We Milwaukee Brewer fans are understandably pleased with the team’s fast start; beginning action today, Milwaukee is in first place in the National League Central Division (three and a half games ahead of the formidable Cubs), and has the best record in the National League.
Even so, only a third of the season has passed. While many teams over the years have come back from mediocre starts to win championships, and a terrible start lasting into June almost invariably dooms a team’s season, a strong start is generally indicative of … not much. The Brewers have had great starts in the past. The 1987 team began 13-0 on its way to a 20-3 start — and didn’t make the playoffs. Even the great Robin Yount – Paul Molitor World Series team of 1982 had better than a six game lead in late August – and still needed two Yount home runs on the last day of the season to squeeze into the postseason.
So while we Brewer fans are enjoying the ride thus far, the time to start thinking about playoff possibilities is after Labor Day weekend, not after Memorial Day weekend. The elation and the anguish of baseball share the same journey: It’s a long season.