The Washington Nationals earned a split of their 4-game series with the Milwaukee, blasting the Brewers 12-2 in the series finale on Monday afternoon at Nationals Park.
With the loss, the Brewers fell 3-games behind the St. Louis Cardinals for the final NL Wildcard spot. With 9-games left to play, the Brewers find themselves tied with the Dodgers and still looking at a 3-game series in Cincinnati against the Reds starting tomorrow night.
The blow that started the Washington roll came in the 4th with the score tied 1-1 with two outs. Brewers starter Marco Estrada served up a single to center to pitcher Jordan Zimmerman and the flood gates opened from there. The Nationals scored 6 runs in the 4th and took a 7-1 lead.
The Brewers post-season chances are still viable, but they have little margin for error from this point forward. To make matters even worse, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said as soon as his team wraps up the division title, he plans to rest his starters the rest of the way.
The Nationals magic number to clinch the division stands at 5. The Brewers didn’t have the luxury of seeing the Nationals backups. But Washington’s remaining schedule is filled with teams fighting for playoff spots. But that means nothing to Johnson. When they clinch, the starters will sit and Johnson said he doesn’t care what people think about it.
The team the Brewers are chasing, the St. Louis Cardinals, will face the Nationals. But the Cardinals may catch a break by facing the National’s reserves instead of their starters.
The Brewers would be sitting in a much better place had they won today. But what stands out is the way they lost. Sloppy play was the story of the day.
A sloppy loss counts no more or less than a tight loss. So the Brewers have to put this one to bed, jump right back in the saddle and get after the Cincinnati Reds.