Well, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs just finished their much anticipated four game series at Miller Park, to which the Cubs clearly showed that they truly are the team to beat in the NL Central.
Chicago easily swept the series as the Brewers looked flat all week.
The Brewers have now lost five in a row (set against the Cubs winning five straight), and finished a seven-game home stand with only one victory which came against the lowly Astros.
As a die-hard Brewers' fan, I think I can speak for the rest of them when I say, "This can't be happening again."
The 'this' I'm referring to is the fact that the Brewers play good baseball through July and then just fall apart.
This event, which I'm calling the "second half slump" is becoming more of a curse with each passing year. It was no more apparent than last year when the Crew had a huge advantage over Chicago before the break in 2007 and was in the perfect position to win the division, if only they could have stayed consistent.
The Brewers melted away in the dog days of summer and eventually gave the division title to the Cubs who, at times, looked like they didn't want it either.
Flash forward to today and the Brewers were playing well and managed to be five games behind the Cubs prior to the break. Milwaukee was able to tie Chicago just days prior to their huge match-up.
Milwaukee entered the series just one game back, looking to put a pounding on the lovable loser from the north and state their case for being the top team in the division.
The Brewers failed that test. Heck, they didn't even show up for the exam.
I don't want to get into numbers of how bad they were outscored or how the Brewers couldn't hit with RISP's because when I see them, I want to vomit.
The Brewers are again five games back, with the Cardinals still looming in the background with two months of baseball still to be played.
Milwaukee and Chicago still have six more games to play against each other. The Brewers do not have to win the division in order to play in October; they just need to keep tabs on St. Louis. With the way that the season has been going, with the three best records in the NL being in the Central, the Wild Card is going to come out of that division.
The Brewers are definitely going to use this series as a reality check as well as a gut check, but they will also use it as motivation so that this type of meltdown may never happen again.
So to all baseball fans in general, you still need to watch out for the Brewers. Even though they got thoroughly embarrassed at home by the Cubs, they are still a threat. To quote the great Pedro Cerrano, "Bats were afraid."
When Milwaukee's bats aren't scared, they can do some serious damage on any opponent who tries to stop them.
Baseball is a strange game in which anything can happen at any time. Plus, the baseball gods have been shunning the Cubs from absolute glory since 1908. So, the Brewers may be down, but they are certainly not out.
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