|San Diego (89-71) «||0||0||0||3||0||1||0||2||0||6||8||0|
MILWAUKEE -- At the very least, the San Diego Padres will still be playing come Monday.
And while they came close for the first time in a long time, the Milwaukee Brewers will be bystanders for yet another October.
The Padres beat the Brewers 6-3 on Friday, assuring themselves of no worse than a tie for the NL wild card and eliminating Milwaukee from the postseason.
San Diego holds a two-game lead in the wild-card race over Colorado and New York with two games left. The Padres trail Arizona by one game in the NL West.
With so many teams left in contention, Greg Maddux (14-11) enjoyed pondering all the playoff scenarios.
"It's fun to talk about it, you know," said Maddux, who got his 347th win. "I mean, we could go to New York, Philly, Chicago or play at home. I guess we can't go to Arizona or Colorado. Or, we can have a one-game playoff anywhere, really, on Monday."
On the other side of the ballpark, the fun suddenly evaporated from Milwaukee's clubhouse.
"We didn't do what we needed to do," Brewers manager Ned Yost said.
Milwaukee entered two games behind the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs. But the Brewers' loss, coupled with the Cubs' 6-0 victory at Cincinnati, sealed their fate.
Despite the promise of a hot start in April and a big division lead in June, Milwaukee missed the playoffs once again.
Yost said his young team met its goal of playing meaningful games in late September for the first time in a long time. And that experience, Yost said, will be invaluable come next year.
"Our kids gave their very, very best effort to see that happen," Yost said. "They just fell a little short."
Prince Fielder, the most prominent of the Brewers' young core, struggled to turn his thoughts from a disappointing present to a promising future.
"Nah," Fielder said, briefly looking up and shaking his head. "Not right now."
Milwaukee held an 8½-game lead after beating Kansas City on June 23 but slumped in the second half. Several starting pitchers went into prolonged slumps, Ben Sheets got hurt again, and the bullpen wasn't good enough.
Yost said the team still had one goal to shoot for: By winning one of their last two games, the Brewers would secure their first winning record since 1992.
"The .500 thing is irrelevant," center fielder Bill Hall said. "I'd rather be in the playoffs with a sub-.500 record."
After the Padres broke a 3-3 tie on Khalil Greene's RBI double off Claudio Vargas (11-6) in the sixth, the Brewers had a chance to come back in the bottom half when they loaded the bases with one out off reliever Joe Thatcher.
"Cla probably had the pitch of the night when he got the double play," Maddux said.
Greene added a two-run homer in the eighth, his 26th of the season.
"We've been a kind of middle-of-the-road team, but we've continued to play hard and try to win games that we keep close," Greene said. "We've been able to do that, I think, more often than not here lately."
With his team's playoff possibilities erased, Yost retained at least some semblance of a sense of humor.
"I was glad to make it through a game without getting thrown out," said Yost, who had been ejected from or suspended for four of the Brewers' previous five games. "It's been fun. It's been intense."
|The Padres are in a high-fiving mood after moving their wild-card lead to two with two games left. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
|San Diego Padres|
|Brian Giles, RF||5||0||0||0||0||0||1||.269|
|Scott Hairston, LF||4||0||0||0||0||1||1||.247|
|Kevin Kouzmanoff, 3B||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.277|
|Adrian Gonzalez, 1B||2||3||2||0||2||0||0||.276|
|Khalil Greene, SS||3||2||2||3||1||0||1||.254|
|Josh Bard, C||4||0||1||1||0||0||2||.283|
|Geoff Blum, 2B||2||0||0||1||0||0||1||.249|
|Cla Meredith, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Brian Myrow, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.111|
|Heath Bell, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Trevor Hoffman, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brady Clark, CF||4||0||1||1||0||1||1||.260|
|Greg Maddux, P||2||0||1||0||0||1||2||.145|
|Joe Thatcher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Marcus Giles, 2B||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.229|
|a-struck out for Meredith in the 8th|
|2B - Adrian Gonzalez (45, Vargas), Khalil Greene (44, Vargas)|
|HR - Khalil Greene (26, Linebrink)|
|SF - Geoff Blum (3)|
|RBI - Khalil Greene 3 (96), Josh Bard (51), Geoff Blum (31), Brady Clark (10)|
|2-OUT RBI - Brady Clark (6)|
|PK - Greg Maddux (1, Capuano)|
|Team LOB - 4|
|DP - Greene-Blum-Gonzalez, Giles-Greene-Gonzalez|
|San Diego Padres|
|Greg Maddux (W,14-11)||5||6||3||3||0||3||1||4.14|
|Joe Thatcher (H,3)||0.1||1||0||0||1||0||0||0.93|
|Cla Meredith (H,10)||1.2||0||0||0||0||1||0||3.45|
|Heath Bell (H,33)||1||0||0||0||1||2||0||2.10|
|Trevor Hoffman (S,42)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.41|
|HBP - Weeks (by Greg Maddux), Dillon (by Joe Thatcher), Hart (by Heath Bell)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Greg Maddux 73-46, Joe Thatcher 14-8, Cla Meredith 12-9, Heath Bell 23-15, Trevor Hoffman 12-10|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Greg Maddux 7-4, Cla Meredith 2-1|
|Batters Faced - Greg Maddux 21, Joe Thatcher 4, Cla Meredith 4, Heath Bell 5, Trevor Hoffman 3|
|Rickie Weeks, 2B||4||1||1||0||0||2||0||.235|
|J.J. Hardy, SS||4||1||2||0||0||0||0||.279|
|Ryan Braun, 3B||3||0||0||1||0||1||1||.323|
|Prince Fielder, 1B||2||0||0||0||2||1||1||.289|
|Corey Hart, CF||3||1||3||2||0||0||0||.294|
|Gabe Gross, RF||2||0||1||0||0||0||1||.236|
|a- Kevin Mench, PH-RF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.268|
|Geoff Jenkins, LF||2||0||0||0||0||0||1||.256|
|b- Joe Dillon, PH-LF||1||0||0||0||0||1||2||.343|
|Damian Miller, C||2||0||0||0||0||2||1||.235|
|c- Craig Counsell, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.221|
|Mike Rivera, C||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.300|
|Chris Capuano, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.220|
|d- Tony Gwynn Jr., PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.254|
|Claudio Vargas, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.132|
|e- Laynce Nix, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Scott Linebrink, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Greg Aquino, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|f- Bill Hall, PH||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||.255|
|a-flied out for Gross in the 6th|
|b-hit by pitch for Jenkins in the 6th|
|c-grounded into a double play for D. Miller in the 6th|
|d-lined out for Capuano in the 5th|
|e-grounded out for Vargas in the 7th|
|f-struck out for Aquino in the 9th|
|2B - Gabe Gross (12, Maddux)|
|HR - Corey Hart (23, Maddux)|
|SF - Ryan Braun (5)|
|RBI - Ryan Braun (96), Corey Hart 2 (78)|
|2-OUT RBI - Corey Hart (34)|
|SB - Rickie Weeks (25, 2nd base off Maddux/Bard), J.J. Hardy (2, 2nd base off Maddux/Bard)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|Claudio Vargas (L,11-6)||2||2||1||1||0||2||0||5.09|
|WP - Chris Capuano (10)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Chris Capuano 75-45, Claudio Vargas 32-24, Scott Linebrink 20-12, Greg Aquino 10-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chris Capuano 3-8, Claudio Vargas 2-2, Scott Linebrink 1-0, Greg Aquino 2-0|
|Batters Faced - Chris Capuano 21, Claudio Vargas 8, Scott Linebrink 5, Greg Aquino 3|
|Attendance - 38135|
|Game Time - 2:55|
|Temperature - 60|
|Umpires - Home - John Hirschbeck, First Base - Bruce Froemming, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Brian Runge|