I’m not one to jump to conclusions, but I think it’s safe to say that the Brewers have the division clinched.
The Brewers defeated the Cardinals today, 4-1, and extended their division lead to 10.5 games. That’s tied for the largest lead they’ve had all season, and, with a little more than 20 games to go, I think we can say that the Brewers are going to win the division. As I said earlier, I don’t like jumping to conclusions, but it’s hard not to with this giant lead (which is the largest division lead in the Majors… Again).
The Brewers scored four runs, and two came via the home run ball. Ryan Braun crushed his 27th homer of the year off Jake Westbrook in the third inning, and Tony Tombstone- er, Nyjer Morgan- hit his fourth home run of the year in the seventh inning. But that was all Randy Wolf would need to mow down the Cards.
Wolf went eight innings while giving up one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out five to earn his 12th win of the year. Wolf has also proved that he’s pitched much better against the Cardinals in Busch Stadium, rather than Miller Park- over his last two starts at Busch, Wolf is 2-0 with a 0.56 ERA. Anyway, John Axford finished it off in the ninth inning and recorded is 41st save of the year. That’s tied with Tigers closer Jose Valverde for the second most saves in the Majors (Craig Kimbrel of the Braves leads with 42).
Taylor Green didn’t have a great game today, but he did get one hit- a double- in his second Major League start. He continues to tear apart Major League pitching, hitting .500 since his call-up. I can just tell this kid’s going to have a great future with the Brewers.
And here’s another big story- Ryan Braun is leading the NL in batting average! He’s hitting .335, and, since Jose Reyes went 1-for-4 today, he’s down to .332, allowing Braun to take the lead. If Braun can maintain a high batting average down the stretch, I have a feeling he’s going to take home the batting title- something no Brewer has ever done before.
Anyway, get ready for a slugfest tomorrow- Yovani Gallardo (15-9, 3.68 ERA) is going for the Brewers, while the Cards will counter with Kyle Lohse (12-8, 3.72 ERA). Both of these pitchers are terrible- and I mean terrible– against the opposition. Gallardo is 1-6 with a 5.79 ERA against the Cardinals in his career, and Lohse is 3-8 with a 5.10 ERA in his career against the Brewers. In fact, Lohse doesn’t have a win against the Brewers while with the Cardinals. But, I have a gut feeling that tomorrow will be a battle of the bullpens, in the end.
By the way, tomorrow marks the day that I have to make some decisions about this blog, as school starts for me tomorrow (I’m in high school, if you didn’t already know that). For the first few days, I doubt we’ll get much homework, but, after about a week in, we’ll probably get hammered with it. So it’ll be tough to find time to post, so expect posts late at night, no matter when the Brewer game is.