MILWAUKEE -- When the St. Louis Cardinals clinched the NL Central Division Sunday, Sept. 29 with a 9-0 win over the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers fans started hoping for a quick and painless end to the regular season, but they didn't get that. There was a quick change of emotions for those who gathered to watch together, with fans hopeful a win in nine innings would mean less stress on the club's pitching, as the Brewers look to make a deep playoff push.
On a rainy fall Sunday, Kelly's Bleachers on Bluemound Road near 53rd Street played host to a couple handfuls of Brewers faithful, with fans saddled up to the bar, including some pre-dating the current club.
"The whole time they've been here," said Dennis Bressler. "I went to the first game in 1970, and we got spanked by the Angels, and yeah, I'm a lifelong Brewers fan."
Bressler has been around the block a couple times with the team, including the then-American League club's last appearance in the World Series.
"'82, when we lost to the Cardinals, I went to every home game, and it was hurtful," said Bressler. "We should have won. We didn't, and this is the first time, second time in Brewers history that they've been in the playoffs two years in a row. so let's do it."
As the Cardinals took down the Cubs, clinching the NL Central, the Brewers playoff path became clearer -- with the Brewers and Washington Nationals set to vie for the NL wild-card berth.
"If we just stay rested, and go in there optimistic, I think we can beat them," said Shawn McCarthy.
For McCarthy, Game 162 wasn't as important as what would come next.
"I would hope they rest the players today so we could be ready for that wild-card game," said McCarthy.
The final three games of the season would prove to be anti-climatic, with the team headed to Washington.
"If they take it, one game at a time, I think they can make a deep run," said McCarthy.
"We're in control of what we're going to do, and we'll just see what happens," said Bressler.
Even with the loss Sunday, these fans said playoff baseball is better than no baseball at all, no matter where you are. For some, though, the final game of the season went a little too long for their liking, even with Craig Counsell using a deep bench. After dropping the final three of the season, fans were hopeful the Crew would turn things around come Tuesday.