C’mon Milwaukee! Your hometown Brewers are back in the NLCS for the first time since 2011, and Miller Park needs to be rocking on Friday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers. OnMilwaukee has pulled seven of the best videos – listed below in no particular order – that are sure to send your Brew Crew fever through the roof. Let’s dive in!
1. 2011: "Tony Plush" sends the Brewers to the NLCS
Nyjer Morgan – or Tony Plush as he was affectionately known – had an up-and-down seven-year stint in the big leagues, but he capped off the best season of his career in 2011 with the Brewers’ most memorable moment of the 21st century. Facing Diamondbacks reliever JJ Putz (tough name for my guy JJ) with one out and Ryan Braun waiting on-deck, Morgan took matters into his own hands and slapped a walk-off single back up the middle.
Maybe the most memorable moment from that sequence – other than Morgan laying on the mound with his limbs spread wide and his teammates dog-piling on top of him – is Carlos Gomez’s reaction after scoring. The then-25-year-old outfielder was chugging around the base paths with so much force that as he slid across home plate for the winning run, he was already preparing his jump into Prince Fielder’s bear hug to celebrate.
2. 2008: Ryan Braun caps whirlwind week to clinch the Wild Card
Young Braun had one of the sweetest swings in the game, and this monster blast was no different, giving the Brewers a 3-1 lead in the eighth inning on the final day of the regular season. Minutes later, CC Sabathia shut the door to cap off his complete game outing, and the Brewers officially earned their first playoff bid in 26 years once the New York Mets fell within the same hour.
3. 2018: Moooooooose puts the Brewers up in the NLDS
Even after adding Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich in the offseason, Milwaukee general manager David Stearns continued to acquire talented vets to fortify his roster throughout the summer with one eye on the division lead and the other on October. Just a few months later, Stearns got the return on investment he was looking for when mid-season acquisition Mike Moustakas – who now has 138 career postseason plate appearances and posted a .462 on-base percentage in the NLDS – sent an 0-2 heater into right field for the walk-off win in Game 1 against Colorado. Two thoughts on last week’s heroics: Those gold rally towels look amazing on television against the navy blue backdrop, and Hernan Perez needs to work on his Gatorade bath accuracy.
4. 2018: Christian Yelich hits two home runs against Detroit
No Brewers list would be complete without some highlights from Yelich, the presumed 2018 NL MVP. Yelich has compiled a litany of highlight reel plays this season, from his game-tying home run against St. Louis in April to his cycle against Cincinnati to his other cycle against Cincinnati. (Poor Cincy: Yeli hit .482 with 14 extra-base hits and 17 RBIs in 14 games against the Reds this season.) But his most impactful game may have come in the final homestand of the year, when he blasted two long balls in front of a frothing Miller Park crowd to lead the Crew to a crucial victory in their chase for the NL Central crown.
5. 2011: Braun homer leads Brewers to first NL Central crown
Just as he did in 2008, Braun launched an eighth inning dinger to lock down the Brewers’ postseason position on the final day of the regular season – only this time, it capped Milwaukee’s first NL Central title in franchise history. And check out those rally towels! While they have become a postseason staple across baseball over the years, these Brewers fans whipped them with vigor for the regular season finale in 2011. Well done, Brew Crew faithful!
6. 2018: Schoop grand slam ignites team
Just last month, the Brewers were beginning to string together some Ws but still had a ways to go to not only catch the Cubs, but to even lock down a Wild Card spot. Enter Jonathan Schoop, a July acquisition from Baltimore who had struggled upon joining Milwaukee, hitting just .216 through his first 32 games. But on Sept. 9, the former All-Star flipped the script when, after a contentious at-bat between Braun and San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner resulted in a hit by pitch and a Craig Counsell ejection, Schoop wrapped a line drive into the left field corner for a game-winning grand slam. Schoop’s offensive struggles have continued, but since his slam, the Brewers are 18-5. Who’s to say he won’t return to tack on another big hit in the NLCS too? (Also, Counsell’s reaction to getting ejected is priceless. Do we really have to do this? Now? Today??)
7. 1982: "Pandemonium" ensues after Brewers win AL crown
And, of course, the big one, when Milwaukee defeated the California Angels 4-3 in Game 5 of the ALCS to push the Brewers into the World Series for the first (and only) time in franchise history. While so much has changed in the three-and-a-half decades since – the California Angels have changed their name (twice!), MLB has expanded to 30 teams and the Brewers have even switched leagues – some things never will, namely, the passion Milwaukeeans continue to show for their team. Brewers fans might not be spilling over the Miller Park walls and climbing Bernie’s slide with the same vitriol of the County Stadium diehards in the 1980s, but the intensity, ferocity and buzz around this postseason run has been something equally special.
Outsiders might be surprised to see the Brewers among the final four teams remaining, but for the ol' Milwaukee faithful, this is right where they belong.