It could’ve been 8 games out, with 19 to play (if the Cubs swept the Brewers).
It could’ve been 6 games out, with 19 to play (if the Cubs took 2 of 3 from the Brewers).
It could’ve been 4 games out, with 19 to play (if the Cubs took 1 of 3 from the Brewers).
But, the baseball gods decided to have the recently light hitting Brewers sweep the defending World Series Champions in their own house, and close the gap on the N.L. Central leaders to just 2 games with 19 to play.
After talking with Brewer outfielder Brett Phillips before batting practice on Friday night, and hearing the confidence in his voice when he said to me “we’re taking 3,” I got on social media and nostradamusized that the Crew would sweep the Cubs … and that’s exactly what they did.
Game one, the first regular season Friday night game at Wrigley (ever) the Brewers jumped out to a 2 – 0 lead in the first inning. Ryan Braun hit career home run 300 on a night that the wind was keeping everything in the park (just ask Anthony Rizzo). The Crew lost Jimmy Nelson for the rest of the season when he slide back into first base after a long single off the wall in left field in the fifth, but, won the game 2-0.
Game two the Brewer bats came alive in big fashion, supporting starting pitcher Chase Anderson’s efforts on the mound. The Crew plated 15 runs in their biggest win of the season, 15-2.
In the finale, a matinee game on Sunday afternoon, runs once again were at a premium. The Brewers completed the “Windy City Sweep,” thanks to a two run jack by Travis Shaw in the 6th which turned out to be the difference in the 3-1 game.
The Brewers are now in striking distance of their first post season appearance since 2011 when they came with in 2 games of reaching their first World Series since 1982. Ahead of them are two, 3 game series against the Pirates which are a week apart, 3 in Miami, 4 HUGE GAMES AT MILLER PARK vs THE CUBS, 3 more against the Reds who swept the Crew over the Labor Day weekend, and finally finishing up in St. Louis against the Cardinals, who would love nothing more than to play the role of spoiler.
Over the next 19 games I feel the Brewers have 12 wins in them … or just enough to get themselves into the post season one way or the other, by division champs or the Wild Card. Either way this has been a fun season, and the final 3 weeks should be a real trip.
(Photos courtesy of: MLB, Milwaukee Brewers, Getty, AP, UPI)