The Milwaukee Brewers have been one of MLB’s biggest surprises and best stories this season. But the truth is, despite their surprising success and feel-good story, their margin for error is still very slim as we near the September stretch run.
If the Brewers hope to hang around in the tight NL Central and wild card races, they can’t afford any slip ups or gut-wrenching losses. That’s why the game-ending home run-robbing catch center fielder Keon Broxton made in Wednesday’s 6-5 win against the Cardinals may not go down as just a game saver. When all is said and done, it could be viewed as the catch that saved Milwaukee’s season.
With Milwaukee holding a slim one-run lead in the ninth inning, closer Corey Knebel served one up to Randal Grichuk that everyone knew was trouble off the bat. The only question was whether or not it would leave the ballpark. The best-case scenario for Milwaukee seemed to be a double or triple that tied the game. But as the ball kept carrying and carrying, the worst-case scenario became more likely.
That’s when Broxton sprang into action, literally, going high to pull the ball back and secure a needed win for Milwaukee.
Context removed, it’s one of the best defensive plays we’ve seen all season. But when you factor in all that’s on the line day in and day out for Milwaukee, it becomes all the more impressive and important.
With that win, Milwaukee moved to within three games of the Cubs in the NL Central. That’s pending the Cubs result on Wednesday night. Thanks to a Colorado Rockies loss, Milwaukee is also just three games back in the hunt for the second wild card position. Beyond that, they created separation with St. Louis. A loss would have had St. Louis breathing down their necks just one-half game back. Now Milwaukee has a 2 1/2 game lead there.
Obviously there are still a lot of games left to be played. A loss here would not have crushed all hope for Milwaukee given their strong position, and it’s even possible they would have rallied in their half of the ninth inning for a more dramatic win. But Broxton’s catch to lock up this win is huge for a team that still has a lot of work to do, and will be fighting an uphill battle the entire way.
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