MADISON, WI – With football season in full swing it is easy to forget that the MLB playoffs are right around the corner. For the Milwaukee Brewers that implies a two week stretch of must-win games to cap off their best season in five years, which was the last time the club made the playoffs.
Milwaukee is currently 3.5 games behind the division leading Chicago Cubs, and just one game back from the Colorado Rockies in the Wild Card standings.
Of the Brewers eleven remaining games, four will be played against the Cubs, and the rest include games against the Pirates, Reds and Cardinals. Despite the limited number of games remaining, the Brewers’ fate rests in their own hands because a sweep against the Cubs would make them the leaders in the NL Central.
Milwaukee has won nine of their last eleven games, including a three game sweep against Chicago, meaning a sweep against the reigning World Champions is not out of the question.
If Milwaukee fails to win the series against Chicago, they will have to rely on Colorado to lose a few games of their own because Milwaukee will not face the Rockies head-to-head again this season. However, Colorado only has one series left against a team with a winning record, which is the Los Angeles Dodgers who have lost 19 of their last 24 games.
This is a Brewers team that is fully capable of winning any of their upcoming games due to their fantastic pitching and ability to hit home runs at an unprecedented rate.
Despite the constant injuries to the starting rotation, Milwaukee is currently top five in the NL in ERA for the year, and in the month of September the pitching staff is top five in the MLB. This goes to show how important Milwaukee’s farm program has been.
Young players such as Brandon Woodruff and Brent Suter were pulled from the Minor League earlier in the year and thrown into the Brewers starting rotation. Both pitchers have posted an ERA under 3.5, which is unheard of for two players who weren’t even pegged to have a role in the Majors this season.
Milwaukee will need these young players to continue to thrive, especially after Jimmy Nelson’s season ending injury. The Brewers may be young and have very limited playoff experience, but if this club manages to sneak its way into the playoffs, they could be a serious dark-horse contender for the World Series.
They have successfully competed against other top teams in the NL, and seem to be almost unstoppable when their pitching staff delivers, as they have been for the past few weeks.
Most fans would not have expected this young group to even have a winning record this year. But with all the success this team has ended up having, anything less than a playoff berth would be a disappointment.