COMMENTARY | Wisconsinites are angry. They are angry that the Milwaukee Brewers are playing really bad baseball right now. They would rather the Brewers weren't battling with the hated (and rebuilding) Chicago Cubs for last place in the NL Central.
The Brewers can't pitch, they can't run the bases, they can't score runs when they need to, and apparently, they aren't trying, either (via Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com). That would help explain why they are 18-27 through 45 games with just four wins in the month of May.
You know what else makes Wisconsinites angry? Players that play well against the Brewers.
Sometimes, these players do things other than play well to perturb Brewer fans. On the bright side, Albert Pujols (.329, 42 HRs, 140 RBIs), Ryan Dempster (16-6, 2.65 ERA), Lance Berkman (.305, 26 HRs, 101 RBIs), Guillermo Mota (Prince Fielder clubhouse fiasco), Chris Carpenter (he likes to chirp) and heck, even Wily Mo Pena (12 HRs in 35 games) are now either in the American League or out of the league in some shape or form.
Things can't get much worse, so let's just get all the anger out of the way while we're here and rank the top five sworn enemies of Milwaukee. Before we do that, here are some of the players that just missed the cut with their career numbers against the Brewers listed in parenthesis.
Jon Jay (.322, 4 HRs, 21 RBIs) -- He plays for the St. Louis Cardinals, and just over 18 percent of his career home runs have come against the Brewers.
Angel Pagan (.345, 3 HRs, 12 RBIs) -- Pagan is a career .279 hitter and especially enjoys feasting on Milwaukee pitching. Then again, who doesn't these days?
Carlos Marmol (6-1, 2.26 ERA, 8 SVs) -- This wouldn't be a sworn enemies list without a Cubby, as the maligned reliever still manages to find success against his cross-state rival.
Joey Votto (.320, 15 HRs, 58 RBIs) -- These look like sworn enemy-worthy numbers, especially as a division foe, but this is basically what Votto does to the entire league.
Paul Goldschmidt (.400, 3 HRs, 9 RBIs) -- A sworn enemy in training, if you will, Goldschmidt torched the Brewers in the 2011 NLDS, his rookie season, hitting .438 with 2 HRs and 6 RBIs in the series.
And now it's time for our main event.
5. Matt Kemp (.300, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs)
It's really not Kemp's fault. In fact, he seems like a pretty cool dude. But Brewer fans have heard enough about the 2011 MVP race in which Kemp was considered by many to be robbed of the award. Instead, it was given to Ryan Braun in part because he helped lead his team to the playoffs, and Kemp did not. Braun's PED controversy hasn't helped matters, either. The other day, Kemp ruffled some feathers when he stole second base in the ninth inning with a 5-run lead. Not cool, Matt.
4. Aroldis Chapman (3-0, 0.49 ERA, 5 SVs)
For the better part of the last four years, the Cincinnati Reds have been a better team than Milwaukee, which means the Brewers have seen plenty of Chapman at the end of games. He has a minuscule .071 batting average against while striking out roughly six batters for every one that he walks. There was also the double-somersault stunt he pulled against Milwaukee last season. What was that all about?
3. Jay Bruce (.292, 22 HRs, 52 RBIs)
No team has surrendered more home runs to Bruce than the Brewers, and while the 26-year-old only has a career .257 average, he hits for a solid average against Milwaukee. Unlike the first two gentlemen to make this list, Bruce hasn't done anything "off the field" to alienate Brewer fans -- he just let's his bat do the talking.
2. Troy Tulowitzki (.395, 10 HRs, 28 RBIs)
Selected just two spots after Ryan Braun in the 2005 MLB Draft, Tulowitzki apparently didn't take too kindly to the Brewers passing him up. The Colorado Rockies' shortstop has absolutely punished Milwaukee throughout his impressive seven-plus years in the league, and the Brewers have to be fortunate for two things -- that Braun turned out to be a pretty good player in his own right, and that the Rockies don't play in the NL Central.
1. David Freese (.317, 4 HRs, 24 RBIs)
The Brewers don't make the playoffs very often -- on average, about once every 11 years, in fact. So when they get there, it's important to try and take advantage of this rare opportunity. David Freese evidently doesn't care about the hardships of being a Brewer fan. This season, his lone home run is a grand salami off Milwaukee. Two years ago in the NLCS, Freese hit .545 with 3 HRs and 9 RBIs against the Brewers. He is public enemy No. 1 in Brew City.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who is a strict follower of Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline, as a featured columnist on other sites and publications, and been a guest on multiple sports talk radio shows.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_ .
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