Found September 12, 2012 on
Fox Sports Wisconsin:
MILWAUKEE It had taken 124 games. It had taken the rest of the league and the media essentially counting the Brewers out, leaving them for dead. It had taken 17 wins in their last 22 games.
But on Tuesday night, the Milwaukee Brewers finally made it back to .500.
The change in the clubhouse had been palpable for a while since the Brewers began to play to their potential and get all the breaks they hadn't earlier in the season. But now, the change was obvious and out in the open. The Brewers are a confident team, and they're not afraid to show it.
"We've got the team to go all the way," pitcher Marco Estrada said after his scoreless outing in the Brewers' Tuesday win over the Braves. "We know that. We've been saying it all year. We're showing it right now."
It will still take a lot for Milwaukee to push its way to the top of the wild-card race. But right now, the confidence is freely flowing throughout the Brewers clubhouse. It's a situation reminiscent of another NL Central team from last year a Cardinals squad that started winning in late August and never looked back, all the way to a World Series victory.
Of course, those 2011 Cardinals hadn't been below .500 since the end of April. At the beginning of August, they were just 3.5 back in the NL Central. And at the trade deadline, St. Louis management was adding players, not subtracting like this year's Brewers.
It's a likeness that Brewers manager Ron Roenicke brushed off a few weeks ago. But on Monday afternoon, before the Brewers' series opening win against the Braves, Roenicke admitted he wouldn't mind the comparisons going forward on one condition.
"If it turns out that way (with a World Series win), I like it," Roenicke joked. "I like any time the chips are down and your guys are battling and coming back. I don't know how this things going to end up, but I've really enjoyed the last month watching the way we've played and to get us back into where people are starting to talk about us again."
People are definitely talking now, and it's got the Brewers clearly thinking that a spectacular late-season run, similar to what the Cardinals did last season, might just be possible.
Estrada admitted on Monday that St. Louis' magical stretch from September through October has been on the minds of plenty people in the Milwaukee clubhouse, as of late.
"It's just impressive what they did last year," Estrada said. "We couldn't believe it. We thought they were completely out of it. We thought we'd be facing Atlanta, but next thing you know St. Louis comes out on top and then they end up beating us and winning the World Series.
"How can you not look at that and think that you could do it?"
And with the Brewers quickly creeping up on the rest of the wild-card chasers, it may be nearing the time that other teams start to believe Milwaukee might just be destined to do what seemed so impossible just a month ago.
"I think they're starting to see us creeping up on them," Estrada said. "I've read a couple things from teams that have said we're still a dangerous team. And they're right. We are. We're playing better than we have been all year, and if we keep doing this, it's going to be fun to watch. We think we can still do this."
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MILWAUKEE For a young Marco Estrada, playing baseball at Sylmar High School in California, the strikeout was everything.
The joy of a third strike was unlike any other feeling in sports to Estrada. He and his fellow young pitchers judged their games by it. They reveled in getting batters to miss their pitches more than any other aspect of their game. The strikeout was king.
Hi. The Brewers are one game over .500 for the first time in the history of baseball (or so it seems) and are suddenly very much in the Wild Card Race. This is happening. So let's talk about betting on them to win the World Series.
Brewers World Series Betting Odds (OddsShark.com)
November 11, 2011: 22/1
March 6, 2012: 28/1
April 22, 2012: 35/1
May 28, 2012: 60/1
July 3, 2012...
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