Brewers Stretch Run
The Brewers will return home to Miller Park having completed their most successful road trip of the 2012 season. Despite dropping the final game of the trip to the Chicago Cubs in typical Brewer bullpen fashion, the team finished the trip with a record of 5-2. With a little more than a month left in the season, the Brewers, who are now nine games behind the Atlanta Braves in the Wild Card race, have won eight of their last ten games. It may seem far-fetched, but the Brewers still have a legitimate chance at making the playoffs.
While the Brewers are a long-shot to claim a wild card spot, one has to look no further than the 2011 St. Louis Cardinals to find a team that came back from a larger deficit to squeak into the playoffs. The Cardinals were 10.5 games behind the Wild Card-leading Atlanta Braves on August 25 th and captured the Wild Card berth on the final day of the season. That Cardinals team went on to defeat the Texas Rangers and win the 11 th World Series title in franchise history. Could the Brewers mimic their Central Division rivals and overtake four teams to grab a Wild Card spot? They will certainly have the opportunity.
The Brewers will face three of the teams ahead of them in the Wild Card standings in the final month of the season. They begin the stretch run with a weekend series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Although they have been one of the more surprising teams of the 2012 season, the Pirates are 11-16 in the month of August and are slowly fading from the playoff picture. After the Pirates series, the Brewers travel to Miami to face one of the most disappointing teams of the season, the Marlins. The team then travels to St. Louis before returning home to face the Braves and New York Mets. A 10-game road trip against the Pirates, Washington Nationals and Cincinnati Reds should determine if the Brewers will be able to catch the Wild Card leaders. The regular season then wraps up with back-to-back home series against Houston Astros and San Diego Padres.
The notion that the Brewers could possibly capture a Wild Card spot may seem absurd. In all honesty, it probably is. The Brewers have major issues in their bullpen. With essentially no reliable relief pitchers, the idea of another playoff appearance is most likely unrealistic. However, there is still a chance. As Yogi Berra famously said, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”.
By: Scott Kasten
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