The Milwaukee Brewers are getting even closer to popping champagne and celebrating their 3rd NL Central title in the last six seasons.
On a rainy day in St. Louis, the Bringer of Rain, Josh Donaldson, lived up to his nickname. In the first inning he slugged a three run homer to put the Brewers up 3-0 and give them a lead they wouldn't relinquish. The rain arrived a little while later, but he brought it.
Adrian Houser was able to keep the Cardinals lineup in check, throwing six innings, scattering just four hits and one earned run. A combination of Bryse Wilson, Joel Payamps, and JB Bukauskas locked it down the rest of the way.
It was a save situation heading into the top of the 9th, but the Brewers tacked on four runs, started by Tyrone Taylor's second homer of the day and finished by a bases loaded double from Mark Canha. That put the Brewers up 8-2 and sat Devin Williams down in the bullpen.
What is the Milwaukee Brewers magic number to clinch the NL Central?
Following the Brewers win over the Cardinals on Wednesday and the Chicago Cubs loss to the Pirates, the magic number to clinch has dropped down to four. A combination of four Brewers wins or Cubs losses the rest of the way will result in the Brewers being crowned NL Central champions.
If the Brewers win their next two games and the Cubs lose their next two, the Brewers could clinch the division on Friday. It seems to be trending towards a Brewers clinch at some point this weekend. The lead over the Cubs is now at seven games and there's 10 games left in the regular season.
The Chicago Cubs suffered a tough loss at home to the reeling Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pirates hung a seven spot on the baby bears in the 4th inning, then continued to add on. The Cubs rallied with a five run 5th to bring the score to an 8-6 deficit, but the Pirates answered with three runs in the next half inning and ended up winning 13-7 in the Windy City. The wind must've been blowing out on Wednesday night.
The Cubs have one more against the Pirates on Thursday and then welcome the Rockies to town this weekend. There's a chance they could win out this weekend given their opponent's records, but the Cubs haven't been playing good baseball of late. They still sit in the 3rd and final Wild Card spot, but it's a close race for that spot and still a lot of time left for that to change. Right now, the Wild Card is more the focus of Chicago than the NL Central.
Next up, the Brewers finish their series against the Cardinals and look for a series win with first pitch here on Thursday set for 12:15 PM with Wade Miley on the hill for the Crew against Miles Mikolas of the Cardinals.