin Maldonado a chance to throw Hamilton out attempting to steal second base in a game tied at 2. Before Maldonado made the play, Hamilton had been 9-for-9 in stolen-base attempts to start the season.
MILWAUKEE -- Has one-time Brewers top prospect Tyler Thornburg been held back by yo-yoing between roles? Manager Ron Roenicke doesn't believe so.
"I know some people say that, but the whole idea is to get to the Major Leagues," Roenicke said Thursday, a day after the Brewers removed Thornburg from the big league bullpen and sent him to Triple-A Colorado Springs' starting rotation.
MILWAUKEE -- Referring to his team's franchise-worst 2-12 start as "brutal," Brewers owner Mark Attanasio defended the decision to keep the core of the team intact following last season's collapse and said it's up to those players to turn the season around. He said definitively that general manager Doug Melvin and manager Ron Roenicke are not in imminent danger of losing their jobs.
"I'm not looking at the manager or the general manager right now," said Attanasio, who later watched the Brewers fall to 2-13 with a 2-1 loss to the Reds at Miller Park.
MILWAUKEE -- Off to a historically poor 15-game start to the season, the Brewers are forced to search for something, anything, to lift their spirits. On Wednesday, they found it in 25-year-old right-hander Jimmy Nelson.
"You have to stay positive," catcher Martin Maldonado said after the 2-1 loss to the Reds -- the club's eighth straight to drop its record to 2-13. "I think Jimmy threw the ball nasty today. You're going one-on-one with Johnny Cueto, you're pitching your [tail] off out there. He kept us in the ballgame, throwing strikes, getting people put, striking people out. That's all you can ask for."
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers squandered their opportunity in the eighth inning, and the Reds made the most of an opening in the ninth. That was the difference Wednesday between what could have been an uplifting Brewers victory against Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto, and instead became a 2-1 Reds win over Milwaukee closer Francisco Rodriguez.
Pitching in the ninth inning of a tie game, Rodriguez committed the cardinal sin of walking speedster Billy Hamilton with one out. Hamilton moved to third on Joey Votto's single and scored when Rodriguez bounced a changeup for a two-out wild pitch that sent Milwaukee to its eighth straight loss, and positioned the Reds to aim for a sweep of the four-game series on Thursday.
Cueto, the Reds' ace, and Nelson, the Brewers' No. 5 starter who has pitched far above his standing, surrendered a run apiece before settling into a classic pitchers' duel for eight innings that was settled in the ninth after both had exited. Francisco Rodriguez's run-scoring wild pitch handed the Reds a 2-1 win and dealt the Brewers their eighth straight loss.
Brewers icon Robin Yount has the early lead among Milwaukee's contenders in the Franchise Four campaign, which allows fans to vote for the players who best represent each Major League franchise and several other significant categories in the sport's history.
More than 11.8 million votes have been cast in the Franchise Four voting, and you can cast your ballot here. Voting ends on May 8, and winners from all 30 clubs will be announced at the 2015 All-Star Game, which will take place on July 14 at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
Two starting pitchers will look to get on track in Thursday's matinee series finale between the Brewers and Reds, who won the first three games of the series, at Miller Park.
Reds right-hander Homer Bailey will try to bounce back from his first start, when he allowed five runs in 5 2/3 innings to St. Louis after opening the season on the disabled list while recovering from right-forearm surgery.
JR Radcliffe is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MILWAUKEE -- For the moment at least, prominent heads will not roll as a result of the Brewers' dismal 2-13 start to the 2015 season.
Mark Attanasio, chairman and principal owner of the Brewers, said Wednesday that he was not currently considering dismissing either manager Ron Roenicke or general manager Doug Melvin. Attanasio made these remarks in an impromptu session with a few reporters at Miller Park before Milwaukee took on the Cincinnati Reds. The Brewers later endured another close, disheartening loss, 2-1.
Mike Bauman is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
MILWAUKEE -- The busy Brewers on Wednesday made their first roster move to address an underperforming pitching staff, optioning reliever Tyler Thornburg to Triple-A Colorado Springs -- where he will join the starting rotation -- and recalling Rob Wooten to take his place.
Thornburg, an April standout a year ago before an elbow injury ended his season, saw his ERA after six appearances balloon to 5.59 after he surrendered five runs (four earned) on a walk and four hits, including a pair of home runs, against the Reds on Tuesday. In 9 2/3 innings, Thornburg surrendered 13 runs, though only six were earned because of errors behind him.
MILWAUKEE -- It wasn't working the old way, so the Brewers tried something different on Tuesday to spark a sluggish offense. In what he called a throwback to American Legion baseball, manager Ron Roenicke cancelled batting practice and had players report 90 minutes before Mike Fiers' first pitch at Miller Park. When he delivered it, Fiers and his teammates wore not the usual home whites, but their navy blue batting practice tops. As one player joked the night before, the Brewers were undefeated in batting practice.
It worked, sort of.
MILWAUKEE -- After becoming the first pitcher in four years to surrender two grand slams in the same game, Brewers right-hander Mike Fiers was at a loss for words.
"For us to score 10 there and not even be close to winning …" Fiers said before a long pause. "I don't even know how to explain it. Things haven't been going our way. Things definitely haven't been going my way. I need to be better. I don't know what else to say."