Sunday, August 14, 2011 by Winks ·
When we talked before this 18-game stretch of games between the Milwaukee Brewers and their NL Central opponents, we looked as this period of time as a crucial moment for the Brewers, Cardinals, and Pirates as the three teams were battling for first place. The Pirates fell off the map in the last three weeks, the Cardinals have been playing very well, but the Brewers have been even hotter. After sweeping the Pirates on Sunday, the Brewers improved to 16-2 during this stretch of NL Central games, and by the end of the night will still be at least five games up in the NL Central. Just how well are things going for the Brewers right now? I think the sound of 45,000 plus fans yelling "T" in unison for a Nyjer Morgan sac fly game winning RBI on Sunday answers that question.
The cute haikus are winding down for us as it's time to fully engage ourselves into this pennant race. Last year at this time I personally had already checked out and was focused on the Packers preseason with how far Milwaukee was out of the race. This year, it looks like the debate between watching a Brewers game or watching a Packers game on Sundays will return. It's a tough debate, but one I don't mind having this time of year.
Speaking of the playoff race, the Pirates are all but out of it now, especially with the death blow that the Brewers delivered to them this weekend. From their dominant 7-2 win on Friday, to the brilliant performance of Marco Estrada followed by the hold your breath save by John Axford on Saturday, to the Shaun Marcum brilliance and T-Plush heroics on Sunday, this has been one hell of a weekend for Brewers fans. The playoff atmosphere is now in full force at Miller Park, and why not? This team is now fnally playing the way we hoped they would this season, and they are proving to be a clutch team as well. Milwaukee is now 26-15 in one-run games, and virtually unbeatable when they lead after the eighth inning. These are the kind of performances you want to see from team not only hoping to make the playoffs this season, but one that wants to do some damage this time around as well.
Next up for the Crew is a four game set at Miller Park against the Los Angeles Dodgers, a team that has had their share of struggles this season. Let's try to pick up three out of four in this series and keep this momentum rolling before we take a road trip to New York and Pittsburgh.
Weekend POTGs: I'm going with Zach Greinke edging out Ryan Braun on Friday, Yuniesky Betancourt edging out Marco Estrada on Saturday, and then Shaun Marcum instead of Nyjer Morgan on Sunday).
(And in other news, let me be the 1,203,295th person to express my disdain for Mitch Williams as a broadcaster. He does fine on MLB Network, but to tell us what you would do on every pitch and to stroke the conversation about pitching with two strikes until you can feel anything anymore was some of the worst shit I've ever sat through in my life. And I've seen EuroTrip. Twice.)
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