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Friday, September 23, 2011

"Playoff Fever 2011: NL Central Champions!"

Milwaukee Brewers 2011


The Milwaukee Brewers have done it! They're going to the Playoffs!

On Thursday, the New York Mets defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, dropping the Brewers magic number to clinch the NL Central to 2 games. Today, with one epic swing of the bat, Ryan Braun's three-run Miller Park homerun -- in the bottom of the 8th inning -- launched the Crew to a 4-1 win over the Florida Marlins. Half an hour later, the Cubs beat the Cardinals, and Milwaukee earned it's title!

The last time the Brewers earned a division title was in 1982 -- 29 years ago. They made it into the Playoffs in 2008, but as the NL Wild-Card. This time, they're going in as champions!

The Brewers still have five more games to play in the regular season. They may not be fighting for a Playoff spot anymore, but they still have another goal to reach. They need to end the season with more wins than the eventual NL Wild-Card team (either the Atlanta Braves or St. Louis Cardinals) as well as the NL West champions, the Arizona Diamondbacks. If they do, they will avoid having to play the NL best Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the Playoffs. Back in 2008, it was the Phillies who defeated the Brewers in the first round, and then went on to win the World Series.

The most likely first-round match-up this season will be the Brewers vs. the Braves -- a battle of the Milwaukee teams. The Atlanta Braves used to play in Milwaukee in the 1950's and '60's. They are the only team to win a World Series in the Brew City (1957). The Braves may be a Southern team now, but there's still a history here in Wisconsin. Put the two teams together in the Playoffs, and it could be a very interesting series.

So, here's to the Brewers in October. May their playoff fortunes be as dramatic as their season. And may Wisconsin end the year with yet another world champion!

"Braun’s homer gives Brewers NL Central crown"

VIDEO: Ryan Braun's 8th inning homerun

VIDEO: Brewers talk about winning NL Central

-Jon

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