Brewers: Playoff Hopes Still Alive After Ace Performance by Woodruff

Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Brandon Woodruff, Milwaukee Brewers (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

The Brewers went into Saturday night’s game against the Cardinals needing a win to keep their season alive. Mission: accomplished.

The 2020 season has been far from perfect for the Milwaukee Brewers. The offense has been consistent, they’ve only have a winning record in a finished season series against one team (the Kansas City Royals), and they haven’t been over .500 for a single day this season.

There were also the losses of key players like Lorenzo Cain (opt out) and most recently their best-performing pitcher in Corbin Burnes (injury) as well as an underperforming MVP in Christian Yelich. Yet, despite all that, the Brewers were still alive for a playoff spot going into Saturday.

But it wasn’t by much. Saturday’s game was a must-win for the Brewers, who found themselves a game behind the Giants for the final Wild Card spot along with the Phillies. They would need a big performance from the game’s scheduled starter, Brandon Woodruff, to continue to stay alive for one more day.

And boy did he deliver.

Woodruff absolutely dominated the Cardinals lineup all night, holding them to just two hits and a walk over eight scoreless innings and racking up ten strikeouts. Josh Hader would come on to close out the game, taking down the top of the St. Louis lineup in order.

The Brewers’ ace was incredible all night, inducing strikeouts from seven of the nine players in the Cardinals lineup. And though his control started to waver a bit in the eighth, he was still throwing heat as his 92nd pitch, a four-seamer to Paul DeJong, registered at 98 mph on the radar gun.

Woodruff got his first bit of run support, something he generally doesn’t get very much of, in the fourth, when Ryan Braun punched a solo homer to right, continuing his hot September performance.

Three pitches later, Daniel Vogelbach would go back-to-back, bumping the score to 2-0 and continuing his own hot streak since joining the Brewers.

The score would stay that way until the seventh, when Orlando Arcia, who was a scorching 4 for 4 on the day, would hit his second double of the day with two outs. Omar Narvaez, who has mostly struggled in 2020, would drive him in with his second single of the day, giving the Brewers a 3-0 lead that would hold until the end.

All of that sets up a massive day for the Brewers on Sunday. A win would give them a 30-30 record to finish the season, putting them a game ahead of the Cardinals in the win column and eliminating the Phillies, who lost 4-3 to the Rays on Saturday to drop to 28-31. It would then come down to the Giants, who still have two games to play against the Padres to round out 2020.

It’s certainly doable for the Brewers. Brett Anderson, who has pitched well recently, starts for Milwaukee and they will have Freddy Peralta and Devin Williams available out of the bullpen as well. If they win, they’ll take the season series versus the Cardinals and add yet another late-season series win over them to the recent history books.

Next. Corbin Burnes Injury is a Huge Blow to Brewers' Playoff Hopes. dark

Tomorrow’s must-win game for the Brewers starts at 2:15pm CST. It’ll be waiting on pins and needles for Brewer fans until then!