The 2018 Milwaukee Brewers played a lot of close games on their way to an NL Central title and the best record in the National League. They went an impressive 33-19 in one-run games, thanks in large part to their spectacular bullpen and a lineup that never seemed to quit.
We saw 10 walk-offs in the regular season (and one more in the postseason) in 2018, with a wide cast of guys taking turns playing the hero. As we wrap up the year, here’s a look back and those exciting finishes — with each proving to be big, considering how the team needed every win it got to claim the division crown.
Christian Yelich, Ryan Braun
April 3rd, 2018
Back-to-back home runs vs. St. Louis
Braun’s home run is the technical walk-off winner, but it wouldn’t have been possible if not for Christian Yelich’s 2-out, 2-strike solo home run off Dominic Leone to tie the game in the bottom of the 9th. That was Yelich’s first home run as a Brewer, and possibly his first “MVP Moment” of the year. It led to Braun’s absolute laser on the very next pitch, giving the Brewers their first home win of the season.
April 6th, 2018
RBI single vs. Chicago
After a throwing error by Kris Bryant allowed Hernan Perez to reach base safely and moved Manny Pina to third base with one out, the Cubs tried to get the free-swinging Arcia to extend the zone by pitching him outside. Instead, Arcia delivered the walk-off of the year by dropping a single into shallow right field. Maybe Darnell Coles should’ve just told Arcia to pretend every at-bat was in a tie game in the bottom of the 9th. Despite being one of the worst hitters in the majors in 2018, Arcia always seemed to come through in late-game situations.
April 21st, 2018
Home run vs. Miami
This ended up being an early indicator of what would be to come for Aguilar in 2018. After fighting Junichi Tazawa for 12 pitches, Aguilar would crush the 13th pitch of the at-bat into Tundra Territory, walking the Brewers off with his first home run of the season. Playing time quickly rose for Aguilar after that, and he was the Brewers’ regular first baseman by the end of the year.
May 25th, 2018
Walk vs. New York
After Christian Yelich dumped in a 2-out single to send Eric Sogard to third, the Mets loaded the bases looking to get a force out against Shaw. With no margin of error, that plan backfired, as AJ Ramos couldn’t find the strikezone, and his 3-1 pitch was spiked in front of the plate for what might’ve been Shaw’s easiest walk of the year.
June 22nd, 2018
Solo home run vs. St. Louis
Perhaps no better example of how Aguilar nearly single-handedly carried the Brewers’ offense for much of the first half: Aguilar broke up Jake Flaherty’s no hitter with a solo home run to tie the game in the bottom of the 7th inning. In his next at bat, he took Bud Norris oppo to win the game in the bottom of the 9th.
July 2nd, 2018
Walk vs. Minnesota
After Travis Shaw came through with a sacrifice fly to score Miller and tie the game in the bottom of the 9th, the game headed to extras. With the bases loaded again in the bottom of the 10th, Miller never had to take the bat off his shoulders. When asked what the secret to the at-bat was, Miller told Sophia Minnaert: “Just don’t swing.”
July 24th, 2018
Sacrifice fly vs. Washington
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th, Saladino got jammed on a pitch that wasn’t even a strike, but was able to muscle it just deep enough into left to allow Lorenzo Cain to tag up, and when Juan Soto’s throw home was up the first base line, the celebration began.
August 3rd, 2018
3-run home run vs. Colorado
Death, taxes and Brewers walk-offs against Wade Davis. The best part of this was Thames’ stylin’ and profilin’ ode to Ric Flair with a postgame WOOOOOOO for the ages.
4. Eric Thames - revived his career in Korea, where he was so otherworldly good they nicknamed him "God." Talks like a surfer, looks like a professional wrestler, does the Ric Flair "woo" when excited. pic.twitter.com/u8KRtTZ0Hw— Mark Coddington (@markcoddington) October 4, 2018
August 24th, 2018
RBI single vs. Pittsburgh
The Brewers and Pirates were locked in a 15-inning marathon before Pittsburgh was able to break through for 2 runs in the top half of the inning. The Brewers went hitless from the 10th inning until the 15th inning and only had one hit from the 6th inning before Erik Kratz came through with a 2-out, 2-strike, 2-RBI single to tie the game, and Arcia ended it.
September 3rd, 2018
Fielder’s choice vs. Chicago
We may need to credit Kris Bryant with an assist here, as he decided to dash to head to third and then throw across the diamond to try to get Yelich for an inning-ending double play, instead of throwing home to prevent the game-winning run from scoring. In the end, Yelich’s mad dash down the line allowed the Brewers to steal a win from the Cubs -- one that proved to be huge later in the month as the Brewers caught Chicago in the standings and forced a Game 163.
October 4th, 2018
RBI single in NLDS Game 1 vs. Colorado
Moustakas’ time with the Brewers wasn’t long, but you can’t say it wasn’t impactful. Already a postseason hero in Kansas City, Moose joined Tony Plush in Brewers lore with his own walk-off hit, this one giving the Brewers their first win in what would become an NLDS sweep and a run within one game of the World Series.