The Milwaukee Brewers have no margin for error and also need a little bit of help as they enter Saturday’s contest against the host St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers stand two games behind Colorado for the National League’s second wild-card spot with two contests left to play and will be eliminated by their next loss or the Rockies next victory.
Catcher Stephen Vogt homered and had three RBIs in Friday’s 5-3 victory as Milwaukee remained alive in the postseason race while winning for the fourth time in the past six games. The Brewers, who last qualified for the postseason in 2011, are 10-7 against the Cardinals this season. While Milwaukee hopes for the Rockies to drop two games, the Cardinals were eliminated from contention on Wednesday and aren’t part of the postseason for the second straight year following five consecutive appearances. St. Louis rookie shortstop Paul DeJong continued his strong campaign with his 25th homer in Friday’s loss.
TV: 4:15 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
PITCHING MATCHUP: Brewers RH Junior Guerra (1-4, 4.90 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Luke Weaver (7-2, 3.23)
Guerra makes his first start since July 29 as Milwaukee continues using different hurlers to plug the rotation gap caused by a season-ending injury to Jimmy Nelson. The 32-year-old has made 13 starts but isn’t stretched out as he hasn’t pitched more than one inning in a game in seven September appearances. “We certainly don’t expect a normal 90-100 pitches from him,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell told reporters. “I think he’s capable of it but I don’t expect that to happen.”
Weaver has pitched well in two victories against the Brewers, compiling a 3.00 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 12 innings. The 24-year-old won seven consecutive decisions before getting pounded by the Chicago Cubs for eight runs and seven hits over three innings in his last turn. Weaver has fanned 68 batters and walked just 13 in 55 2/3 innings.
1. Brewers LF Ryan Braun is just 1-for-16 over the past four games and is homerless in his last 10 contests.
2. St. Louis Kolten Wong (back), who is in a 4-for-32 funk, sat out his fourth straight game and is likely done for the season.
3. Milwaukee C Manny Pina (thumb) will miss the final two games and last played on Sept. 21.
PREDICTION: Cardinals 5, Brewers 2