Brewers keep chins up after winless set
Milwaukee slips to five behind Cubs, takes situation in stride
MILWAUKEE -- It's only July.Put down the remote that was about to be hurled in the direction of your television, Brewers fans. Set the radio back on its shelf and close the window. Spare your Rickie Weeks jersey from the backyard barbecue. Say it together: It's only July. The Brewers themselves had but a few hours to savor that soothing fact on Thursday evening, after Jim Edmonds hit a pair of home runs, including a fourth-inning grand slam, in Chicago's 11-4 win that finished a four-game Cubs sweep at Miller Park. Soon after the Brewers' chartered flight landed in Atlanta, it was August, leaving the team two months to play catchup in the National League Central. "I don't think it will be a very happy plane ride to Atlanta tonight, but this is not a death sentence by any means," Brewers manager Ned Yost said. "In September, yeah, this would hurt. We have plenty of time to recover from this." Chicago asserted its division dominance this week by outscoring Milwaukee, 31-11, and extending its one-game lead over the Brewers to five. The Cardinals, who preceded the Brewers in Atlanta and were scheduled to play Thursday night, would bump Milwaukee back down to third place with a win. The Brewers finished 1-6 on an embarrassing homestand that followed a 7-0 road trip. They had not been swept in a four-game series since May 12-15, 2003, also against the Cubs. "We don't like the fact that we allowed their fans to come into our park and have a four-day party," said Yost. "But that's our fault." The just-completed Cubs series reeked of the Brewers' three-game smackdown in Boston in May, after which outfielder Ryan Braun, with the ink still drying on his seven-year contract extension, called out the team for "not expecting to win." This was different, Braun insisted Thursday, but no less painful. "We expect to win, but [the Cubs] are just better than us right now," Braun said before going 2-for-4. "Bottom line. They've outplayed us in every facet of the game. They've been a lot better than us, but I don't think it has to do with our approach or our expectations or anything like that. They've just been better than us."
|"I don't think it will be a very happy plane ride to Atlanta tonight, but this is not a death sentence by any means. In September, yeah, this would hurt. We have plenty of time to recover from this."|
|-- Ned Yost|
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.