Bigger Problem: Bullpen Or Offense?

By timhealey

The Brewers are off to an 0-4 start, and the offense and the bullpen appear to be the biggest culprits.

Consider the evidence: The bullpen surrendered a walk-off home run on Opening Day, and allowed two Braves homers in the home opener before falling 2-1.

On the other hand, the offense scored two runs in the second game and three in the third. Only on Opening Day did the offense show any prowess. Rickie Weeks has been hot, but no one else has been even lukewarm.

So that’s the big question: What’s the bigger issue?

I’d say the offense, up to this point. Starter Randy Wolf got slapped around for six runs before handing the ball over on Sunday, and all four runs came off of starter Shaun Marcum in the second game of the opening-weekend set against the Reds. So sure, Takashi Sato was victimized on Monday, as was John Axford on Thursday. But the bullpen hasn’t been the issue. At least to the same level as the offense.

This is a lineup that besides Weeks includes Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Casey McGehee. And yet, the run production just hasn’t been there. If they scored a few more runs, they could’ve taken Monday’s game, as well as Saturday’s.

That doesn’t mean the offense won’t eventually come around. Four games is far too early to panic, and many teams struggle offensively early in the season. It may be because of cold weather, because of early-season rustiness or jitters, or because players haven’t yet adjusted to the fact that these games count, unlike spring-training games.

Whatever the case, I’d pin the early record on the offense. What do you think?

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