Before the Brewers' recent cold stretch, and the Cardinals' hot stretch, the Brew Crew had lead the NL central division the entire season. Ryan Braun hasn't returned to MVP form since his suspension, but the Brewers have gotten contributions from players not expected to give much. This includes Carlos Gomez, who was an all-star this season for the first time in his career. Gomez has shown some pop with 21 HR's, and he has had stellar defensive plays in center. But without Ryan Braun, normally the leader and best hitter, not performing the way he has in the past, the Brewers are leaderless. Gomez has been a spark for Milwaukee, but is not a player that can carry a team into October.
Pitching has gone down as well for the Brewers. Yovani Gallardo has been the ace in the past, but has just an 8-9 record with an ERA approaching 4.00. Not horrible, but not ace-caliber. Matt Garza has had plenty of success in the past with the Rays and Cubs, but he has struggled in his first season with Milwaukee. He is also sitting one game under .500 at 7-8 with an ERA near 4.00. Both Gallardo and Garza, their top 2 pitchers, have dealt with injuries which have played a role in their declining numbers.
Even though the Brewers have held the NL central lead the entire season, it has been a tight race the entire way. At one time it was a 4 team race along with the Cardinals, Pirates, and Reds. Cincinnati has struggled since the all-star break and fallen out of the race. The Cardinals have taken over first place, and even the Pirates have leapfrogged the Brewers. Their recent losing streak, and consistent poor play has them sliding out of the race. It's an unfortunate situation for the franchise, but a situation that was bound to happen.