17 games left…and Crew still controls its own destiny

Okay, the sports sections on Friday morning all show the Brewers in 2nd place in the NL Central, by virtue of the Cubs’ win last night.
But, with the day off for the Brewers yesterday, the Cubs now have a “game in hand”–one more game played than the Brewers. The Cubs sit at 75-71, while the Brewers are at 74-71. What this all means is that the Brewers could, theoretically, win their last 17 games and at least tie for the division title. Now, we both know the likelihood of the Crew hitting a 17-game win streak this late in the season is next to impossible…but, still–when is the last time a Brewers’ fan could tell others that the Brewers still control their own destiny in mid-September? My guess is 1982.
Ben Sheets (12-4, 3.54) squares off against the Reds’ Tom Shearn (2-0, 4.19) Friday night at Miller Park. Shearn has played in four games with the Reds this season, but one of those was two innings of relief against Milwaukee last Sunday…and Shearn allowed 3 ER on 4 hits, which was his last appearance, as Pete Mackanin is giving all pitchers at his disposal a look for the rotation for ’08. No wonder–Reds’ starters not named Adam Harang are 30-50, with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.488 WHIP. Harang pitched Thursday, so the Brewers’ players have got to be feeling a little optimistic. A sweep this weekend, coupled with some Cubs and Cardinals losses (they play each other for four games, so at least one of them are going to gets some additional “L’s” this weekend), and the Brewers are back in the driver’s seat to take the Central.

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