At the outset of this Sunday, things seemed simple for the Milwaukee Brewers — win, and you’re in.
As the final day of the 2020 MLB regular season concludes, however, things wound becoming awfully convoluted. The final result is still a positive one for fans of the Cream City Nine as the team has clinched a third straight playoff berth for the first time in franchise history.
The Brewers were in St. Louis, finishing their fifth game against the Cardinals in the last four days. Brett Anderson took the hill for Milwaukee, and after putting up zeroes in the first two innings, he ran into trouble in the third. Harrison Bader tripled to lead off, then Tyler O’Neill drew a walk. The trainers then came out for Anderson, who left with a blister on his left index finger. Freddy Peralta came in, and the first batter he faced was Kolten Wong, who hit a ball right back through the box to the pitcher. Peralta threw wildly to first base, allowing both runners to score and Wong to reach second base. Singles by Paul Goldschmidt and Paul DeJong later in the inning brought home two more runs to make it 4-0.
The Brewers got one back in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Daniel Vogelbach, who would leave later in this game with a hamstring injury. Peralta gave the run right back, however, when he served up a long ball to Bader in the bottom of the inning. In all, Peralta worked two frames, allowing four hits and three runs to end his year with a 3.99 ERA.
After Freddy, former indy baller Justin Topa pitched a pair of perfect frames with three strikeouts, and both Eric Yardley and Adrian Houser added scoreless innings to finish out the game. The Brewers scored one final run in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Jacob Nottingham, but managed only two runs and five hits in another listless offensive performance.
The 5-2 loss means that the Brewers finish with a losing 29-31 record on the season, but thanks to losses by the Phillies and Giants, they have still qualified for the expanded playoffs with the #8 and final seed in the National League. They’ll begin their three-game series with the top-ranked Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.