Brewers: One Last Look at 2011
Allow me to be the last to say Happy 2012! Before we put the 2011 Brewers completely in the rear-view mirror, let’s first take a (rather unorthodox) look at the Top 10 Moments from a very memorable season.
10.) Web Gems:
- May 9, Padres: Yuni Made a Play?
A play most SS’s would’ve made routinely, Yuni-sucky turned it into the gem of the year, flipping behind the back where a remarkable bare-handed turn by R. Weeks made this routine 6-4-3 the play of the year.
- July 17 @ Rockies: Marcum Shows his Agility
S. Marcum throws out the speedy D. Fowler by diving and throwing all in one motion.
- August 15, Dodgers: Triple Play
More amazing: Josh Wilson contributing to play, or Prince throwing someone at the plate?
- April 21, Braun signs extension with Brewers
Commitment I never thought would happen in my life from star player. Oh, and he homered the next day.
- April 24, Astros: Easter Hawk Steals Show
Hawk swoops in to attack pigeon (too bad it wasn’t that damn STL squirrel) over R. Weeks. Even stranger…Brandon Boggs homered on this day.
- September 3 @ Astros: George Kottaras hits for cycle
Continuing Brewers tradition of random, mostly inept Brewers to achieve the feat.
8.) Inside the Park Homers:
- May 28, Giants: Gomez circles the bases
- June 25, Twins: Betancourt lumbers around bases
- July 8, Reds: Weeks keys comeback with inside-the-park job.
- May 22, Rockies; Aug. 31, Cardinals: Braun* nearly has 2 round trippers.
*Ok, so Braun’s against Ubaldo in May was a triple and he scored on a throwing error. But, it was one of only 2 hits in a win and he surely would’ve had a HR had Sedar not put up the stop sign around 3rd. And, of course, his blunder around 3rd was memorable enough to get him mentioned. That was the worst thing to happen to Braun in 2011, right?
7.) The Walk-off Sac Flys (and one squeeze):
- May 28, Giants: Suicide squeeze beats defending World Champs
Perfectly executed, perfectly fitting of RRR’s aggressiveness.
- July 10, Reds: Counsell walk-off sac fly versus Coco Cordero
Another comeback against rival and former Brewer was fitting end to set up strong second half of season.
- August 14, Pirates: Plushdamentals
T. Plush is hero despite striking out to make last out against Joel Hanrahan in the 8th. Of course, he reached on past ball and MVP Ryan Braun later singled home tying run. In extras, Plushdamentals was on full display as he sat and watched his sac fly win game.
6.) 9th Inning Drama:
- June 3 @ Marlins: Braun’s (pinch-hit?) HR Heroics
As a pinch hitter, Braun crushed a 2 run home run off Leo Nunez to get the Brewers rolling on the road and start the epic Marlins June swoon.
- July 2 @ Twins: Kottaras/Nyjer complete Brewers 7-0 comeback vs. Twins
A 4 run ninth including a towering double off the wall from T. Plush fueled this shocking win.
- June 8, Mets: Nyjer tickles home the win
Fielder socked his 2nd homer of game in 8th to cap a 4 run inning. In 9th, Nyjer “unknowingly” doubled home the winning run. Plushdamentals is born.
5.) (Some of) The Milestones:
Axford sets Brewers saves record of 46, including a record 43 straight
Braun’s 30/30 season; first since Tommy Harper’s in 1970
Record of 3,071,373 fans in attendance
Brewers notch 57 home wins and 96 wins on the season, both team records.
4.) The Walk-off Dingers:
- May 20, Rockies: Fielder KO’s Rox in 14
This one had it all: a Yuni game tying HR off of Huston Street and a knockout blow by the big man to finally end it in 14.
- September 13, Rockies: Solidifying his MVP resume
Arguably his most impressive AB all season, Braun fouled off pitch after pitch until finally depositing one he liked over the left center wall for win.
*Did the Brewers really have only 2 walk-off HR’s all season? Seems like they had more…
3.) The Hat Tricks:
- May 23, Nationals: Hart socks 3 dingers.
Featured an impressive 7 RBI on his batting line as well.
- August 3, Cardinals: McGehee Shells Jackson
McGehee hits 3 HR against E. Jackson; a bit of payback from the beanball fiasco earlier.
- September 27, Pirates: Fielder’s 3 Bombs
In the penultimate game of season, Prince gave us one last show to remember him by.
- NLDS Game 5, Dbacks: Nyjer’s Walk-off vs. DBacks
Roller coaster game that will be replayed forever in Brewer lore. Not sure which I loved more; the T. Plush F-bomb dropped on National TV immediately after, or the unbridled joy in the voice of Uecker as he calls the winning hit.
- NLCS Game 1, Cardinals: Braun/Fielder power Brewers past Cards
Braun (and his alleged high testosterone) and his battery mate Fielder team up one last time to deliver a come from behind 9-6 victory over the Cards. The Brewers would not lead in the series again but can still brag that they won the first game. (Crying inside.)
1.) Best of the Best:
- September 23, Marlins: Braun delivers Brewers to Postseason (again)
In a game/scenario eerily similar to 2008, Braun again delivers to send Miller Park into delirium and cement his spot as MVP front-runner.
Kotsay face-planting on basebaths in Game 3 of NLCS.
Any ball that snuck past Yuni-sucky Betancourt.
Wolf giving up grand slam to pitcher Jake Westbrook.