Win: Mike Fiers (9-7)
Loss: Jake Westbrook (13-11)
Save: John Axford (27)
HR: Weeks (17), Ramirez (22)
MVP: Aramis Ramirez (.277 WPA)
LVP: Jeff Bianchi (-.136 WPA)
Some how, some way, the Brewers have put themselves right back in contention for a wildcard spot. With today's victory, Milwaukee is just five games from the Cardinals in a race for the second wild card spot. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot that needs to go right for the Brewers to reach the playoffs. The Dodgers and Pirates are both ahead of Milwaukee, too. There is just over 20 games remaining, so the window to catch up is closing rapidly. And yet, they just won't let us let go of this annoying sense of hope.
Mike Fiers was back to form somewhat, pitching five one-run innings. He struck out five hitters and walked three. Meanwhile, Jim Henderson and Francisco Rodriguez held up the bullpen's end of the bargain and gave up a run each.
Fortunately, the Brewers offense was more than good enough to make up for it. Ryan Braun and Jonathan Lucroy each went 3-5 with a run scored while Corey Hart and Carlos Gomez each picked up a couple hits. The offensive star of the game was Aramis Ramirez, who reached base in all five at bats. He fell just a triple short of the cycle as he went 3-3 and walked twice. He also scored two runs in addition to an RBI on a solo home run.
Five games back. Anymore, that doesn't sound so bad. And yet, it seems like the team is just setting up to break our hearts one last time this season.
The Brewers will have a chance to cut the Cardinals lead to four games tomorrow. It will be Shaun Marcum against Joe Kelly with first pitch scheduled for 1:15.