Many people have written off the Milwaukee Brewers after their multiple losing streaks late in the season as well as trading Zack Greinke to the Los Angeles Angels. Fans saw that trade as waving the white flag and calling it quits. However, someone forgot to tell the Milwaukee players that because they believe a Wild Card berth is still very possible.
The Brewers have won 12 of their last 15 games, which is the most wins of any team in all of baseball over that span. The Oakland Athletics, a team everyone is talking about, is right behind Milwaukee with 11 wins. If the Brewers want any chance of getting back in the playoff hunt, they must continue winning at least 80 percent of their remaining games.
Milwaukee is currently three games under .500 and 7.5 games back of a Wild Card spot with 27 left to play. Many people might think this is an impossible feat and the Brewers have no chance of getting it done. One thing is for sure, though–it definitely is not impossible, especially if the team bands together like they currently have and put a long winning streak together.
Last year, the St. Louis Cardinals were 10.5 games behind the Atlanta Braves for the only Wild Card spot in the National League with 32 to play. Everyone thought St. Louis was out of the race–everyone except for them. The Cardinals went on an incredible 23-9 streak to finish the season 90-72, one game better than Atlanta’s 89-73. The rest, of course, is history as St. Louis went on to defeat the Brewers in the NLCS and win the World Series.
Talk to any of the Brewers players and they will tell you they are using the Cardinals run in 2011 as motivation to keep fighting hard. It is never over until it is over and as long as they keep winning games at the pace, they have they should be in the mix at the very end.
So, how exactly can Milwaukee accomplish this unbelievably hard task? The Brewers have three series against three different teams fighting for two Wild Card berths. Two of those series come against the Cardinals and the Braves, both of whom would claim the Wild Card if the season ended today.
Milwaukee has two games left against the Miami Marlins and it is critical that they win both. They then will take on the Cardinals in St. Louis over the weekend, where they must sweep. After that, they host the Braves at Miller Park for a three-game series that they must sweep again.
I understand that it is asking a lot for the Brewers to win eight straight games, but it must get done if the team wants to have another champagne celebration. If Milwaukee loses even one game to either St. Louis or Atlanta, then their chances of clinching a Wild Card spot drop dramatically to the point where they might not recover.
The Brewers will also be taking on the Pittsburgh Pirates from Sept. 18-20. The Pirates, who are currently two games back of St. Louis, are another team Milwaukee must sweep to not only continue winning games, but to ensure they do not become a problem at the end of the season.
The Brewers know what they must do. Now it is only a matter of every player doing their job correctly to help the team win as a whole. Either Milwaukee can admit defeat or they can become a force to be reckoned with in the National League. As of right now, they certainly have the look of a team ready to make a run.
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