The Atlanta Braves were able to claim the NLDS as some key members of the Milwaukee Brewers choked.
The NLDS featuring the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers is officially over. After falling behind 1-0 in the series by losing game 1 in Milwaukee, the Braves went out and claimed Games 2 through 4 to advance on to the NLCS.
This series was one Milwaukee could have won, had a few things gone the other way. But that’s not how baseball works. Sometimes you have bad luck and simply lose because of that. Maybe your manager makes a questionable decision and pulls a pitcher too early. Other times one of your stars just goes cold at the plate. And even beyond that, occasionally weird things just happen, like a great pitcher breaking his own hand.
Here are three members of the Brewers who choked away a shot at winning the NLCS:
No. 3: Brewers manager Craig Counsell fell short during Game 3
Things started slipping out of reach for the Milwaukee Brewers when they lost Game 3 in Atlanta. It was a low scoring affair, but the Brewers weren’t able to get any run production while the Braves took advantage of Brewers manager Craig Counsell deciding to pull Freddy Peralta after just 4.0 innings pitched.
Peralta had struck out five batters and only allowed three hits by the time he was pulled. It was still a scoreless affair, but Counsell tried to use a pinch hitter to get on the board first. However, that immediately backfired as Daniel Vogelbach, Milwaukee’s pinch hitter, and the rest of the Brewers were unable to get on the board in the top of the fifth inning.
But in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Braves tacked on three runs. It’s not certain that Peralta would have prevented those runs from ever happening, but those runs should be clear evidence that Counsell pulled his starting pitcher too early.
No. 2: Christian Yelich was a non-factor at the plate throughout the NLDS
The Milwaukee Brewers needed one of their stars to play at a high level and that’s exactly the opposite of what Christian Yelich provided the Brewers at the plate. Throughout the entire NLDS, Yelich was prone to strikeouts while being unable to consistently get hits against the Atlanta Braves.
Yelich had 15 at bats during the NLDS and was only able to get a grand total of three hits in four games. Braves pitchers were able to strike Yelich out eight times. And unfortunately for him, the Brewers, and Brewers fans, the game ended as Yelich struck out looking.
No. 1: Devin Williams punched a wall and injured his hand… Why?
It’s generally a bad idea to punch hard objects and that includes (most) walls. Devin Williams, for some reason, wound up injuring himself as he ended up punching a wall that was apparently formidable enough to break his throwing hand.
That’s a nearly unfathomably awful way to get yourself injured as your team with championship aspirations is headed into the playoffs. But it happened, and there’s no doubt that Williams would have been beneficial for the Brewers had he been fully healthy and available.
Williams owned responsibility for the injury and made it clear he was aware of how much this incident could hinder his team.
Williams and the rest of the Brewers have to be upset with how this postseason run unfolded for them. This was a fun team to keep up with all season, but everyone’s season comes to an end at some point except one.