I think we all were hoping to sweep Atlanta this weekend, and after blugdenoing them 18-3 Friday, those prospects seemed pretty good. Losing Saturday's game, a very winnable game, hurt. At least the team bounced back and took the rubber match.
At least we didn't lose any ground. Chicago won 2 of 3 from the Nationals, the Brewers the same against Pittsburgh.
I believe both teams have today off in preparation for their 2-game series. I don't think its a stretch to say these currently are the two biggest games left on the docket. Get swept and kiss the wild card goodbye. Sweep and you're right in it. Split and, well, you still have a chance, but it's starting to fade, especially considering the weak schedule Milwaukee has the rest of the way.
The bullpen hiccup on Saturday (oh how big was that wild pitch in the eighth?) doesn't bode particularly well for the upcoming series. St Louis is 4-9 against Milwaukee this season. In those nine losses, listed below,
17 Apr lost 5-3 (10), led 3-0 in eighth,
22 Apr lost 9-8 (12), trailed 8-3 in seventh and had bases loaded in ninth,
9 May lost 4-3, led 3-2 in ninth,
11 May lost 5-3,
12 May lost 8-3,
21 Jul lost 6-3 (10), trailed 3-2 in ninth and had second and third, two out with AP up,
22 Jul lost 4-3, led 3-0 in seventh,
23 Jul lost 3-0,
24 Jul lost 4-3, led 3-2 in ninth,
they led late in 4 of the losses. In two others they had a chance to win in the ninth and didn't finish, but my major point is the bullpen took the loss in 4 of those games. With the rearrangement of the bullpen over the past 3 weeks, they've been much more solid; but I still think Milwaukee believes they can beat the Cardinals every time in a close game once it's turned over to the bullpen, based on this year's results.
Like I said, their hiccup on Saturday doesn't bode well. The day off will help. Hopefully, if we have a close game or two in this series, the mostly solid pen we've seen recently will be the one on the mound.
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