The St. Louis Cardinals have won six out of their last seven games.
But that hasn’t prevented the red-hot Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of eight of their last 10, from gaining ground in the National League Central Division race.
So the Redbirds need to take advantage of the opportunity to pad their 33-17 record, which is currently the best in Major League Baseball, by beating up on the struggling Milwaukee Brewers in a three-game set starting Monday at Busch Stadium.
The Brew Crew is 2-8 in its last 10 games and has the worst record in baseball at 17-34. They’re a miserable 8-14 on the road while the Cardinals are 20-6 at Busch Stadium.
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Milwaukee managed to win 7-6 Sunday over the Arizona Diamondbacks. But the win may have been a curse in disguise, taking 17 innings to accomplish.
The Brewers would probably have been better off losing in regulation which would have at least allowed the team to avoid abusing its pitching staff.
Matt Garza, previously scheduled to start Monday in St. Louis, was forced to pitch five innings in relief and won’t be able to take the ball against the Cardinals.
Milwaukee’s bullpen is also a mess thanks to the extra-inning affair.
Sunday starter Tyler Wagner, lasted only 3 2/3 innings. That forced the relief crew to work 8 1/3 frames before Garza stepped in to carry the load the rest of the way.
The Brewers have given up six or more runs in four of their last five games. The only exception was Wednesday when the pitcher who will go Monday night in St. Louis, Mike Fiers, beat the San Francisco Giants 3-1.
Milwaukee is 2-4 against St. Louis so far this year and has struggled against all its National League Central Division competition. It’s 1-5 against the Pittsburgh Pirates, 2-5 against the Cincinnati Reds and 2-4 against the Chicago Cubs.
Still, Milwaukee has the ability to score a lot of runs. The brewers are 7-8 in blowout games and have scored six or more runs 11 times through the first quarter of the season.
Controversial outfielder Ryan Braun has 12 home runs and 38 RBI while first baseman Adam Lind has eight and third baseman Aramis Ramirez has six.
It was impressive that the Cardinals have handled the high-powered Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers so far this season. But you have to secure the wins you’re supposed to get, too, if you’re hoping to make the playoffs.