In his first career start as a clean-up hitter, Jonathan Lucroy delivered big time. On the same gorgeous afternoon that I also graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (had to sneak that in there!), the Brewers spanked the Twins to a tune of 16-4. The offense was simply explosive, receiving three hits a piece from Corey Hart, Ryan Braun, and the aforementioned stud catcher. Hart hit his ninth homer of the season while Lucroy smacked two, including his first ever grand slam. Lucroy finished the game 3-for-5 with 2 home runs, 3 runs scored, and a career-high 7 RBI — tying the Milwaukee Brewers franchise record for runs driven in during a single contest. Maybe, just maybe, this is what Milwaukee needed to get back on track…
Lucroy is now hitting .342 this season and owns an other-worldly .552 batting average with runners in scoring position (16-for-29). Yeah, that’s not a typo — .552!
Milwaukee’s magical run came to an end with a Game 6 loss to the Cardinals Sunday night. But keep your heads up Brewers fans, the 2011 Brew Crew won the most games in franchise history and the core is coming back: Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Yovani Gallardo, Zack Greinke, Shaun Marcum, John Axford, etc. will all be around in 2012. As for the humongous pink elephant in the room, Albert Pujols said after the game that he believes Prince Fielder will be a Brewer next season, and he thinks Milwaukee will be back in the NLCS sooner than later.
No, that’s not a typo. The Milwaukee Brewers clinched their first division title in 29 years today when they defeated the Marlins 4-1 and the Cubs topped St. Louis 5-1. In an eerily similar scene to 2008, Ryan Braun crushed what turned out to be a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth with chants of “MVP” coming from the stands. It was an electric atmosphere in Miller Park with the players anxiously watching the Cubs-Cards game on the big screen right along with fans. What a moment for a squad built from the ground up. Teammates Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart, Yovani Gallardo and Prince Fielder have experienced all of the ups and downs together over the years. There is not a fan base or group of players around that deserve a division title more. John Axford locked it down in the ninth to tie a franchise record with 44 saves. With a spectacular full-extension diving catch turned double play and a super clutch three-run bomb, Ryan Braun all but locked up the National League MVP award in my opinion. There’s not much more to be said about the Brewers that hasn’t been said already; and with that, Milwaukee fans can look forward to next Saturday when the NLDS begins. Go Brewers!!! 11 wins away from a World Series title…
The Milwaukee Brewers continued their winning ways Sunday afternoon, sweeping the Houston Astros with a 4-0 win at Minute Maid Park. Shaun Marcum pitched seven innings and allowed only one hit en route to his 12th victory of the season.
Ryan Braun overtook Jose Reyes for the National League batting title, going 3-for-3 with a home run (26), walk, and three runs batted in (94), to raise his average to .335.
Milwaukee’s surge towards the postseason continued Tuesday evening at PNC Park in Pittsburgh. The Brewers beat the Pirates 11-4 behind a superb outing from spot starter Marco Estrada, who tossed seven innings allowing only two runs on no walks while striking out two. Milwaukee tied a season high with seventeen hits and scored seven runs in the second inning, their most in any inning this season, capped by Casey McGehee’s two-run shot, his 10th of the year. Prince Fielder cracked the century mark in RBI, driving in his 100th run with a double in the sixth inning. Nyjer Morgan had four hits, including two RBI, raising his batting average to .314. Corey Hart and Yuniesky Betancourt each had two hits and Jonthan Lucroy collected three base knocks and a RBI, putting his average at a solid .287. Every Brewer starter had a hit except for Estrada, who did have three sac-bunts. Ryan Braun was also a major contributor in the victory, going 2-for-3 with two doubles, two runs batted in, two walks, and two runs scored — he also stole his 27th and 28th bags. His batting average increased to .328 and his on-base percentage rose to .399.
With St. Louis getting pounded by the Dodgers, the Brewers increased their NL Central lead to TEN games, the largest in franchise history.
Milwaukee southpaw Randy Wolf cruised into the seventh inning with a 7-1 lead over the New York Mets Saturday afternoon at Citi Field. Then things began to unravel. The Mets scored five runs in the seventh and three in the eighth to take a 9-7 lead into the ninth inning. However, Milwaukee wasn’t ready to pack it in quite yet. The final act of the game began when Jason Isringhausen took the hill, the rest as they say, is history.
Lucroy walked, Morgan walked, Hart singled.
Then Kotsay walked, scoring Lucroy. 9-8, Mets.
Isringhausen exited, Acosta entered. Braun flew out.
With 1 out, Fielder singled on an 0-2 pitch, scoring Morgan. 9-9.
McGehee then took the first pitch he saw and pushed a grounder through the hole scoring Hart and Kotsay to give the Brewers a 11-9 lead. Then, as is usual, the Ax Man locked it down 1-2-3, earning his 34th straight save and 37th overall.
Milwaukee picked up K-Rod, who got roughed up in his return to the Big Apple. But as good teams — championship caliber teams — do, the Brewers never gave up and stunned Citi Field. Prince Fielder was in full beast mode, going 2-for-5 with a single, home run (28), and four RBI, pushing his season total to a National League-leading 96. Yuniesky Betancourt cranked out his 10th long ball. Ryan Braun went 1-for-3 with a homer (24), two walks and three runs scored. His season batting average sits at .327.
The Brewers have now won 21 of 24 and extended their division lead to 8.5 games, the largest in franchise history.
Yovani Gallardo pitched eight superb innings, allowing only one run and one walk while fanning nine as the Milwaukee Brewers won yet again Tuesday night at Miller Park. The Brewers defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1 to improve to 21 games over .500 overall (72-51) and 31 games over .500 at home (46-15), a major league best. The Crew got an RBI from Corey Hart in the second inning and Mark Kotsay sent the fans home happy with a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth, adding another chapter to Milwaukee’s storybook season. Ryan Braun was 2-for-4, raising his batting average to .329. With the Pirates win over the Cardinals, the Brewers increased their National League Central division lead to 7 games. Milwaukee has won 18 of 20 and looks for a series sweep tomorrow with Zack Greinke on the hill.