It may not mean anything in the standings for the Brewers, but Friday night was a night to remember in Milwaukee. In an extra-innings thriller against the Cubs, the Brewers got an exciting major league debut for Caleb Boushley and an electrifying walk-off from Carlos Santana as they took down the Cubs 4-3 in 10 innings.
Colin Rea got the start in place of Brandon Woodruff and was strong in his start. Over five innings, he allowed just two hits and struck out six. Rea may be playing his way into a playoff roster spot, and Craig Counsell said they will have to consider him for the roster.
Meanwhile, the Brewers were held off of the board until the fifth inning. The Brewers loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. That set up William Contreras, who hit into what should have been an easy double play, but Nico Hoerner misplayed it and only got one out. That scored the first run of the game. Carlos Santana cashed in the other two with a triple, and the Brewers had a 3-0 lead after five innings.
After Bryse Wilson pitched a scoreless sixth and Clayton Andrews a scoreless seventh, the Cubs clawed their way back into the game against Andrews in the eighth. Jeimer Candelario hit a leadoff home run for the Cubs first run of the game, and then Christopher Morel tripled and scored on a Yan Gomes groundout. After a strikeout, Caleb Boushley entered the game for his major league debut. He started his major-league career with a strikeout of Patrick Wisdom.
Boushley came back out for the ninth and his first pitch was his only big mistake of the night. Ian Happ homered off of the first pitch he saw and the game was tied at 3-3. Boushley battled back from there, getting two more strikeouts to keep the game tied. Unfortunately, the offense could not take advantage of a few hits in the bottom of the inning, and the game went to extras.
With Dansby Swanson at second to start the inning, Boushley came back out for another inning of work. He stared with a line out from Candelario, but then walked Morel on a wild pitch to put runners at first and third. A strikeout of Gomes got the second out of the inning. With Mike Tauchman at the plate, Morel stole second and the Brewers decided to intentionally walk Tauchman in response. That brought back up Wisdom, and Boushley struck him out for the second time on the night and his fifth strikeout in his debut.
The Brewers started the bottom of the second with Blake Perkins pinch-running for William Contreras, and Carlos Santana wasted no time. On the third pitch of the at-bat, he hit a sharp double down the left field line and the Brewers headed home winners.
Santana did most of the heavy lifting tonight on offense, going 2-for-5 with three RBI. Victor Caraitini also had a two-hit game, and Christian Yelich reached base three times (1-for-3 with two walks).
Following the game, the Brewers announced that Eric Lauer will be called up to make the start on Saturday. Counsell also said that he’s planning to get some guys some work tomorrow in preparation for the Wild Card series on Tuesday. Lauer will face Jordan Wicks tomorrow, with the Cubs postseason hopes on life support as the Marlins magic number is down to one. First pitch for tomorrow’s game is at 6:10 p.m.