Win: Zach Duke (5-1)
Loss: Mark Melancon (3-5)
Save: Francisco Rodriguez (43)
At the beginning of September, I wrote an article about baseball being more fun when we're positive. At the time, the Brewers had recently fallen out of first place and were a game behind the Cardinals and two games ahead of the Pirates. At the time, the Brewers were still in a position to make the playoffs. At the time, there was still a reasonable argument that we should be optimistic about the team.
Everyone has there own thresholds when it comes to considering their favorite team 'out of it'. Some people -- and I tend to think I'm in this group -- will only admit defeat at the last possible moment. They'll wait until virtual mathematical elimination. Some will say a team is out of it on the 1st of September when the team is truly, undeniably struggling and on a slide. Some will say the team is out of it at the beginning of May after dropping a couple games to a division rival. When people say there team is out of it, often it's hyperbole; it's blowing off some steam and venting when, in their hearts, they still do believe they have a shot.
Still, different people have different ideas of when they feel their favorite club is out of contention. Differences of opinions are beautiful things when we handle them well, but sometimes we get into the
"Honey are you coming to bed?"
"I can't, someone is wrong on the internet"
which, fine. It happens, and temperatures can run high when the team isn't playing well. Still, we all have our thresholds.
Mine was met yesterday. After the Brewers lost 3-2 to the Pirates in yet another heartbreaking effort, I finally believed that the Brewers season was, for all intents and purposes, over. With eight games left, they were 4.5 games out of the second Wild Card. They needed a sweep of the Pirates and they dropped the first game. Obviously they can still make the postseason, technically, but anymore I can't believe they will.
So, the Brewers won today. They won despite Matt Garza getting ejected in the fifth inning. They won despite the offense still being unable to much of anything at all. They also didn't win spectacularly. They won when they loaded the bases in the ninth inning with, of all people, Elian Herrera, Lyle Overbay and Matt Clark. They won when, of all people, Logan Schafer hit a sacrifice fly to bring in a run, the first run, the only run of the game in the final frame.
But does a Brewers win matter much anymore? I guess it does. They're one win away from insuring they don't have a losing season and preventing massive depression. But at this point, wins are pretty meaningless. It's not that the team should give up, not when there is still some sort of chance. But, man, it's hard to get too excited anymore.