Macha: "Have to be realistic" about place in standings

If the Brewers want to shock the world with a late-season run for the ages, it will have to start this week in St. Louis. Milwaukee begins a three-game series at Busch Stadium on Tuesday.

“When you’re 12 out, with every game you’re kind of hanging on the cliff,” Brewers infielder Craig Counsell said. “If we want a chance, obviously, we have to sweep.”

Then they’ll have to sweep the Giants the following weekend. And then sweep the Cardinals again, when they visit Miller Park from Sept. 7-9.

That’s the kind of mad dash it will take for the Brewers, who are coming off a weekend sweep of the Pirates that didn’t help them one bit in the National League Central standings. The Cardinals grew their commanding lead over the second-place Cubs to 10 games, and the Brewers remained 12 games back with 32 to play.

Manager Ken Macha knows that it’s unlikely his club will get back in the race. That’s partly why he chose to use Monday’s off-day to give his starters an extra day of rest, meaning the Brewers’ best pitcher — righty Yovani Gallardo — will miss the St. Louis series. He’ll start instead on Friday against the Giants.

“You have to be realistic,” Macha said. “You have to look forward. If we do continue to pitch him and [Manny] Parra all these pitches and they blow out with two weeks left in the season, what good is that, anyway? We just try to win as many games as we can. …

“After all, we went two months without [Dave] Bush and [Jeff] Suppan in there, and we put extra duty on the other guys as a result of that. Pitching is the most valuable thing. If we win the next 10 games and we’re there, we’ll see.”

The Brewers are 9-3 at Busch Stadium over the last two years. They swept a three-game series in St. Louis in May.

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