It has to be over for the Brewers now. They just lost 2-1 to the Reds, dropping them four back in the wild card race pending the outcome of tonight’s games. It was a thin hope they had before — probably no real hope — but even the optimists have to jump ship now.
The thing about that loss: what killed them today in Cincinnati is what has killed them all year: The bullpen.
Up 1-0 entering the bottom of the ninth, Jonathan Axford came in to lock it down. He retired the first two batters, striking them both out. Then gave up a homer to Todd Frazier, a single to Jay Bruce and a walkoff triple — triple! — to Dioner Navarro.
There’s no real shame in blowing a 1-0 game. It’s a tough save as far as those things go. But when you think of just how many games the Brewers’ pen blew this year — and realize that it’s way, way more than the margin by which they will fall short of the wild card — you just have to kick yourself if you care about their fortunes.