First things first, Brewers fans: how's about getting to .500 before we start talking wild card?
The Cardinals did it, so why can't the Brewers?
It's a question plenty of fans are asking, what with Milwaukee's August surge: can the Brewers be a Wild Card team this fall?
Yes, and I could play center for the Bucks, too, but some pretty incredible and unlikely things would have to happen first.
As of this writing the Brewers are 66-69, sitting seven and a half games out in the chase for one of the two NL Wild Card spots. Atlanta is at the top of the heap with a 76-60 mark. St. Louis is next at 74-62, leaving the Cards and Braves in a virtual tie. The Dodgers are 1.5 games back. Pittsburgh trails by 2.5. The D-backs are, like Milwaukee, seven and a half out.
I'm not a stats guy but those are some daunting digits.
The Brewers, with last night's win in Miami, have played 135 of their 162 games. That leaves 27 more chances to put together the kind of win string that would overtake the five teams ahead/tied with them in the standings. If Milwaukee wins, say, 20 of those, the Crew ends up 86-76. You'd need the Cards (74-62) to go 11-15 in order for the Brewers to eek past them. The Dodgers? 12-13 please. Those are two fairly good teams that would have to suddenly get cold to mediocre to be overtaken. What then of the Pirates and D-backs? What's to say they couldn't get a burst? Then, of course, there's the Wild Card Elimination number. Milwaukee's is 20. Any combo of Atlanta/St.Louis wins and Brewers losses hitting that number means hello, golf clubs, for the local nine.
Before anyone starts thinking October baseball around here, let's see Milwaukee bust over the .500 mark first. Considering how badly the Brewers were playing after the All Star break, ending the season with a winning record would be no small feat--certainly not what fans were thinking when they were lining up for tickets amid last winter's snow drifts, but still better than what we'd come to expect in August.
The Brewers can't do anything about the other teams they're looking up at in the standings this morning. All Milwaukee can do is win, and hope for the worst for their wild card foes. Stranger things have certainly happened, but someone will need to open up an industrial sized barrel of "Weird" for Milwaukee to make the postseason.