(Image: Mike McGinnis/Getty)
With the 2013 Brewers season now a part of history, we can say “at least they didn’t lose 90” and promptly forget about its low points. Still, even though 2013 was mostly a bummer, it wasn’t all bad. The Brewers did win 74 games, some of which were exhilarating. Before we put 2013 behind us, let’s take a moment to remember the silver linings (many of which were against the Reds).
10. June 22 vs. Braves: K-Rod’s 300th Save
Francisco Rodriguez started 2013 without a job, and signed a minor league contract with the Brewers in mid-April. A couple months later, he reached the 300 save milestone. Also in this game, Donovan Hand made his first big league start, only giving up two hits in 4.2 innings.
Video highlight: K-Rod strikes out Freddie Freeman to end it.
9. May 21 vs. Dodgers: Greinke’s First Miller Park Loss
As a member of the Brewers, Zack Greinke never lost a decision at home. In his first Miller Park start as a visitor, Greinke’s non-losing streak ended – in one of only six wins the Brewers had in May.
Video highlight: Carlos Gomez’ two-run double puts the Brewers ahead for good.
8. April 23 at Padres: Win Streak Hits Nine
After a 2-8 start to the season, the Brewers ran off nine consecutive victories. Fans breathed a sigh of relief as it looked like our team had turned the corner and would be contenders.
Video highlight: Jean Segura’s unassisted double play.
7. September 25 at Braves: Lohse Saves His Best for Last
Before Kyle Lohse even took the mound, there was big drama in the top of the first inning when Gomez cadillaced his homer off Paul Maholm, clearing the benches. Lohse then came in and pitched a two-hit shutout, his second complete game of the year.
Video highlight: Lohse induces a ground ball for the final out.
6. July 21 vs. Marlins: Caleb Gindl’s First Home Run
Gindl’s first MLB home run was a walk-off in the 13th inning of a scoreless game. If that wasn’t memorable enough, his teammates ran away and hid in the clubhouse rather than do the traditional crowd-the-guy-at-home-plate ritual. Presumably, Lohse was at the bottom of that.
Video highlight: Gindl sends the crowd home happy.
5. July 30 at Cubs: Brewers Sweep Doubleheader
Two games, two come from behind victories. In the first, Khris Davis came off the bench to hit a three-run homer as part of a four-run seventh inning. In the second, Jeff Bianchi’s two-out, two-strike, two-run single in the ninth inning was the difference. If only the Brewers could play the Cubs every day.
Video highlight: Bianchi sends the crowd home miserable.
4. August 16 vs. Reds: Lucroy Finally Solves Chapman
Jonathan Lucroy was the first batter Aroldis Chapman faced in the big leagues in 2010, and his first strikeout victim. Chapman would strike out Lucroy in their next four meetings as well. In their sixth meeting, Lucroy did not strike out. Lucroy might never get another hit off of Chapman in his career, but at least he has one.
Video highlight: Lucroy’s walk-off homer.
3. July 9 vs. Reds: Peralta Ends CG Drought
Even if Ron Roenicke isn’t big on complete games, the fact that the Brewers didn’t have a CG since the first week of 2011 was an undeniable shortcoming. After an uninspiring first half, Wily Peralta pitched his first career shutout, which seemed to change the trajectory of his season. Peralta ended up having a respectable 2013, and his future with the Brewers appears bright.
Video highlight: Peralta gets a weak grounder from Brandon Phillips to complete the shutout.
2. September 15 vs. Reds: The Most Dramatic Comeback No One Saw
Down 5-1 after six innings, the Brewers scored four times in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game. In the top of the ninth, Gomez robbed Jay Bruce of a home run to preserve the tie. In the bottom of the ninth, Sean Halton won the game with a home run. It sounds like it must have been one of the best games of the year – and most of us missed it because the Packers were on.
Video highlight: Gomez’ leaping catch keeps his team in the game.
1. July 8 vs. Reds: Gomez Robs Votto
In a lost season, this win made us feel alive again. The look on Joey Votto’s face says it all. Go Brewers.
Video highlight: No matter how often you watch this, it never gets old.