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Milwaukee Brewers Year In Review: Defensive Plays of the Year

What were the best plays on defense this year? Let’s take a look.

Cincinnati Reds v Milwaukee Brewers Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Though it doesn’t get the same focus as offense, defense is just as important in a successful season for the Milwaukee Brewers. While Lorenzo Cain wasn’t around for most of it to dazzle us with his outfield skills, the Brewers still had their share of impressive plays this season. Not only were there plenty of players to save runs and hold onto leads, there was also a rare triple play to cap it off. Let’s take a look back at some of the most impressive players from 2020.

July 27: Keston Hiura’s double play and Christian Yelich sliding catch

After a long rain delay early in the game, the Brewers had to come back later in the night and play the majority of the game. They were down 1-0 in the second after Colin Moran hit a home run to start the inning. Following a walk, Keston Hiura made an over the shoulder catch to get Jose Osuna, then threw to Justin Smoak to get Bryan Reynolds, who was too far off first. After that, Christian Yelich made a diving catch in foul territory to end the inning. Both outs were important as the Brewers would rally to win 6-5 in extra innings.

August 20: Pair of defensive plays ends the fourth

The Brewers were down 1-0 in the fourth inning, and it could have been worse had the team not pulled together two impressive defensive plays that inning. The first came on a double by Miguel Sano, where Brock Holt got to the ball after it bounced off the wall and threw it back in. Orlando Arcia caught and relayed the ball to Manny Pina, who got Eddie Rosario at home to save a run from scoring. Two batters later, Eric Sogard tracked a foul ball into the netting on the third base side for the final out of the fourth.

August 25: Ben Gamel to Omar Narvaez for the force out at home plate

In the top of the fifth, the Reds had loaded the bases with the Brewers holding on to a 3-2 lead. With one out in the inning, Nick Castellanos hit a ball to right fielder Ben Gamel that should have been a base hit. However, Ben Gamel caught it on the bounce, and threw straight home. Freddy Galvis had to wait for the ball to drop, so he got a late break towards home plate. Gamel’s throw was on target and Narvaez caught it at the plate. At first, Galvis was ruled safe since Narvaez didn’t tag him, but since the bases were loaded, it should be a force out. After a quick argument from Narvaez and Counsell, the umpire ruled Galvis out, preventing a run from scoring. The Brewers would escape the inning with the bases loaded after a pop out ended the inning, and they would end up holding on to that 3-2 lead.

September 27: Brewers turn a routine 5-4-3 triple play in the last game of the regular season

Triple plays are rare, and when they happen, they tend to be very impressive. However, if there is such a thing as a “routine” triple play, this one would qualify for it. With two runners on base in the eighth and no outs, Yadier Molina hit a ground ball right to Jace Peterson, who was standing at third base. A quick tag of third, throw to Keston Hiura at second, and a throw to Jedd Gyorko at first, and the Brewers had a triple play. It was one of two triple plays in all of MLB in 2020, the Brewers first since 2016, and their thirteenth in franchise history.