One time means nothing. Four in a row is a pattern. For New York Mets fans, the name Craig Counsell means future manager. The connection with David Stearns is undeniable and should at least net him an interview if interested in coming to Queens.
Over in Wisconsin, Counsell’s year is already over with and maybe so is his tenure with the Milwaukee Brewers. The NL Central Champions lost both of their games to the Arizona Diamondbacks. The quick exit was one of those patterns mentioned before.
After leading the Brewers to the brink of the World Series in 2018 with a Game 7 loss, the club has put together a pitiful playoff performance ever since. In those four trips to the postseason, the Brewers are a terrifying 1-8. The only win came in 2021 when the Brewers were able to skip over the Wild Card round. They managed to swipe only one win over the eventual champion Atlanta Braves.
NY Mets manager candidate Craig Counsell has a pattern of losing in the first round of the playoffs
Nothing Counsell does or says will probably make Stearns any less interested in hiring him. He has always been the obvious choice with an expiring contract and a history of working well with Stearns. It’s almost as if Stearns vacated his role in Milwaukee early to save a seat for Counsell in New York once hired. This surely isn’t exactly how they planned it out nor did Counsell envision his year with the Brewers ending so abruptly.
Game 1 did include some questionable calls by Counsell. As Matt Carroll of Reviewing the Brew profiled, Brewers fans were scratching their heads when Jesse Winker pinch hit for Brice Turang to lead off the bottom of the eighth. He struck out as everyone expected. For those who haven’t followed Winker’s season in Milwaukee, he was their Daniel Vogelbach.
Counsell didn’t have much luck in the top of the ninth either when he left Devin Williams out there to dry. Two walks and a wild pitch around two outs led to a third walk to load the bases. Counsell showed faith in his All-Star closer only to be rewarded with a two-run double to give the Arizona Diamondbacks a larger cushion.
Neither decision is quite up there with Buck Showalter leaving Zach/k Britton in the bullpen back in the day with the Baltimore Orioles. At least Counsell threw his sharpest dagger at the Diamondbacks, right?
Counsell is a well-respected manager and a great match with Stearns. However, it’s definitely a concern of whether or not he’s built for the postseason. Is Counsell a savvy regular season manager whose tactics don’t work in October or is it a mere coincidence he has now lost in the first round in four straight trips? It could be Mets fans who find out next.