Brewers' Counsell: Hader trade not an excuse for missing playoffs
The Milwaukee Brewers have missed the postseason for the first time since 2017 despite posting the best record through 50 games in franchise history - and some observers think they know why.
Milwaukee was eliminated from postseason contention Monday, and many have pointed to the trade that sent All-Star closer Josh Hader to the San Diego Padres in August as the turning point in the Brewers' campaign.
But while Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell admits it's fair to question the impact of Hader's departure on the club's downturn in the standings, he isn't using it as an excuse.
"We had a bad month of August, there's no question about it," Counsell told 620 WTMJ on Tuesday. "Whether that's related to the trade, that's a story we're going to tell. In my mind, it a little bit becomes an excuse.
"The trade was made, and we didn't play well. It happened. It's hard to run from it, but I don't think it's directly related. We didn't play well after the trade, so it's going to be talked about, and it's fair. It's just that there's a lot of other things that go into winning a baseball game other than just one inning of someone pitching."
The Brewers' bullpen struggled following the Hader trade, ranking 28th in home runs allowed per nine innings and 17th in ERA since the beginning of August.