From bitter to sweet. On Monday the Brewers were shutout by the Cardinals, allowing Adam Wainwright to earn his 200th career win, which meant the Cardinals celebrated and were happy and it was a bitter pill to swallow for Milwaukee. But that just made winning on Tuesday night all the more sweet.
The Brewers bounced back and put some runs on the board on Tuesday led by a four run fourth inning, which included four straight doubles off the Brewers bats. Willy Adames, Josh Donaldson, Tyrone Taylor, and Sal Frelick led off the 4th inning with back-to-back-to-back-to-back doubles and just like that, the Brewers took the lead and never surrendered it.
Colin Rea did the bulk of the work on the mound behind "opener" Trevor Megill, who struggled through the first inning. Rea allowed just one run, a solo shot that barely snuck over the short corner in right. The rest of the bullpen locked things down behind him.
The cherry on top, making this victory extra sweet after Monday's bitterness, was that this win for the Brewers and subsequent loss for the Cardinals mathematically eliminated the Cardinals from postseason contention. The Cardinals cannot make the playoffs, no matter how much Devil Magic they try to conjure up.
What is the Brewers magic number to clinch the NL Central after their win over the Cardinals?
The magic number for the Brewers to clinch the division dropped down to six after the Crew's victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday. That means any combination of six Brewers wins or Cubs losses the rest of the way will give Milwaukee the division crown.
The Cubs won on Tuesday night, beating the Pirates 14-1. They were up just 6-1 heading into the 8th inning but put up eight runs in that inning, led by rookie Alexander Canario's grand slam for his first career homer. Chicago moves to 79-72 and sit six games back of the Brewers.
The Reds are still mathematically in the hunt for the division as well, but sit seven games back after their loss to the Twins, with a 79-74 record. The magic number to eliminate the Reds is four. The Brewers hold the tiebreaker over the Reds.
That means the Brewers are sitting pretty at 85-66. The earliest they could possibly clinch the division is Friday in Miami. That would involve the Brewers winning each of their next two against St. Louis and their first game against the Marlins, who are in the Wild Card race while the Cubs lose their next two against the Pirates at home and their first game against the Rockies also at home. Also the Reds would have to lose at least one game in that span.
The Cubs have some pretty soft opponents this week with the Pirates and Rockies, both completely out of the playoff chase. They'll be fighting to stay alive but as long as the Brewers keep on winning, the division will be wrapped up shortly.