The Milwaukee Brewers hadn’t played a game this big in 29 years. And the last time they played a game bigger than this was a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 of the World Series.
Trailing this round of Cardinals two games to one in the 2011 NLCS, the Brewers weren’t in literal must-win territory, but close.
Enter Randy Wolf.
After giving up two runs in the first three innings, he didn’t give up any more the rest of the night. Wolf surrendered just two more hits in the next five innings to mow St. Louis batters down. Meanwhile, the Brewers overcame their early 2-0 deficit to score four runs in the middle innings.
The fourth inning gave Jerry Hairston the stage to smash a double that scored Prince Fielder and slashed St. Louis’ lead in half. One batter later, Yuniesky Betancourt drove Hairston home with a single and the game was deadlocked.
One inning later, the MVP delivered when it counted. Ryan Braun’s RBI single gave Milwaukee a lead it would not relinquish. The Crew got an insurance run in the 6th when St. Louis botched a George Kottaras ground ball, and the Brewers took a 4-2 lead which they would hold on to.
Milwaukee’s triumph tied the NLCS at two games apiece. The Crew would not win again in 2011, but this victory would still reflect how the Brewers had finally advanced to becoming a franchise that can contend for championships in the 2010’s and now.