The Milwaukee Brewers are riding a seven game winning streak and have thrust themselves into a tie for a playoff spot. Can this continue?
When the Milwaukee Brewers lost Christian Yelich for the season on Tuesday night against the Marlins, many gave up on this team’s playoff chances. After all, they just lost their best player and had been struggling most of the season anyways.
Yet, somehow, this Brewers team continued to win. The players learned of Yelich’s injury in the middle of that game on Tuesday and still were able to rally together and win that game. Then they also rattled off wins in their next two games to sweep down in Miami and extend this winning streak to seven games.
It seems, this team has rallied around each other after Yelich’s injury to keep things rolling and stay in that playoff hunt.
Keeping It Rolling
But they kept that winning streak going against the Marlins, a team that, far and away, has the worst record in the National League and is one of the worst teams in baseball. And they struggled with winning those games. They were close games that the Brewers barely pulled out against a terrible team.
Now, the Milwaukee Brewers have to take on the St. Louis Cardinals, the team atop the NL Central, and win that series to keep their hopes alive for a division title.
This will be the true test of this team without Yelich. Rallying together to beat that Marlins isn’t really that difficult. But to keep it going and beat the Cardinals, that’s going to be a lot harder to do.
Ryan Braun has been wearing Yelich’s jersey underneath his own and that’s apparently kept the magic going against the Marlins, and he’s planning on wearing it for this Cardinals series as well.
The Pitching Staff
The Brewers will have two of their best starters pitching in the first two games of this series with Adrian Houser on Friday night and Jordan Lyles on Saturday night. Then Chase Anderson will pitch on Sunday.
In September, the Crew’s staff ERA is 3.24, which is a vast improvement on the previous five months. Albeit, they were facing an offense like the Marlins in the last four, but they’ve taken on the Astros and Cubs in the other series this month, which is a huge achievement for keeping them down.
While things have been looking good over the past few days without Yelich, the Brewers are going to need that to show up against a good team like the Cardinals. If they struggle, it’s more of a sign that this team is nothing without Yelich, which doesn’t bear well for their playoff hopes.
However, if everyone continues to step up and the Brewers can win the series on the road against the Cardinals without Yelich, this whole rally might be for real. If they can win this series, their division hopes are alive, their wild card hopes are improved, and optimism about not only making the playoffs, but advancing, will also be up.
That’s a big if.
This Cardinals series will be the real litmus test for this team without Yelich. Whether they struggle or thrive, that’s going to be what we’ll expect from the team moving forward. Fans should go into this series with an open mind and few expectations, and just see what happens. If they thrive, great. If they don’t, then it just wasn’t meant to be.
We all want the Milwaukee Brewers to take this series and continue to inspire hope that they can make a run, but it’s important that we don’t get our hopes too high and expect this to continue against a solid Cardinals team.