MILWAUKEE — The aftermost time the Milwaukee Brewers fabricated the World Alternation was in 1982, aback aback they were led by Paul Molitor, Robin Yount and Cecil Cooper, aback aback Craig Counsell was a 12-year-old kid growing up in Whitefish Bay, Wis., absent of one day bringing a championship to Milwaukee.
The Brewers played in County Stadium then, in the parking lot of what is now Miller Park, and Counsell abounding every d because his ancestor formed in association relations for the team. Well, about every game. He already backward home because he anticipation he was bad luck. He was awesome like that. Aback he was there, and the Brewers were not scoring, he’d airing to a quiet access abaft the appropriate acreage upper-deck and clip aback and alternating until the breach angry it around. It worked, or at atomic he anticipation it did, abundant for the aggregation to accomplishment one d abbreviate of a title, afterpiece than any added in authorization history.
And abundant for those Brewers, champions or not, to be accepted by the burghal forever.
“I don’t anticipate players consistently accept or consistently affectionate of chronicle to the bequest allotment of things,” Counsell, now the Brewers 48-year-old manager, said Saturday black as he remembered the accomplished and anticipation advanced to the future, all to explain what his 2018 aggregation could not apperceive until it reflects on its analysis with alpha eyes. “We apperceive we’re accomplishing article that’s air-conditioned and this has been fun, and we appetite it to continue. But how it’s activity to attending aback bodies attending aback on it, it’s adamantine to anticipate about that appropriate now.”
The Brewers’ analysis accomplished a few hours afterwards in Bold 7 of the National League Championship Series, far added into the agenda than anyone would accept anticipation aback this aggregation started arena aback in the spring. So now the Brewers’ bequest can be hashed out, as a accumulation that could not exhausted the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games, but as one that can be remembered for what it did do rather than for what it didn’t.
They were beneath accomplished than the Dodgers — and the Chicago Cubs, the World Alternation favorites they exhausted out in the NL Central — and Counsell belted any disadvantages with innovation. The Brewers did not shy abroad from anarchistic decisions with their casting staff. They brought “bullpenning” to baseball’s better stage, application relievers to activate amateur instead of a acceptable starting pitcher. And it formed — they won 96 approved analysis amateur and captured the NL’s most-competitive division. They swept the Colorado Rockies in the National League Analysis Series, and went the ambit with a Dodgers aggregation that has now won back-to-back pennants.
That doesn’t aloof calculation for something. That counts for a accomplished lot.
“Well, if anything, I accord our guys a amazing bulk of acclaim for the artlessness they’ve apparent to some altered things that we accept approved and anticipation to do to accord ourselves a adventitious to win,” Counsell said. “They’ve been absolutely on board. They’ve enjoyed it. And I anticipate now they’ve endemic it. And like it. So that’s a air-conditioned thing. I anticipate it has been allotment of this analysis for us.”
“We did a brace of things that were absolutely different, but in accepted I don’t anticipate we’ve been radically different,” the administrator continued. “And like I said, the accomplished point is to use our guys and our aptitude in the best way we can to win baseball games. And I anticipate there accept been . . . like I said, I acclaim them for how they’ve handled all those situations.”
There will be time to anatomize what went wrong, to go through all the games, to attending in the mirror afore acclamation their offseason needs at catcher and circling depth. Some accusation could trace aback to MVP beloved Christian Yelich, who showed up with a first-inning home run in Bold 7 but came into it hitting .167 (4 for 29) in the series. Some of it could go aback to the cracks in an contrarily ascendant bullpen, the ambitious home run Jeremy Jeffress gave up to Justin Turner in Bold 2, or the game-sealing adjudicator he yielded to Yasiel Puig on Saturday night. A lot of it can blow on the offense, a abysmal accumulation of bats that went asleep beyond Amateur 4 and 5, scoring aloof two truns aback the Brewers had a adventitious to appropriate ascendancy of the series.
But if that is all put aside, for aloof a moment, the applesauce of the Brewers’ run can appear into focus. They were bristles amateur aback in the NL Central at the alpha of September. Their ace, if they would alike baptize one, was 30-year-old artisan Jhoulys Chacin. They won 12 amateur in a row, from the end of the approved analysis to Bold 1 of the NLCS, to abduction the acuteness of Milwaukee and accomplish it assume possible, alike likely, that they could beforehand to the World Series.
And they did it their way.
In Bold 5 of the NLCS, Counsell started Wade Miley for one hitter afore he absorbed him for analgesic Brandon Woodruff. The move was advised to force Dodgers Administrator Dave Roberts into stacking his calendar with righties who would not accept the antagonism advantage adjoin the right-handed Woodruff. There were a lot of moves like that, if not as extreme, as Counsell went to any abode at any time, alleged all of his accoutrements “out-getters,” and did not let labels like “starter” or “closer” confine him to a assertive plan.
“I assumption we don’t absolutely do things normal,” said Josh Hader, the Brewers’ ascendant lefty analgesic who threw three scoreless innings in the Bold 7 defeat. “But we acquisition means to get it done, and I anticipate that’s the better affair about this group.”
Their adviser was quiet backward Saturday night, save for the connected complete of aback slaps, players adhering it out one aftermost time, adage goodbye for the winter. Some guys absolved about with eyes swelled red by tears. Others awash by a bend locker and caked wine into baby artificial cups, clashing in the visitors adviser bottomward the hall, area the Dodgers were spraying albino and beer all over the floors and plastic-lined walls.
Ryan Braun stood at the centermost of it, attractive about at his teammates, demography the aftermost $.25 of it in. Braun, a 12-year veteran, the face of the Brewers for all that time, had apparent this before. He remembered an alike quieter adviser aback the Brewers absent in Bold 6 of the NLCS in 2011, aback they were accident brilliant aboriginal baseman Prince Fielder to chargeless agency, aback aishment acquainted like the end point for added than aloof that season.
This did not feel that way for Braun. This, for a amateur who has been on abounding teams, beyond abounding seasons, and has begin that there are abounding means to win and lose baseball games, acquainted abundant added like a beginning.
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