The Milwaukee Brewers are oh so ever close to clinching the NL Central but it's not quite mathematically a done deal.
On Friday the Brewers put a good old fashioned beatdown on the Miami Marlins, starting with a 12 run second inning. Every player in the lineup got a hit in that inning. Things started with a Josh Donaldson two run homer and the hits just kept coming from there.
This game was over by the 2nd inning. The Marlins had pulled some of their position player starters, Corbin Burnes went on cruise control through five innings, and Christian Yelich homered not once, but twice in his return to the lineup. They get to the 9th inning and the Brewers have a 16-1 lead and Craig Counsell chooses not to use another bullpen arm but instead puts Rowdy Tellez on the mound to get the final three outs. It was as glorious as you'd expect.
What is the Brewers magic number to clinch the NL Central?
Coming into Friday, the Brewers had a magic number of 2. The Cubs played in the afternoon and won against the Rockies 6-0, which means as we enter play on Saturday, the Brewers hold a magic number of one to clinch the division. The next Brewers win or Cubs loss will secure the division for Milwaukee.
Even if by some miracle the Cubs win out and the Brewers lose out, the best the Cubs would get is a tie for the division. They're eight games back with eight to play. There's still three games left against each other and those games are at American Family Field.
One thing the Brewers did clinch on Friday night was a playoff berth, meaning that even if by some miracle they don't win a game the rest of the way and the Cubs win out, they are assured of the 3rd Wild Card spot, but that's a highly unlikely scenario. Still, there's no mathematical way they miss the playoffs.
Chicago was trying to turn things around after a series loss to the Pirates and took it out on the Rockies, tossing a shutout and putting up a six spot. Cubs manager David Ross took a shot at the Pirates after the series, calling them a bad team and that his team should've beaten them. The Rockies are also a bad team, even though Ross should have the class to not publicly call them that, and the Cubs will be looking to beat up on them to keep their playoff hopes alive.
It'll be Brandon Woodruff on the mound looking to secure the NL Central crown, going up against Jesus Luzardo of the Marlins.