The Brewers have played the Reds four times, and lost all four.
The opening weekend sweep helped Milwaukee stumble to an 0-4 start.
Then, the Brewers dropped Monday’s game 9-5 against the Reds.
Winning divisional games is important to any playoff contender, especially when those games are against last year’s division winner, a team that is expected to contend again.
For all the talk about the Brewers being the pre-ordained NL Central champs for 2011, the road still goes through Cincinnati. And given up six runs in the third inning to the visiting Reds won’t make that road any easier for Milwaukee.
It’s easy to dismiss these games as April games, and it’s true that the Brewers have plenty of time to make up early losses. But thanks to the unbalanced schedule, there are plenty of head-to-head games between division rivals, and each victory or loss seems to count double in the standings.
Given that perspective, it would behoove the Brewers to win a few against Dusty Baker’s boys.
If they don’t, the road to the postseason will be wild card or bust.