Yes, Ned Yost famously said “Math is still on our side” when the Brewers were two games out with four to play in 2007, but this year the math really is on Milwaukee’s side.
The Cardinals finished a sweep of the Brewers on Thursday, cutting their division deficit to 7.5 games. It was a frustrating series for the Brewers and their fans (hey, it would’ve been nice to put things away with a sweep the other way), but the Cards still have an uphill battle to catch the Brewers. In all reality, St. Louis likely needs to sweep the Brewers again next week if they have a real chance at the division. That seems a lot more likely than it did a few days ago, but that’s why the Brewers building up such a huge lead early was a big deal.
The Brewers have 24 games remaining, while the Cardinals have 25 games left on their schedule. To help everyone feel a little better about the Brewers’ chances of hanging on in September, here’s a little table showing what the Cards would have to do to tie for the division lead and force a one-game playoff:
|MIL (81-57)||STL (73-64)|
Yes, it’s easy to panic right now. But if the Brewers go .500 from here on out, the Cardinals can only lose 5 more games the rest of the season if they want to tie. If the Brewers finish the year 12-12, it would mean their first losing month of the entire season. As poorly as they’ve played the past few games, that doesn’t seem likely.