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MLB: Brewers bid to clinch NL Central title with sweep of Mets

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The Milwaukee Brewers exited American Family Field on Saturday night imagining what it’d be like to clinch the National League Central title in Sunday’s regular-season home finale.

The New York Mets headed to their hotel aware they’d be playing out the string in their upcoming final homestand. They likely were beginning the process of wondering how a once-promising season went awry.

The Brewers look to complete a three-game sweep of the Mets and clinch the fourth full-season division title in franchise history on Sunday afternoon.

Freddy Peralta (9-5, 2.65 ERA) is slated to take the mound Sunday against Carlos Carrasco (1-3, 5.24 ERA) in a battle of right-handers.

The Brewers (93-62) reduced their magic number to one Saturday night, when Corbin Burnes struck out nine over seven strong innings and Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run single of a 2-1 win.

The series finale is scheduled to begin at 2:10 p.m. EST, 10 minutes before the second-place St. Louis Cardinals visit the Chicago Cubs in search of their 16th straight win.

“I think it’s better for us to go out and just get the three wins and do it ourselves, versus letting the Cardinals fall and giving it to us,” Burnes said. “Hopefully, we’ll come (out) playing good (Sunday). We’ve got Freddy on the mound, so we’ve got a pretty good chance.”

The Brewers won the American League East in 1982, the year of the franchise’s lone World Series appearance. They also won the NL Central in 2011 and 2018. Milwaukee also won the second half crown in the AL East during the strike-shortened 1981 season, when it finished with the best overall record in the division.

The Mets (73-81) looked like they were going to win the seventh division title in franchise history when they resided alone atop the NL East for 89 consecutive days from May 8-Aug. 6. But New York is 16-30 since Aug. 5 and was eliminated from playoff contention Saturday afternoon by virtue of the Philadelphia Phillies’ 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates.

A spate of injuries and a sputtering offense proved too much to overcome for the Mets.

“I think it’s pretty clear we didn’t swing the bats well enough, that’s obviously a big part of it — losing guys to injuries, that doesn’t help either, losing (ace Jacob deGrom) was a big part of that,” outfielder Michael Conforto said Saturday night. “We’re not happy to not be where we set out to be when we started in spring training.”

Peralta took the loss in his most recent start last Monday, when he gave up three runs on seven hits in six innings in a 5-2 setback to the Cardinals.

Carrasco last pitched Sept. 18, when he took the defeat after surrendering two runs over six innings in the Mets’ 5-3 loss to the Phillies.

Peralta has yet to face the Mets in his career.

Carrasco is 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA in three starts against the Brewers.

–Field Level Media

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