Prince Fielder wasn't in the Brewers' lineup for the first time in 327 games, giving us a glimpse at what the Brewers might look like next season if he's traded this winter.
The offense didn't look impressive, but it would be foolish to assume that's the way the team would play without Fielder in the future.
This team hasn't done much offensively lately with Fielder -- only four runs in the past four games -- so let's not get riled up about one game. I didn't totally agree with last night's non-Fielder lineup (I wouldn't have hit Casey McGehee cleanup, and Alcides Escobar should be nowhere near the #2 spot), but I still think this team will be a bit above average without Fielder moving foward.
They didn't struggle last night because Fielder was puking his guts out in the team hotel. They struggled because Rickie Weeks continues to be on a cold streak, Mat Gamel is striking out every AB because he's shocked he's actually being allowed to play, and Alcides Escobar and Carlos Gomez still can't get on base.
Will these things happen next year without Prince? Sure. Every team has stretches where they can't hit. But over the course of next season, it will still have Rickie Weeks hitting at a high level, Ryan Braun's power should (hopefully) return, Casey McGehee and Corey Hart will continue to be solid bats (even if Hart is being slightly overpaid). Add in Jonathan Lucroy and Lorenzo Cain, and most of your everyday lineup will be at or above average for their position.
I'm not going to pretend that losing Fielder won't make this offense worse, but they'll be fine without him. Not great, just fine. But with better pitching, that may be all the team needs.