Brewers fall into Wild Card tie
Stifled by Lilly, Milwaukee even with Mets with one game left
MILWAUKEE -- Dale Sveum is not much for team meetings, but the interim Brewers manager did say five words to his players after they trudged off the field Saturday."And then there was one," Sveum said. Or two, depending on whether a one-game playoff is in order, but the Brewers were not particularly interested in examining that scenario just yet. What was sure Saturday was that a 7-3 loss to the Cubs at Miller Park behind a clearly hurting Ben Sheets, plus the Mets' win over the Marlins, left Milwaukee and New York tied atop the National League Wild Card standings with one game to play. The teams' first 161 games settled nothing. It will all come down to Sunday. "It's been a roller-coaster ride," Sveum said. "But when we started, if somebody said, 'If you're tied after Game 161, would you take it?' Thirty teams would have done that." Hopes of closing it out Saturday were dashed early, when Johan Santana pitched New York to a quick 2-0 win over Florida at Shea Stadium. That game was over before Sheets threw his first pitch at Miller Park. So the best the Brewers could do was clinch at least a tie for the Wild Card with a win over the Cubs. Ted Lilly had something to say about that. Lilly (17-9) started for Chicago and did not allow the first Brewers hit until the seventh inning, when Ryan Braun led off with a double. By that time, the Cubs had built a 4-0 lead on Sheets, who pitched for the first time since revealing a right elbow injury on Sept. 17 and lasted only 2 1/3 innings. The Brewers scored later in the seventh and really rallied in the eighth against Jason Marquis and two more Cubs relievers, getting as close as 4-3 with the bases loaded and one out. They never got closer, and three Cubs runs off Salomon Torres in the ninth put the gagme out of reach and spoiled an afternoon for at least half of the 45,288 fans in the stands. The fifth-largest crowd in Miller Park history pushed the Brewers' season attendance above three million for the first time.
|"We've got a big game [Sunday], and we're set up to make the playoffs, still."|
|-- Ben Sheets|
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.