Yup, thats right the Brewers' playoff hopes rest in the hands of the Chicago Cubs.
Entering the last week of the season the Mets hold a 1.5 game advantage over the Brewers in the wild card race. The Cubs' schedule? A 7 game road trip starting with 4 in New York and finishing with 3 hopefully meaningful games in Milwaukee. The other games? Mets at home vs Florida to finish the calander year and Milwaukee begins on Tuesday at home vs Pittsburgh.
First things first, the Brewers will need to sweep the Pirates at home to earn some sort of momentum heading into undoubably the biggest series of the season. The Crew are 11-1 vs Pittsburgh this year and if they want to sniff October, they need to step on their throats and finish them off decisively. No nailbitters desired here. There is one major problem though, and that is the starting rotation.
-Ben Sheets injured and questionable for a return........
-Manny Parra was taken out of the rotation and placed in the bullpen by what best can be described as fatigue for his first full year in the roation.........
-CC Sabathia who just pitched off of 3 days rest, will no doubt be asked to do that again twice. For all the pundits that criticize the Brewers for that particular move.. EAT A BIG FAT ONE. I dont know when the objective of a season became to worry about next year during the last week of a playoff push, but last time I checked teams need to put the best product on the field so that they have the best chance to win, in particular when that specific team hasnt tasted October in 26 years.........
-Jeff Suppan has struggled in September, the reason he was signed and he NEEDS to step up.
Dave Bush starts on Tuesday vs Pittsburgh. He has been very good since the all star break, hit a snag mid-September and lost a close game in his last start. The key to his starts is to avoid the big inning. Instead of relying on defensive measures and the mindset of trying not to lose the game, how bout getting the bats out of the cooler, hammer the score board and get on the Pirates early. Today's game vs the Reds they scored 8 runs and looked rather good FINALLY. Best of all the team showed the mental capacity to play small ball, a nice sacrifice bunt by JJ Hardy led to a sacrifice fly by Corey Hart early in the game when the score was still tight. These 2 rather fundamental aspects of the game have been missing for the better half of the season, hopefully its a sign of things to come and the team does not have to rely solely on the long ball.
Well the Cubs did their part and beat the Mets 2 out of 4 times, should have been 3 but they blew the fourth game. The Brewers swept the Pirates, including two walk of home runs; Prince Fielder with a 2 run shot on Tuesday and Ryan Braun with a grand slam on Thursday. The wild card race is now tied. The Phillies could also fall into the mix depending on what Washington does to them.
Mets and Brewers 88-71
The pitching stepped up as well. Dave Bush went 5 innings in game one, allowing 3 runs in one inning as his stereo type continues, but battled back and shut them down the other 4. The bullpen pitched decent aside one bad pitch from Mota in the 8th in what was a back and forth afair, the Crew battled back scoring 5 runs in the last 3 innings to win the game finishing up with a 2-0 pitch to Prince Fielder going into the right-centerfield seats. CC Sabathia pitched outstanding on 3 days rest, going 7 innings and racking up 11 strikeouts. The offense struggled with only 2 hits, but tallied 9 walks including 2 with the bases loaded and a sac fly to score 3 abc baseball styled runs for a 4-2 win. Yovani Gallardo came back after having knee surgery back in May. He looked awesome. Going 4 innings with a strict pitch count of 70 (throwing 67). Adrenaline aided him and seemed to give him a few extra mph on his fastball to go along with some of the best off speed stuff in the majors. The bullpen was excellent, getting out of a few jams and going 6 scoreless innings. The offense was not there for a while, until the 10th that is. The bases loaded up with 2 outs. A 2-2 count to Ryan Braun, who has struggled all month (1 HR, 5 RBI in September until now) sent one way deep into the left field bleachers for a 5-1 win in 10 innings.
The Brewers now control their own destiny, and will face 2 top quality pitchers to kick off the Cubs' series. Jeff Suppan faces Ryan Dempster tonight, most likely Dave Bush (doubtfull Ben Sheets is ready in time) will face Ted Lilly tomorrow, and CC Sabathia will face Jason Marquis on Sunday. The latter 2 will be on 3 days rest.
The Mets face the Marlins this weekend. I have no idea what the Marlins offer in terms of pitching, so hopefully the games turn into wild offensive barrages from Hanley Ramirez and the others in what will be some interesting games in the rain.
LETS GO MARLINS (vs the Mets)
AND LETS GO BREWERS!!!!!!!