Janesville79°

It ain't over...

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Tim Thompson
September 11, 2012

Last week, "The Bullpen" made reference to writing a blog about how the Milwaukee Brewers were all but eliminated from the playoff hunt. I let him cover the tab for lunch before informing him that he would be fired without a second thought if he ever did such a thing. He put the thought to rest, which is good because I could never fire one of my heterosexual life partners, anyway.

(The Bullpen notes: To add context, my comments came during a conversation about how the Crew's bullpen was the main factor why the team was/is essentially out of it. I also said, in jest, that I would stop watching baseball altogether if the Brewers were to be the second wild card and somehow advance to the divisional series. I believe my rant went something like this.)

Not long ago, I would have agreed that the race was all but over. I never would have written a blog about it, but in convo, I may have agreed. A three-game sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies just after the all-star break seemed to be catastrophic and the proverbial nail in the coffin. This series seemed especially ominous given that all three losses were at the hands of our bullpen, which just happens to lead the National League in blown saves this year (27). The Crew traded Zack Greinke shortly thereafter, called up Jean Segura and a couple pitchers from the minors and appeared to throw in the towel on 2012 and look to the future.

(Side note: I hope Greinkeís last words to Runniní Ron went something like, ďRon, itís been real. Maybe Iíll be back, but Iíve gotta ask Ö why on earth did you NOT hold me back for Game 6? We were 17-0 when I started at Miller Park. Why, Ron? WHY?Ē)

Iíve said this before, but the possibility of a comeback is one of the more exciting things about the game of baseball. A team can be all but left for dead and, three weeks later in which they go 16-5 (as the Brewers have) and all of the sudden you can start to talk about "what if?"

As of today, the Crew sits five games behind the 2011 NL Wild Card winners, the St. Louis Cardinals for the second National League wild card spot. (The Atlanta Braves have all but sewn up the first wild card.) That is a lot of ground to make up with just 21 games remaining, but the 2011 World Series-winning team was actually in a worse position at this point last year, so anything is possible.

I REALLY wish we had a couple series with the Cardinals left -- mostly because itís easier to overtake someone if you play them. But, after going 4-9 in their previous 13 games, it seems the Cards may finally have leveled off and are playing to their fans' 2012 expectations. There are 21 games left -- and itís certainly a long shot -- but it should be a fun three weeks nonetheless. I only wish we had a Rachel Phelps to inspire us.

(The Bullpen notes: Paging Front Row Amy?)

Anyone else holding out any hope that we can make a magical run? Or is everyone already engrossed in the NFL season?



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