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Neighbors Growing Together | Sep 19, 2018

No margin for error as Brewers host Reds

Sep 27, 2017

MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff push continues tonight when rookie right-hander Brandon Woodruff takes on Homer Bailey and the Cincinnati Reds in the second game of a three-game series at Miller Park.

The Brewers (83-74) are playing with an almost non-existent margin of error. Milwaukee, which has five games remaining, sits five games back of the National League Central-leading Chicago Cubs (88-69) and 1 1/2 games behind the Colorado Rockies (84-73) for the second NL wild card.

The St. Louis Cardinals (82-75) linger another game behind in the wild-card race.

Milwaukee got no help Tuesday as the Cardinals and Rockies won, but scoreboard-watching won’t help with the task at hand, Brewers catcher Stephen Vogt said.

“I caught myself thinking about looking out there, but I had a little bit more going on every time I thought about looking at the scoreboard,” said Vogt, who had a career-high three doubles and scored twice in the Brewers’ 7-6 victory over the Reds on Tuesday night. “Obviously, we’re watching. But if we do our part, if we take care of these next five games the way we know we can, the chips fall where they fall.

“This is fun. Not very many teams -- I think there’s only a handful of teams playing meaningful games right now. We’re one of them. That’s all that matters. We’re going to keep doing that. We’re going to keep fighting every day.”

Vogt is likely to see the bulk of the action behind the plate as Milwaukee finishes the season. He settled into primarily a backup role after returning from a knee injury, but with Manny Pina sidelined by a sprained thumb, Vogt is Milwaukee’s main catcher for now.

“Losing Manny is a huge hit and we’re feeling it,” Vogt said. “But I’m excited to be in there every day and continue what I’ve done since I came here, and that’s help this team win in any way I can.”

Vogt will be charged with keeping the Woodruff in check Wednesday. The rookie right-hander is 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in four starts this month since his Sept. 1 recall from Triple-A Colorado Springs.

Woodruff (2-2, 3.76 ERA) has never faced the Reds, whose offense has been a thorn in the side of Milwaukee pitchers all season and has outscored the Brewers 27-15 over the past four meetings.

“It’s a team we’ve struggled with,” Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said. “It’s certainly a big part of it, us keeping them down with runs.”

Bailey (5-9, 6.96 ERA) makes his fourth of the season against the Brewers. He is 1-1 with a 7.07 ERA against Milwaukee this year but held the Brewers to three runs on six hits in six-plus innings earlier this month as the Reds kicked off a three-game sweep with a 5-4 victory in Cincinnati.

“(That) was like Homer of 2012 and 2013,” manager Bryan Price said of Bailey’s performance against the Brewers. “He had both good stuff and command.”

Bailey went 1-2 with a 5.75 ERA in his three starts since beating Milwaukee. He made it through only four innings his last time out, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks in a loss to St. Louis on Thursday.

He is 6-9 with a 4.87 ERA in 25 career starts vs. Milwaukee.


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