Monday, September 26, 2011

Brewers Clinch First Division Title since 1982

Congratulations to my hometown team, the Milwaukee Brewers, for winning their first division title in 29 years!!! The Brewers clinched in dramatic fashion on Friday night in front of a home crowd of over 44,000. It was all set up by a catastrophic loss by the Cardinals to the Mets on Thursday night, which lowered the magic number to 2 and presented the opportunity for the Brewers to clinch on Friday night with a win and another Cardinals loss. Tied at 1 in the 8th, Corey Hart ripped a double and Nyjer Morgan walked to start the rally. And then one of the most memorable moments in franchise history, delivered by who else but Ryan Braun - a 3-run bomb off the scoreboard in center. K-Rod struck out 2 batters in the 8th and John Axford easily attained his 45th save in the 9th to secure the victory. Following the game, not a single person or player left the stadium, and the Cubs-Cards game was broadcast live on the jumbotron. Everyone rooted for the Cubs for perhaps the first time in their lives as they beat the Cardinals 5-1 and the champagne began to flow immediately following the final out.

It was eerily similar to the playoff run of 2008, when with the score also tied 1-1 in the 8th, Braun stepped up to the plate and drilled a 3-run homerun to give the Brewers the lead, and immediately afterwards everyone stuck around to watch the Mets lose, thus securing the Brewers' wild card berth. Both the 2008 and 2011 games also featured gutsy performances by the starting pitchers - a complete game on 3 days' rest by CC Sabathia in '08, and an 11-K gem by Yovani Gallardo this year. Hopefully this year, the team has better results in the playoffs than the '08 team, and hopefully they don't have to face the Phillies in the first round. As it stands now, the Brewers are one game ahead of the Diamondbacks for the #2 seed, which would afford them the luxury of having home field in the first round. This is crucial not only because of the Brewers' amazing home record, but because then I could actually see them play since the first game would fall on a Saturday. There are 3 days left and a lot can happen yet with the wild cards and the potential matchups, but I'll make my playoff predictions as best I can right now. One thing is for certain - the Brewers are the NL Central Division Champions!!!

#1 Philadelphia v. #4 St. Louis* - Phillies in 5
#2 Milwaukee v. #3 Arizona - Brewers in 4

NLCS Philadelphia v. Milwaukee - Phillies in 6

AL Play-in Game - Tampa Bay over Boston
#1 New York v. #3 Detroit - Tigers in 5
#2 Texas v. #4 Tampa Bay** - Rays in 5

ALCS Detroit v. Tampa Bay - Rays in 6

World Series Philadelphia v. Tampa Bay - Phillies in 5

*Atlanta currently leading NL Wild Card by 1 game
**Boston currently leading AL Wild Card by 1 game

#1 Philadelphia
#2 San Francisco
#3 Cincinnati
#4 Milwaukee
Phillies over Giants in NLCS

#1 Boston
#2 Minnesota
#3 Oakland
#4 New York
Red Sox over Yankees in ALCS

Phillies over Red Sox in World Series, 6 games

Brewers 94-65, +6.0, clinched NL Central (3 v. Pirates, NLDS starts Saturday)
Reds 77-82, -17.0, eliminated (3 @ Mets)
Twins 61-98, -31.0, eliminated (3 v. Royals)

Erik - 16
Peter - 39

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