Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 9/18/12
An incredible run over the last month has vaulted the Milwaukee Brewers into the thick of the NL wild-card race. The Pittsburgh Pirates are right there with them, but they've hardly resembled a playoff team lately. The surging Brewers look to continue their astonishing playoff push in Tuesday night's opener with the Pirates, who might be weary after arriving home this morning. Milwaukee (74-72) and Pittsburgh (74-72) are both 2 12 games back of St. Louis for the NL's second wild-card spot, but have taken different paths to get to this position. While the Pirates squandered several opportunities to move past the Cardinals, having lost 18 of 25, the Brewers are a major league-best 20-6 since Aug. 19, trimming 10 games off their deficit. They've won five of six over Pittsburgh in this stretch. "A month ago we were out of it," said Aramis Ramirez, who is batting .458 with two homers and 12 RBIs in his last six versus the Pirates. "All of a sudden we got hot. We're right there. We've got a chance." To improve its chances, Milwaukee has to play well on a crucial 10-game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh, and continues with stops against NL East-leading Washington and Central-leading Cincinnati. "This road trip is going to be a tough road trip, and we know it," manager Ron Roenicke said.The Brewers, however, could have the advantage in the opener. While Milwaukee spent its off day Monday in Pittsburgh, the Pirates split their four-game series in Chicago following a 3-0 win that ended at 1:28 a.m. CDT on Tuesday. The game started Monday at 10:42 p.m. after a rain delay of 3 hours, 37 minutes. The Brewers have been off since Ryan Braun hit two home runs in Sunday's 3-0 win over the New York Mets. Braun is making a strong push for a second consecutive NL MVP, as he leads the league with 40 homers and is second in RBIs with 103. Although Braun has been a catalyst to Milwaukee's offense, he's batting .143 with one homer and three RBIs in the last six with Pittsburgh. He is, however, 5 for 12 lifetime against scheduled starter A.J. Burnett (15-7, 3.66 ERA). The Pirates have lost each of Burnett's last five starts after winning 18 of his first 22. He pitched well enough to win Wednesday in Cincinnati, allowing two runs in six innings, but was saddled with a 2-1 loss. The right-hander has been backed by four total runs of support in his last four starts. Three starts ago in Milwaukee on Sept. 1, he gave up two runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss. While Pittsburgh has had no luck behind Burnett lately, the Brewers have won each of Yovani Gallardo's last nine starts, with the righty earning the decision seven times to go with a 2.98 ERA. Against Atlanta on Wednesday, Gallardo (15-8, 3.72) permitted two runs and four hits in seven innings of an 8-2 victory, the fifth time in six starts he yielded two runs or less. The one time he didn't pitch well in his last six outings came against the Pirates on Sept. 2, when he gave up seven runs in 4 2-3 innings in a game Milwaukee eventually won 12-8. He had posted a 0.90 ERA in winning his previous five starts in the series. Andrew McCutchen, who is 3 for 17 in his last four games versus Milwaukee, is 3 for 6 with a homer against Gallardo this season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

White Sox fan wears a fantastic taped-up Chris Sale jersey

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Eagles want Carson Wentz to be 'starter ready' Week 1

Report: 49ers concerned Anthony Davis will quit again

Did Manning hurt NFLPA's case in HGH investigations?

Report: Steinbrenner won't allow fire sale, wants to make playoffs

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

Kevin Durant’s OKC restaurant will be closed, rebranded

Lamar Odom said to be held back by one 'toxic friend'

Mario Balotelli crashes Liverpool fans' wedding

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker