Every time the Brewers have found success and happiness in their history, the St. Louis Cardinals have seemingly been there to kill it. But not this season, as the Brewers defeated their pesky rivals Wednesday night, 2-1, sweeping the three-game road series against Cards and officially clinching a playoff spot – the team's first postseason visit since 2011 and the fifth in franchise history.
Unlike Tuesday night's 12-4 final, tonight's decisive tilt was tight, tense and low-scoring all the way through. But thanks to Jhoulys Chacin providing five innings of one-hit baseball, strong relief work from Corbin Burnes, Josh Hader and Jeremy Jeffress, a keen eye at the plate from MVP frontrunner Christian Yelich earning him five (FIVE!) walks, timely hits from The Mayor of Ding Dong City Travis Shaw and a little help from the baseball gods in the eighth inning.
After a Mike Moustakas misthrow over to first on a tiny Jose Martinez dribbler, furiously fast Cardinals pinch runner Adolis Garcia rounded third and seemed certain to score before stumbling over his own feet and falling to the turf, turning into an easy out at home. Much obliged baseball gods! This Miller High Life champagne of beer shower is for you!
Just because the Brewers have clinched a playoff spot, however, doesn't mean the regular season is over. While the Crew currently has locked up the top Wild Card slot, the team could still hop over the Chicago Cubs and win the division and the best record in the National League, earning a full home-field advantage series in the playoffs rather than having to play the one-game Wild Card battle right away.
And considering the Cubs have to play one more game against the Pirates before their final series against the Cardinals – a team now desperately fighting for its playoff life – the pressure is on Chicago as opposed to the Brewers, who get a day off to celebrate before playing their final trio of spats against the dire Detroit Tigers at Miller Park this weekend.
They've achieved a lot tonight, but if the Crew finishes the job against the Tigers – and some results go their way in Chicago this weekend – they could achieve even more.
So while the work is not done for the Brew Crew, the celebration begins tonight – with hopefully more celebrating to come in October.
Oh, and as a final bonus, the Cardinals are now a game and a half back of the Rockies (or, depending on tonight's final results out west, a game back of the Dodgers) for the final Wild Card spot, putting them firmly on the outside looking in with their playoff hopes dangling by a thread. My how the tables have turned, St. Louis. It doesn't quite make up for 1982 or 2011, but it's a start.
As much as it is a gigantic cliché to say that one has always had a passion for film, Matt Mueller has always had a passion for film. Whether it was bringing in the latest movie reviews for his first grade show-and-tell or writing film reviews for the St. Norbert College Times as a high school student, Matt is way too obsessed with movies for his own good.
When he's not writing about the latest blockbuster or talking much too glowingly about "Piranha 3D," Matt can probably be found watching literally any sport (minus cricket) or working at - get this - a local movie theater. Or watching a movie. Yeah, he's probably watching a movie.