The Brewers control their own destiny right now, with a four game show down right in front of them with the division leading Cubs, and just 10 games to play in the 2017 campaign. The Crew who had a golden opportunity to close the gap Wednesday after the Cubs lost to Tampa Bay 8-1, will be 3.5 games back going into a “make or break” series with last year’s World Series Champs starting tonight at Miller Park.
Keep in mind the Crew is also just 1 game back of the Rockies in the Wild Card (the Rockies also lost Wednesday).
The Brewers were able to take the lead in the seventh inning Wednesday night in Pittsburgh 4-3, but, unable to hold on to it while using their three big relievers in the 7th, 8th, and 9th. A throwing error in the 8th by All-Star Reliever Corey Knebel (who came in for Anthony Swarzak) allowed the Pirates to tie the score at 4. The Crew was unable to plate a run in the top of the ninth, so it was up to Knebel to hold on to the tie in the bottom of the frame, to get to extra innings. With 2 out and pinch runner Max Moroff on base, Adam Fraizer went yard for the Pirates to walk off Knebel and the Crew 6-4. It was Knebel’s 6th blown save of the season and 3rd loss.
As far as the huge Brewer/Cub Series at Miller Park, which will turn into “Wrigley North” with the mass numbers of Chicago fans in the stands, no series could be bigger right now for either club or their fans. On the line is home field for a possible one game playoff for the division. If the Brewers and Cubs tie record wise after 181 games, home field for a one game playoff for the division will be determined by their head to head record. Right now the Brewers hold the edge at 8 games to 7, that being said, a split of this 4 game set would guarantee home field for “Bernie and Co.” if it comes down to a playoff game for all the marbles.
Thursday, Zach Davies will take the mound looking for win number 18 on the season, and will be pitted against Jake Arrieta for the “North Siders.” Friday night, Brandon Woodruff will pitch for the Crew, as Brent Suter and Chase Anderson respectively will finish up for skipper Craig Counsell this weekend.
Strap in Brewer, Cub and baseball fans across the globe, this is going to get nuts…
(photos courtesy of: AP, MLB, Getty, Milwaukee Brewers, UPI)