Only time has hindered Brewersâ€™ climb
In the age of the wild-card in baseball, there is nothing more important than momentum. Momentum can carry a lesser team past a greater one without hesitation in a seven-game baseball series — something that was proven as recently as last year.
And it's true: Few teams in baseball can match the Brewers' momentum right now. If they managed to sneak a playoff bid and proved victorious in the one-game wild-card matchup, there's no doubt they'd be major players for a World Series berth. They're playing that well right now.
But without time, momentum is futile. Milwaukee is down 4.5 games with just eight left to go. St. Louis still has a game against the league-worst Astros and two tough opponents at home in Washington and Cincinnati. But the Cardinals have momentum, as well. More important, they also have time on their side.
In Tuesday night's game, it couldn't seem more apparent that time was about to run out on the Brewers' budding Cinderella story. Despite fighting as hard he could, it seemed, Brewers pitcher Mike Fiers — who had been so unexpectedly spectacular for the first three-quarters of his first season — had so clearly run out of gas. And after scoring at will for so long, whenever and wherever they needed, the Brewers couldn't find their offense and left just one runner on base against Reds' pitcher Johnny Cueto.
The clock has been ticking for a while now. And as tragic as the end to Milwaukee's comeback story may seem, it appears the clock will stop just before the finish line for the Brewers.
If Milwaukee finishes the season with eight straight wins, the Cardinals would have to win only three of their remaining games to match the 87-win total. And with a likely victory against the Astros on Wednesday, St. Louis would need to win just once in both of its series against the Reds and Nationals to give Milwaukee even a shred of hope.
"It's certainly looking a lot tougher," manager Ron Roenicke said on Wednesday. "We're going to have to get some big-time help."
But unless the Cardinals can spot the Brewers some of their valuable and abundant time, it appears that the clock may have struck midnight on Milwaukee.
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