COMMENTARY | If you look up the definition of rollercoaster ride in the dictionary, you'll find a team photo of the 2013 Milwaukee Brewers.
There's probably no such thing, but only 20 games into the season, the Brewers have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. If you watched Milwaukee through its first ten games, you'd wonder how this team could possibly be 11-9, and if you watched it over its last ten games, you'd wonder the same thing.
A team that just had its nine-game winning streak snapped is in fourth place -- of its own division?
It's true, which just goes to show how competitive the National League Central ought to be moving forward. And while all good things must come to an end -- even if it's because of a horrid call (h/t Tom Haudricourt of JSOnline) -- we can still take a trip down memory lane and revel in the top moments from the Brewers' longest winning streak since 2003.
5. Braun snapping the scoreless streak
This thing had to start somewhere. With the Brewers down 3-0 in the eighth inning, on the verge of being swept by the St. Louis Cardinals and in the midst of a 32-inning scoreless streak, Ryan Braun stepped up with Jean Segura on base and drove one deep down the right field line.
The ball stayed fair, and just like that, Milwaukee was only down one run. Eventually, the Brewers tied the game in the ninth and took the lead in the tenth with another memorable moment -- Jonathan Lucroy's solo shot to left. Burke Badenhop saved the game, and the streak was born.
4. Hiram Burgos' debut
A sloppy start to the season for No. 5 starter Mike Fiers led to a demotion to the bullpen, followed by a demotion to Triple-A Nashville. That led to the promotion of Hiram Burgos, who made his first career big league start on April 20 against the Chicago Cubs.
Burgos used his effective change-up to keep hitters off balance and pitched five strong innings, only allowing one run on five hits and leaving with the game tied 1-1. In the bottom of the fifth, Milwaukee took advantage of some Cubs' miscues in the field, took the lead, never looked back and gave Burgos a win in his Major League debut.
For those wondering about Fiers', he threw four scoreless innings in his first start with the Sounds on April 20.
3. Jean Segura stealing first base
This wasn't a particularly memorable moment from Segura's standpoint, but it made waves across the sports world. In the bottom of the eighth inning with the Brewers up one, Segura was picked off second base and subsequently found himself in a pickle. Braun, who was on first, did the right thing and moved up a base, leaving Segura with nowhere to go.
After Segura returned to second, Braun was tagged out, as two players obviously aren't allowed to be on the same base. Segura, believing he was out, then took off jogging toward the dugout before beginning to sprint toward first base.
He should have been called out multiple times -- he was tagged while off the base and Brewers' first base coach Garth Iorg also grabbed Segura when he started walking toward the dugout.
It was really something (via the New York Times). Turns out he never should have been allowed to go back to first, well, in the first place. And of course, the inning concluded with Segura getting thrown out attempting to steal second, for the second time in the inning.
Baseball can be a funky game sometimes.
2. Blake Lalli's walk-off
Believe it or not, there is a guy named Blake Lalli on the Brewers' 25-man roster. You wouldn't know it, though, as Lalli has only started one game all season. But he had the opportunity to play hero in game No. 3 of the Brewers' nine-game streak.
With the bases chucked and one man out in a 3-3 game, Lalli was called on to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth against the San Francisco Giants. On the very first pitch, Lalli lifted a deep fly ball over the left fielder's head. Ball game.
It was a special moment for a seldom used player, and Milwaukee would go on to win its next six games.
1. The eight-run inning
For a team that couldn't score over the course of three-and-a-half games, an eight-run outburst in one inning just a game after that infamous scoring slump was snapped occurred, because of course.
In the bottom of the third against the defending World Series champs, the Brewers brought 12 men to the plate, with eight of them crossing home. The inning included a grand slam from Yuniesky Betancourt and a two-run double from Rickie Weeks.
Milwaukee wound up barely holding on, winning 10-8 despite Braun striking out a career-high four times. It was only fitting for a season that has made little sense for the Milwaukee Brewers through the first four weeks.
Dave Radcliffe is a resident of a little known Milwaukee suburb who contains an unhealthy amount of knowledge about Wisconsin sports. He has contributed to JSOnline and as a featured columnist among other sites and publications.
You can follow Dave on Twitter @DaveRadcliffe_ .
- Sports & Recreation
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Jean Segura
- Hiram Burgos