Throughout the history of American sports, we have heard teams speak of “The Turning Point”. Usually, it is a moment that unifies a team and gives them that little something extra to push them to victory. In most cases the phrase “The Turning Point”, is only uttered by championship teams. That being said, as an amateur sports writer it is impossible for me to deny the fact that if the Crew wins the World Series in 2011, that Friday night was the game that turned it all around.
The Brewers have been absolutely abysmal at winning games after falling behind. Yet, on this fateful Friday night, they found themselves down by the score of 4-2. A certain death sentence on any other night this season.
In the bottom of the 6th inning, Jonathan Lucroy knocked in a run bringing the score to 4-3 Rockies. After that run Zack Greinke was pulled from the game, which meant that he was on the hook for a loss. The Rockies pitching seemed unhittable. Base runners where few and far between. Then the 8th inning happened.
Casey McGehee steps up to bat, with a 1-run deficit. The second pitch he sees from new pitcher Rafael Betancourt (no relation to Yuni), he socks into left center field to tie the game at 4-4. Then the rest of the team pretty much laid turds (as has been customary these past few weeks) to end the 8th inning. John Axford came on in the 9th inning and shut down the Rockies. Things were certainly going our way.
The Brewers and Rockies then exchanged goose-eggs for the next 4 innings. Top of the 13th inning roles around and the Rockies already have two outs, but as is customary in these stories…things change. On a 2-2 count, a Rockies batter launches a double into deep center field. Next batter, Seth Smith, hits the ball into the exact same spot, only this time for a triple. The score has now become 5-4 Rockies. Smith was then stranded at 3rd base, to take us into the bottom of the 13th.
The Rockies called in closer Huston Street, who had only blown one save all season. Then, in some strange sort of deja vu, Yuni takes the first pitch from Street (same as McGehee in the 8th). Next pitch is crushed down the left field line. There was never a question of whether or not it was a home run, all I could wonder is if it was going to stay fair or not. Sure enough, fair ball. Game is all tied up again at 5-5. Mike Rivera followed up the homer with a single, which really kept the pressure on. The Brewers moved Rivera all the way to 3rd base, but then Weeks flied out to end the 13th inning. Game on!!!!
At this point in the game, two of the most explosive offensive teams in all of baseball had only scored a combine 10 runs in 13 innings. This was shaping up to be an all-nighter, but then the 14th inning changed the course of the 2011 Brewers season…forever. At least that is what I hope.
The Rockies scored again in the top half of the 14th, putting the Brewers backs against the wall for the third time in this gmae. Then the Brewers came up to bat. Corey Hart started the inning with an out. He was followed by Ryan Braun working out a walk. What happened next, is by far the best moment of this season.
If you have not seen the video you are really missing out. Please click it, watch it, and then come back. (I would have inserted it directly, but we are experienceing some technical difficulties)
Tell me that watching this clip does not give you goose bumps? It is amazing, Miller Park explodes!!!! This is what we have been waiting for all season long. A team that is never out of games, because of their ability to hit the long ball. It was the first time all season that they looked like a playoff caliber team. Never getting down on themselves, despite what the scoreboard said. Without question, this was the best game the Brewers played this entire season.
As fans, we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. After weeks of pain and self-loathing, we can all breathe easy. The 2011 Brewers have finally arrived.
Last night I watched Corey Hart hit 3 home runs in a single game, en route to an 11-3 victory. This team has now won 4 straight games, including the amazing win this past Friday. The team is starting to show signs of life. So, is it to early to say that Friday night was “The Turning Point” of the 2011 season? Maybe. But, at the same time, how cool am I going to be in 4 months if we win the World Series and everyone points to that game? Relatively cool. With today’s win over the Nationals, the Brewers are 25-23 on the season and just 3.5 games behind the Cardinals.
P.S – We have the same record as the Cincinnati Reds!!!!!!