The Brewers currently trail the Cubs by 7. The Cubs have played 56 games. They are 25-8 at home. It's interesting to note that the Brewers have accounted for half of the Cubs 8 home losses, but the Brewers don't visit Wrigley again until mid-September. Of their remaining 106 games, the Cubs will play 58 of them on the road. They have played just 23 on the road so far, with a 10-13 mark. The Cubs are currently on pace to win 101 games.
The Brewers are 28-28 as of this writing. While there's been a lot of talk about the number of road games they've played so far this year, the ongoing homestand has largely balanced things out. They've played 25 at home (15-10), and 31 on the road (13-18). At the conclusion of the series against Arizona, they will have played 29 games at home and 31 on the road. By the end of their mid-June homestand, the Brewers will have officially played more at home than on the road, though the road trip that follows will reverse that again. Whatever imbalance between home and road matchups existed in April and May (and we're really only talking about 5 games or so) will essentially vanish in the next week or two. So the next time Bill or BA try to pawn off the slow start on the schedule, keep that in mind. That said, if the Brewers are going to take advantage of a spate of home games to make a move, the time is here. June is evenly split between home and the road, while July and September each see the Brewers at home for more games than they'll play on the road. August is the only remaining month in which they will play more road than home games (17/10).
The Cubs and Brewers play just 10 more games against each other, 7 of which will be played at Miller Park.
There's been occasional mention of the season closing series the Brewers have against the Cubs in Miller Park and how that might favor the Brewers if they manage to stay close. There's been little discussion of the road trip that precedes the final homestand with the Pirates and Cubs. From September 11th to the 22nd, the Brewers play 10 games in 11 days against the Phillies, Cubs and Reds.
Ben Sheets has been allowed to throw more than 120 pitches in two of his last 3 starts. I'm probably reading too much into this, but I've suspected since the beginning of the year that the way Sheets was used this season would give some indication as to whether they had any serious intent of trying to sign him. Given his prior shoulder problems, including a brief flare-up this year, I wonder how much less likely Yost would be to let Sheets throw 120+ pitches in an outing if he wasn't heading for free agency this offseason. While I'm on that subject I have to say I'm not sure how a rational person isn't concerned enough about Sheets' pitch count to pull him before the 9th inning tonight, but is concerned enough to pull him 15 pitches later with just one out to go.
Someone mentioned the other day that Fielder didn't seem to have the same joy playing the game this year as he did last season. So it was good to see him charge up the hallway from the clubhouse with a big grin on his face so Weeks and Yost could point out to him how far Branyan hit his solo shot to right.
Food for thought: On June 1st, 2007, the eventual division champion Cubs were 22-30, in 4th place (behind the Cards, Pirates and Brewers), and were 7.5 games back. Not so different from where the Brewers will wake up tomorrow, including the fact that the division leader is on a pace they will not be able to maintain.