Brewers Turning Around, NL Central Week in Review
Sep 13, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Aramis Ramirez (16) watches his solo home run in the fourth inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
The Brewers managed to have a winning week for the first time August 11-17, after going 4-3.
The Brewers split a four-game series with the Miami Marlins before taking two-of-three from the Cincinnati Reds.
It looked like more doom and gloom for Milwaukee after the Crew took 6-4 and 6-4 losses to the Marlins, in two games where the offense looked lackluster and the pitching couldn’t pick them up.
Things turned around on Wednesday, when the Crew started a three-game winning streak. The offense was still pretty weak during the streak, scoring, 4, 4 and 3 runs in their three wins, but the pitching picked them up, allowing just 1, 2 and 2 runs.
The Reds controlled the lifeless Brewers on Saturday in a 5-1 Reds win, but Milwaukee broke out for nine runs on Sunday to take a 9-2 win, and make it a 4-3 week.
The Brewers came into the week five games behind the St. Louis Cardinals in the central division and ½ game behind the Pirates in the race for the second wild card slot.
Unfortunately, despite the turn around the Brewers were still five games behind St. Louis and 1 ½ games behind Pittsburgh when the week ended.
Thankfully the Brewers didn’t suffer any injuries this week, but they’ll have to keep an eye on Mike Fiers in his next start. He hit Giancarlo Stanton in the face with an errant fastball on Thursday and there may be some lingering effects for Fiers.
The Brewers have a chance to make up a lot of ground this week. They have Monday off before a three-game series with Cardinals and a three-game-weekend series Pirates. With only 12 games left in the season, the Brewers are going to have to perform well this week if they want to stay in the race.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals also had a 4-3 week. They opened with a win over the Reds and followed with three consecutive losses to the Reds. Unfortunately they finished with week with a series sweep against the woeful Colorado Rockies.
Like the Brewers, the Cards have Monday off this week. Then they have their three-game series with the Brewers and a three-gamer with the Reds this weekend. The Cardinals are using their off day to skip John Lackey’s spot on the rotation.
That means that Milwaukee will be facing Lance Lynn (15-9, 2.73 ERA), Adam Wainwright (18-9, 2.56 ERA) and Shelby Miller (10-9, 3.75 ERA) in the series.
The Pirates also had a 5-2 week with a 3-1 series win over the Phillies and a 2-1 series win over the Chicago Cubs.
The Pirates have three games at home against the Boston Red Sox this week before hosting the Brewers for a weekend series.
Since getting swept by the Cardinals in three games to start September, the Pirates are 8-2 and the hottest team in the Central Division. That may be because in those 10 games, they have two series against the Cubs and one against the Phillies but at this point of the season it doesn’t matter.
Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds
Nobody cares anymore.
Bonus: Atlanta Braves
The Braves came into the week as the only other competition for the second National League wild card spot, but a 2-1 series loss to the Nationals and sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers has left Atlanta four games behind the Pirates for that spot, meaning with 13 games to play, they are going to need a lot of luck to get in.