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Brewers could sink Pirates this weekend

August 21, 2014

With a surprise sweep this weekend, the Brewers jumped right back in the race to finish first in the National League. Meanwhile, the Pirates’ tailspin dropped them six games back in the NL Central.

But that doesn’t make this weekend’s series any less important for the Crew.

In fact, it may even mean more now.

The Pirates will come into Milwaukee on Friday desperate for a series win to turn around their fading playoff hopes. If nothing else, this should give the series a postseason atmosphere at Miller Park this weekend.

Beyond maintaining their lead atop the division, a good series for the Brewers would keep the struggling Pirates down. In fact, a series sweep could all but eliminate the Bucs’ chances in the division.

Dropping to nine games back with 32 to play, Pittsburgh would face a significant uphill battle in the Central.

So, the Brewers should not take the Pirates lightly.

Sure, Wednesday’s win was Pittsburgh’s first in eight games. And yes, the Brewers are 10-3 against the Pirates this year and 76-33 since 2008.

But the Brewers can’t afford to overlook the Pirates and simply expect to win two of three. They’re still facing playoff contenders.

Now, I don’t believe the Crew will have any trouble focusing on this weekend’s series. They certainly shouldn’t be distracted by looking ahead to next week’s matchup with the last-place Padres. Although the trip to sunny San Diego should be enticing.

Still, the possibility exists that Pittsburgh could win two of three simply because it needs this series so much more than Milwaukee. But the Brewers have plenty to play for as well.

For one, they need to avoid the worst-case scenario.

If the Pirates were to surprise with a road sweep, they would suddenly be winners of four straight and just three games out. While the Brewers would be on a four-game losing streak and potentially fall out of first place.

That’s the last thing that should happen to the red-hot Brewers. But it’s possible.

Hopefully for the Brewers, they will seize the opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to the pesky Pirates. If they do, it’ll make for a thrilling weekend at Miller Park.

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