Ramirez opened the season in the cleanup spot but quickly fell to fifth, then to sixth in manager Ron Roenicke's lineup. Ramirez entered Friday batting .167 (9-for-54) and had yet to work a walk. Of the 178 Major Leaguers with enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title in the early running, Ramirez was one of only four yet to walk.
Thursday's home run, part of a 4-2 Brewers win that snapped an eight-game losing streak, was a starting point, and Ramirez was pleased to be healthy after fighting lower body injuries in each of the past two seasons.
"It's not working right now," he said, "but all I can do is show up and keep trying."
The same goes for the team.
"We're struggling in every aspect of the game," Ramirez said. "We're not pitching well, we're not hitting well, we've made some errors. We've got time, but we need to start playing better baseball."
There was urgency to his speech, because Ramirez has been around long enough, and played for enough losing teams, to understand the mathematics involved.
For example: At 3-13 entering Friday's series opener against the Cardinals at Miller Park, the Brewers could play at a 100-win pace (.617) for the next 30 games, and still find themselves with a losing record.
"It is hard, especially in this division," Ramirez said. "That's part of the reason this is so frustrating, because we're playing the teams we're supposed to beat [if they want to win the division]. We're playing St. Louis, Cincinnati, the Pirates. Those are basically the only teams we've played so far. We should be playing well against these guys and we aren't."
He added: "We're talking about a 162-game season, so there is time. We have to pick it up."