With the Cardinals loss to the Cubs, it is official. The Brewers have clinched the NL Central.
This is their first NL Central division championship in franchise history, and their first division title since winning the AL East on the last day of the 1982 season.
Alfonso Soriano had the big hit for the Cubs with a three-run home run in the eighth inning. In the end, the Cardinals loss to the Cubs reduces the magic number to 0, and the division is theirs.
Ryan Braun was the hero once again tonight. In a moment that was similar to the final game of the 2008 season, he had the big hit to give the Brewers the lead and win the game. Yovani Gallardo, Francisco Rodriguez, and John Axford all had big performances to give the Brewers this win. So many players have been big for the Brewers this season, and that's just a few of them.
EDIT, 11:24 PM: I wanted to do a standard postgame quote thread tonight, but it quickly became apparent that wasn't going to be possible. Instead, I just want to provide you all with a collection of interviews, videos, and other media of the postgame celebration going on for the Brewers tonight.
Check below the jump for all of these links.
First of all, if you haven't seen it, here is a video from MLB.com of Braun's three-run HR in the eighth inning.
The pitching was just as impressive tonight, especially from the dual closers. Francisco Rodriguez got two big strikeouts in the eighth inning, including this one of Logan Morrison. Meanwhile, John Axford struck out Bryan Petersen to get his 44th save of the season, setting a new Brewers record for saves in a season, as well as setting the stage for the clinching moment about 20 minutes later.
Fox Sports Wisconsin caught up with many players, coaches, front office personnel, and more after the game. Here are two of their interviews, one of Prince Fielder and one of John Axford. They also have a photo montage of the twelve best Brewers moments of 2011.
I'll continue to update this as the night goes on with more postgame reaction.
UPDATE, 12:23 AM: Here's a few more links from tonight.
Adam McCalvy has a story on Brewers.com about how Melvin's moves made the Brewers a winner.
On JSOnline.com, Charles F. Gardner has a nice overall recap on all of the festivities at Miller Park tonight.
On the Brewers postgame show on 1250 WSSP, there were some postgame interviews of Jonathan Lucroy, Prince Fielder, and Mark Attanasio. (Links will take you directly to an mp3 of the interview from the 1250 WSSP website.)
Fox Sports Wisconsin has posted some more videos and interviews on their website as well. While everyone was celebrating following the end of the Cubs-Cardinals game, more interviews were conducted.
- Ryan Braun reflected on how similar the feeling was between 2008 and 2011.
- Ron Roenicke enjoys the victory but knows there is still more to be done.
- Yovani Gallardo and Francisco Rodriguez knew what needed to be done in tonight's game and did it.
It's getting late, so I'm not sure if there will be another update. However, if I find more to post, I will update this again.
UPDATE, 1:38 AM: I was waiting for one more link tonight, so I wanted to make one more update.
I actually have three more links from JSOnline.com
- Many people have been posting pictures from the game tonight in the comments, but here is an extensive collection of photos from tonight's game.
- Bill Glauber looks at the celebration from the perspective of the fans.
- Also, for those of you waiting, here is a link to the postgame wrap from the Brewers Radio Network. (The Braun HR call by Bob Uecker is at 4:24 in the mp3 file.)
That's probably it for the night. For those of you still up, enjoy.
UPDATE, 2:57 AM: I think I'm enjoying this night too much to stop looking for new stuff to add.
There are a few more videos from the game on MLB.com that I want to provide a few links for.
- MLB.com has a video up that includes Braun's HR with both the FS Wisconsin and WTMJ calls, Axford's strikeout to end the game with both calls, and the clinching moment.
- I should also mention the good job the defense did tonight. Braun turned a double play after making a diving catch, and Morgan also made a nice catch of his own.
- Nyjer Morgan and Tony Plush both received awards before the game.
- They also have a collection of quotes on the win up. It includes Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Jerry Hairston (with distractions from Nyjer Morgan and Carlos Gomez), Randy Wolf, Rickie Weeks, Casey McGehee, Doug Melvin, and Ron Roenicke. (Parts are the same from the FS Wisconsin interviews, but it also contains some other material not linked before.)