CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Alfonso Soriano #12 of the Chicago Cubs celebrates after costing some poor soul a laundry bag full of dimes.
If you listen to Brewer games on the radio odds are you're familiar with one of their long-standing contests, "Potowatomi Pays Big 21." The rules are pretty simple: Each day they draw a name and if the total score from that day's game adds up to 21 the contestant wins $5000.
Of course, a score that adds up to 21 is pretty rare. The Brewers have done it exactly one time this season: On July 29 they lost 11-10 to the Nationals. They have, however, had near-misses that may have contributed to coronary events for less lucky souls. Let's take a look at those:
Thursday: Cubs 12, Brewers 11 (23)
Best chance: The Brewers actually led this game 11-10 with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, leaving one sad sap two outs away from becoming a five thousandaire.
It went south when: Francisco Rodriguez allowed a single to Alfonso Soriano that plated two runs, giving the Cubs the walkoff win.
July 3: Brewers 13, Marlins 12, ten innings (25)
Best chance: The Brewers ran out to an early advantage in this one, entering the seventh inning when an entertaining but unlikely-to-be-financially-rewarding 9-2 lead. The Marlins scored three and the Brewers scored two in the seventh to push the total to 16, then the Marlins plated six in the eighth to tie the game at 11 and push us into bust territory.
It went south when: With one out in the eighth inning Jose Reyes doubled and was picked off second but was safe and advanced to third on an error. He later scored on a sac fly which should have been the inning's third out. If the Brewers had converted the out then the game ends 11-10 and we have a winner.
May 20; Brewers 16, Twins 4 (20)
Best chance: The Brewers scored multiple runs on four occasions in this game: Two in the first, six in the second, two in the fourth and five in the seventh. Tacking one run onto any of those innings (or any of the others, of course), would have gotten them to 21.
It went south when: Cesar Izturis flew out with two on to end the second, Jonathan Lucroy flew out with two on to end the fifth or Nyjer Morgan grounded out with a runner on second to end the eighth. The Twins also left eleven men on base in this game. If one of those runs scored, someone is the proud owner of a new kiddie pool full of nickels.
June 19: Blue Jays 10, Brewers 9 (19)
Best chance: This game went to the seventh inning with the Brewers leading 9-6, and the Blue Jays tacked on two in the seventh and two more in the ninth to take a 10-9 lead and push the total to 19 heading into the Brewers' final at bat. Cody Ransom singled with two outs to bring the potential game and $5k-winning run to the plate.
It went south when: Taylor Green grounded out to second to end the game.
Monday: Brewers 15, Cubs 4 (19)
Best chance: The Pays Big 21 contest was the furthest thing from my mind when the Brewers carried a 6-4 lead into the ninth inning on Monday, but they brought it into play by scoring nine runs in the top of the ninth inning.
It went south when: Cubs outfielder Joe Mather, called into emergency duty on the mound, got Martin Maldonado to ground out to end the inning. The Brewers had two men on at that point: If the big inning had continued and both men had scored the Brewers could have made someone marginally richer.
Remember, folks, you can't win if you don't play...but you can't lose, either.