But the Brewers aren't about to grow complacent and lazily slide into the postseason, and they might have the Cardinals to thank for that.
When the Cardinals swept the Brewers by a combined score of 18-8 last week in Milwaukee, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said it "definitely got some attention, there's no doubt about that." And it sparked a four-game winning streak, which St. Louis ended Tuesday night.
Wednesday marks their final head-to-head meeting of the regular season.
"They're still focused on winning the game," Roenicke said of his club. "We're happy with where we are, but they still know that things can happen. They've done a real nice job of staying after it.
"We were playing so good at the time, and they came in and outplayed us. I don't know whether it was a wake-up call and we knew we had to play better going into Houston, or if it was just continuing the way we'd been playing. The Cardinals just outplayed us. It's hard to say why we bounced back. Maybe [Brewers players] realized, 'We can't take this for granted.'"
The Cardinals, meanwhile, will keep chasing the Brewers with largely the same lineup that got them to this point of the season. For the most part, the Cardinals team that swept the Brewers a week ago is the one that will finish out the final three weeks of the season.
After the club made its final September callups Tuesday, manager Tony La Russa said shortstop Tyler Greene, who entered Tuesday's game as a pinch-runner and scored the Cardinals' final run, will get a few starts while catcher Tony Cruz and outfielder Adron Chambers will serve as tactical options.
"I just think Tyler's the only guy that comes to mind that's earned some playing time, so we'll see," La Russa said.
Brewers: Greinke seeking third win over Cardinals
Right-hander Zack Greinke has fared well against the Cardinals this season, picking up two wins and striking out 14 batters while only walking one in 13 innings. Having won seven out of his last eight starts, Greinke will try to make it 3-for-3 this season against St. Louis.
The Brewers are getting closer to activating second baseman Rickie Weeks from the disabled list after he ran the Busch Stadium outfield Monday, Roenicke said. Weeks, on the DL since July 28 with a severely sprained left ankle, could be available to pinch-hit as soon as this weekend.
"If we activate him, it's not activating him so he can play second base," Roenicke said. "It's activating him so he can bat, and if we get in a game where we're up a lot or down a lot, maybe we can put him at second base for a couple innings. Something to ease him in."
Cardinals: Carpenter looking to get back on track
The Cardinals have lost right-hander Chris Carpenter's last four starts, and he has given up six earned runs over each of his last two outings.
So, Carpenter will head to the mound Wednesday looking for his first victory since Aug. 11, when he allowed 10 hits and three walks but only two runs over eight innings against the Brewers.
Called up Tuesday, Chambers also got into Tuesday's 4-2 win as a pinch-runner. La Russa said Chambers will get some playing time this month but is primarily a tactical option.
"Plus he does pick up, watching the big leaguers, how they go about it. Shouldn't underestimate that," La Russa said. "I saw in Spring Training, he really watches and he applies what he learns."
Taylor Green entered Tuesday night's game as a pinch-hitter and went 1-for-1 with a run scored. Green has gone 7-for-13 since joining the Brewers after batting .336 with a .413 on-base percentage for Triple-A Nashville.
Veteran infielder Nick Punto was also added to the Cardinals' active roster Tuesday, coming back from the 15-day disabled list after missing nearly six weeks due to a strained left oblique muscle.