It’s been a bad year for my poor Brewers. A rash of early injuries, many of them season-ending, contributed to a weak start. The bullpen isn’t nearly as successful as it was last year, and neither is the run production. The result is a 45-54 record coming into tonight’s game against the Washington Nationals. They trail first-place Cincinnati by 14 games.
It’s that time of year to trade away some players to contending teams in exchange for young prospects who could help next year and beyond. So star pitcher Zack Greinke is now an Angel, and catcher George Kottaras is now an Oakland Athletic. Aramis Ramirez and Corey Hart’s names have shown up in rumors, as has reliever Francisco Rodriguez.
This season’s playoff hopes are gone. But Brewer fans can still have some fun. According to my back-of-the-envelope calculations, Milwaukee’s magic number is to win their division is currently 78. If the total of Brewer wins and Red losses adds up to 78, the Brewers will repeat as division champs.
Of course, there are only 63 games left. That’s why I like to set secondary goals around this time of year, such as finishing with a better record than the Chicago Cubs. They’re 4 games behind the Brewers right now, which bodes well. That magic number is 60.
This blog will be keeping an eye on that number as it dwindles, along with the hopes and dreams of Cub fans everywhere.