Milwaukee Brewers' Wild Run to the Playoffs
In 2008, the Milwaukee Brewers came out of nowhere to win the N.L. Wild Card. Led by CC Sabathia, a midseason addition, the Brewers were able to overcome adversity, a new manager, and a 26-year playoff curse to get to baseball's promised land.
The following pictures tell the story of what was an amazing run—a run that Brewers fans across the country will never forget.
Ned Yost lines up with his team during their opening series against the Cubs.
Not a Pretty Win But...
The Brewers acquired closer Eric Gagne in the offseason, but his first appearance was anything but memorable, as he served up a three-run homer to Kosuke Fukudome in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game. The Brewers would go on to win the game, though.
Remember Derrick Turnbow? May 1 was the last time Brewer fans saw him in uniform. Turnbow had tied the Brewers' record for saves in a season back in 2005, but injuries and control issues sidelined DT.
Ryan Braun came back from a season in which he won the Rookie of the Year. In his second season, he continued to impress, establishing himself as one of the game's greats.
Close the Door
Salomon Torres came out of nowhere to take the closer role after Gagne's struggles only got worse.
Past and Present All Stars
2007 All Star and 2008 All Star Corey Hart celebrates an inside the park home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Perhaps one of the biggest additions to a team in 2008 or in MLB history, CC Sabathia made his debut to a sell-out crowd against the Rockies. Naturally, CC picked up the win. Here, he walks out of the Brewers' bullpen for the first time after warmups.
All Star...You Bet!
Ryan Braun took a cut in the Century 21 Home Run Derby. Braun barely missed the finals. The next night, Braun started for the N.L. Squad.
Starting Pitcher for the National League
Ben Sheets headed the Brewers staff before the arrival of CC. Sheets put together a strong first half that landed him the N.L.'s starting pitcher role.
After a stellar first half, Manny Parra struggled in the second. Parra was also involved in an altercation that got national attention, as he and Prince Fielder got into it with one another.
Jeff Suppan, who signed the richest contract in 2007, continued to struggle. He struggled mightily in the second half, especially during the playoff run.
Rickie Weaks—No, I Meant To Spell It That Way
Rickie Weeks batted close to .200 most of the year and his defense struggled. Although he had some timely hits, he continued to make Brewer fans moan and groan.
Injury to Insult
Carlos Zambrano threw a no-hitter against the Astros at Miller Park of all places. The game was moved due to hurricanes in Texas.
No doubt Ned Yost was making this face after he learned of his firing, with only a few weeks left in the season.
Third Base coach Dale Sveum was named interim coach after Yost's firing.
A Rough Day
In only his third game as manager, Sveum watched as the Cubs rallied for four runs in the ninth, three of which came off the bat of Geovany Soto to tie the game.
A Derrick Lee single would win it three innings later. The Cubs would go on to clinch the Central only days later.
Not Done Yet
The Brewers got things together after a so-so summer. Mike Cameron provided good leadership and a hot bat down the stretch.
Brewer Fever 2008
Brewer fans came out in full force in the final week to rally for a Wild Card spot.
Walking Off in Style
Braun launched a grand slam that swept the Pirates and brought the Brewers one step closer to a playoff appearance. Prince Fielder hit one two days earlier, but the fireworks were only the beginning.
Sept. 28=Clinch Day!
A complete-game performance and a run homer by Braun in the eighth got the Brewers to at least a playoff opportunity, and then...
Dan Uggla's home run padded a lead that the Marlins would not relinquish. The Mets' loss made the Brewers' playoff dreams a reality.
Party Time MILWAUKEE!
The champagne was flowing and the 26-year drought was over. The Brewers were finally in the playoffs!
See Ya Next Year
The Brewers would go on to lose in four games to the eventual World Series Champs Phillies, but the 2008 Brewer season will go down in team history as one of the best. 2009 promises to be just as exciting!