Back in November, when he was hired to succeed Ken Macha as the Milwaukee Brewers' manager, Ron Roenicke made a promise about the club in 2011.
"We're going to be aggressive from first to third and, at times, we're going to get thrown out," he said. "But over the course of the season, I guarantee we will score a lot more runs being aggressive."
And Brewers fans rejoiced. No more waiting for a three-run homer to win games. No more leaving two men on base at the end of innings. Aggressive is a word fans like to hear out of players and coaches. This was going to be fun!
Five games in, the 2011 Brewers season can be described using several words, but fun isn't one of them. The primary reason for their inauspicious start couldn't be simpler to figure out: They're striking out too much.
Members of the Brew Crew have been punched out 44 times going into Wednesday, second worst in all of Major League Baseball. Their on-base percentage of .274 ranks fifth worst, and their 11 walks is sixth worst.
Among the team leaders in strikeouts are the guys being counted on to generate much of the offense this year: Carlos Gomez (6), Casey McGehee (6) and Ryan Braun (5). Leading the way with seven strikeouts and no walks is leadoff man Rickie Weeks, whose primary job is to get to first base by any means necessary.
It's hard to be aggressive on the base paths if your players are never getting there.