Here’s a ranking of the five most important plays from the Brewers’ July 4th walk-off win over the Cubs.
2. Brad Boxberger’s huge scoreless tenth inning
When the Brewers were unable to end the game in the ninth, the game was sent to extra innings, which meant everyone’s “favorite” rule: starting extra innings with a runner on second. The reliever who got to handle this tense situation first was Brewers right-hander Brad Boxberger.
Boxberger had just thrown 20 pitches the previous day in a win over the Pirates and it showed a bit at first. The Cubs went single, fly out, walk in their first three batters to load the bases with just one out, bringing likely All-Star catcher Wilson Contreras to the plate.
Boxberger would make quick work of Contreras on three swinging strikes, which would bring another hot hitter in outfielder Ian Happ to the plate. Happ would work the count to 3-1 at one point, just one ball away from a bases loaded walk to give the Cubs the lead. But then Boxberger reared back for arguably the two biggest strikes for a Brewers pitcher all game.
That would end up being the last time a Chicago batter would see the plate that game.
1. Victor Caratini’s walk-off home run
Going into the tenth inning, the Brewers had the second-best OPS with the bases loaded in all of baseball at an .820 mark. But for a second, it looked like that might not matter and the game might be headed to an eleventh inning.
With Adames starting the inning as the runner on second, the Brewers would see outfielder Andrew McCutchen fly out, first baseman Rowdy Tellez get intentionally walked, and Urias pop out. Enter catcher Victor Caratini.
Caratini, who the Brewers only traded for as a result of the Severino suspension, had been having a horrible day at the plate up to that point, earning the “golden sombrero” by striking out four times against his former team. But with a 2-1 count, he treated Brewers fans to an early 4th of July fireworks display.
The win bumped the Brewers’ record this season up to 47-35, which gave them a 2.5-game lead in the NL Central over the St. Louis Cardinals at the time the game ended. That is also just two games behind the pace of the 2021 team through the same number of games.
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You never know what you’re going to see at a baseball game. For Brewers fans today, it happened to be the first 4th of July walk-off in franchise history.