The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Cubs, 4-3, on a balmy Saturday afternoon in what was an absolutely wild finish to keep playoff hopes alive.
Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions. I mean, other than the temperature and the time of the game, every part of that game felt like October baseball. It was completely bonkers. I don’t know about you but my blood pressure was likely reaching dangerous levels during this game.
Let’s start with Brent Suter. The Raptor gave Craig Counsell 5.1 solid innings, keeping the Cubs powerful lineup to only one run. It stayed a close game throughout. Again.
Going down 2-1 after a sacrifice fly by Kris Bryant in the 8th, the Milwaukee Brewers were once again down to their last at bats. Joe Maddon went with his big closer, Wade Davis, to shut it down. Just as soon as Matt Vasgersian brings up that Davis hasn’t blown a save in a full calendar year, Orlando Arcia hits a fly ball, deep to left field. Just barely inside the foul pole.
After blowing a major opportunity in the ninth inning earlier in this series, Arcia wasn’t about to let that happen again. The crowd of 44,000+ almost didn’t notice that it went out. But Arcia knew it right away. The Brewers were unable to continue to add on and the game went to extra innings once more. That marks four straight extra inning games for the Milwaukee Brewers.
It looked like it was going to be four straight extra inning losses for the Crew. Jeremy Jeffress came in a walked Ian Happ on four straight to start the 10th inning. After a quick sac bunt, Jon Jay hits another weak ground ball right through the hole where Arcia would normally be to bring in the run from second. In the words of Yogi Berra, “It’s deja vu all over again”.
But not today. After a Neil Walker strikeout, lifetime Brewer Ryan Braun lines a double down the right field line. Setting up Travis Shaw for the biggest moment of his Brewers career.
Holy cow, what a game. What a hit. An opposite field bomb from the Mayor of Ding Dong City himself. His 31st of the year gives the Milwaukee Brewers life in their playoff chase.
A loss in this game, would’ve meant sure devastation to any playoff hopes even for the Wild Card as the surging Cardinals have moved ahead in the standings. But Travis Shaw had other ideas.
If the Brewers can turn this thing around and make the playoffs as the Wild Card, Shaw’s home run will go down in Brewers lore with the likes of Ryan Braun’s homers in the 2008 and 2011 seasons.
The division may already be lost but this game guaranteed that when the Cubs clinch the Central title, at least it won’t be in Miller Park. A sweep by the Cubs would’ve eliminated the Brewers from the division, but that won’t happen this weekend.
This was a really bad situation to be down both Knebel and Hader. But somehow, someway, the Milwaukee Brewers were able to pull out a victory with a bullpen that’s running on fumes and adrenaline.
It’s going to be another big one to finish out the series on Sunday. Chase Anderson will go up against Jose Quintana in another battle for the postseason. And if that game is anything like the first three games in this series, it’s going to wild, and it will finish in 10 innings. So keep your oxygen tanks handy, because you’ll probably need it.