With Milwaukee's magic number at three after Tuesday night's win, there's a possibility that manager Ron Roenicke's club could be forced to wrap up its division title while watching other teams battle it out on TV. If the Brewers beat the Cubs on Wednesday afternoon, they could clinch the division if the Cardinals lose to the Mets both later on Wednesday night and again on Thursday afternoon when the Brewers are idle.
"We'd be happy as heck," third baseman Casey McGehee said. "Obviously, everybody would probably prefer to have it happen on the field after winning a game, and not have to sit around and watch [someone else], but we've worked so hard this season to try to get ourselves in position to have it be even a possibility, that we'll take it any way we can get it."
Looking for a series victory and to prevent their division rivals from moving a step closer to a division crown, the Cubs will send Matt Garza to the mound to square off against Randy Wolf in the Cubs' final home game of the season. On top of it being their last game at Wrigley this year, manager Mike Quade said having the potential to prolong the Brewers' wait to clinch helps add some excitement to the game.
"There's probably a bit more motivation," Quade said. "My preparation is the same every day, and these guys go through the same routine. But when it comes to adrenaline that players feed off of from time to time, I think whether it's a rivalry or playing people who are in the hunt, there's probably a little bit extra. And especially when it's people in the hunt who are divisional foes."
But with postseason races tightening up in both leagues, the Brewers are more than willing to sacrifice celebrating on the field if it means they can stop looking over their shoulder at the charging Cardinals.
"It's nice to know that we're in control of our own destiny and don't have to bank on teams losing," McGehee said. "If we play our game and win some ballgames, we can take care of business ourselves. At the same time, we can't let our guard down because you see what's happening all over the place."
Brewers: Weeks ready to play through pain
Rickie Weeks knows his sprained left ankle isn't completely healed, but he also knows there just isn't enough time left in the season to wait for that to happen.
Weeks played his first complete game since July 26 on Monday night, but admitted afterward that there was some discomfort in the ankle that caused him to miss 41 games from July 28-Sept. 9. He drove in two runs in Tuesday's 5-1 win.
"It wasn't 100 percent," he said, "but I'm not going to be there for a while. I'm dealing with it."
Cubs: Castro hoping to get to 200 hits in front of home crowd
Starlin Castro collected his National League-leading 197th hit with a solo homer in the sixth inning Tuesday night, but has only one more chance to reach the 200-hit plateau in front of the home crowd. The 21-year-old Castro, who has said he'd prefer to reach the milestone at Wrigley, is vying to become the youngest Cubs player to collect 200 hits in a single season.
The current youngest, Billy Herman (206 hits in 1932) and Augie Galan (203 hits in 1935), were each 23 when they reached the milestone.
Third baseman Aramis Ramirez left Tuesday's game after the sixth inning with a mild strain of his right quad. He is day to day, but will likely miss Wednesday's series finale.
Brewers closer John Axford is one save shy of tying Francisco Cordero's single-season club record of 44, set in 2007.
The Cubs are 4-2 against the Brewers at Wrigley Field this season, but went just 1-8 in the nine meetings at Miller Park.