MILWAUKEE -- From superstars to one big surprise performer off the bench, here are our picks for the best single games ever for a Brewers hitter:
1. Robin Yount -- Oct. 3, 1982, at Baltimore
Brewers players have tallied more hits in a game and driven in more runs, but if context counts, then the greatest offensive performance in franchise history belongs to the Brewers’ greatest player ever, Yount, who powered the team to its first division crown in the 1982 regular-season finale.
The Brewers had been four games up on the Orioles in the American League East with five games to play, only to drop four games in a row, including the first three of a supercharged four-game, season-ending series in Baltimore. The division came down to the final day, a pitching matchup of future Hall of Famers Don Sutton and Jim Palmer, and Yount set the tone by hitting home runs off Palmer in each of his two at-bats against him.
“That just took the pressure off of everybody,” said Jim Gantner of Yount’s first-inning solo shot. “Then he hit another.”
Yount finished the day 3-for-4 with four runs scored, a triple, two homers and a hit-by-pitch in a 10-2 Brewers victory. Don’t let the final score fool you; the game wasn’t in hand until the Brewers exploded for five runs in the ninth.
2. Christian Yelich -- Aug. 29, 2018, at Cincinnati
It was the signature performance of Yelich’s second-half charge to the 2018 National League Most Valuable Player Award, with the Brewers chasing the Cubs for the NL Central crown. He matched the Brewers' record with six hits and became the fourth player in Major League history to collect six hits while hitting for the cycle. Yelich hit a go-ahead home run in the fifth inning and a tying triple in the seventh as the Brewers overcame multiple deficits. A half-inning after his triple, Yelich threw out a go-ahead runner at home plate.
"I've never seen a game like that. It was incredible," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "He's coming up there and you're thinking he can't do it again, and he does it again. Then he makes a great throw.
"He did everything tonight, he really did. He's driving the bus home tonight."
Yelich finished 6-for-6 with three singles, a double, a triple, a home run, two runs scored and three RBIs. Less than three weeks later, he hit for the cycle against the Reds again, this time at Miller Park.
3. Mark Brouhard -- 1982 ALCS Game 4 vs. Angels
Every pennant-winner needs an unlikely hero, and the Brewers’ was their backup outfielder in Brouhard, who had the game of his life in place of a banged-up Ben Oglivie in the Brewers’ 9-5 win in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at County Stadium.
In his only appearance in that postseason -- or any postseason -- Brouhard went 3-for-4 with a double, a home run, three RBIs and four runs scored, an ALCS record. The win forced a decisive Game 5, which the Brewers won the next day with Oglivie back in the lineup. Brouhard didn’t get onto the field during the seven-game World Series against the Cardinals, but his surprising performance helped Milwaukee get that far.
“I guess you could say my timing was pretty good,” Brouhard told Tom Haudricourt in the book Where Have You Gone ’82 Brewers? “It was one of the highlights of my career. The place was rocking. You couldn’t even hear yourself think. It was a cold, rainy day, but the fans were screaming their heads off.”
4. Christian Yelich -- April 15, 2019, vs. Cardinals
There was talk of regression coming into 2019 after Yelich won the previous year’s NL MVP Award, but he dispatched of it quickly.
Barely two weeks after he matched a Major League record by hitting a home run in each of his team’s first four games, and coming off rare back-to-back hitless games in Los Angeles that prompted a round of early batting practice, Yelich continued his early-season torment of St. Louis by becoming the fourth player in Brewers history to match the franchise records for home runs (three) and RBIs (seven) in the same game -- a remarkable feat considering how carefully the Cardinals were trying to pitch him. Yelich even worked a walk that night in the most recent of the dozen seven-RBI games in Brewers history as of the end of 2020.
5. Ryan Braun -- April 30, 2012, at San Diego
Petco Park is supposed to be pitcher-friendly, but Braun made it a hitter’s haven. He set the Brewers record with 15 total bases and tied the club record with four extra-base hits while going 4-for-5 with three runs scored, a triple, three home runs and six RBIs.
Braun was the first player to hit three home runs at Petco Park, which opened in 2004, and the first player since Fred Lynn in 1975 to hit three home runs and a triple in the same game. Through the end of 2020, Braun’s club record for total bases still stood.
Christian Yelich -- Aug. 17, 2019, at Washington
In a 14-inning test of power -- and willpower – for both teams, Yelich went 5-for-6 with two home runs (topping 40 for the season), three runs scored and four RBIs. He homered in the ninth inning to spark the Brewers’ come-from-behind, four-run rally, then hit a go-ahead home run in the 13th, only to watch Washington come back both times. The Brewers finally won their game of the year, 15-14, on an Eric Thames homer.
Robin Yount -- 1982 World Series Game 5 vs. Cardinals
After tallying four hits in the Brewers’ blowout win over the Cardinals in Game 1, Yount became the first player ever to log a pair of four-hit games in a single World Series. His 4-for-4 performance included a home run in the seventh inning as the Brewers won, 6-4, and took a 3-2 lead in the Series.
Paul Molitor -- 1982 World Series Game 1
Molitor wasn’t too impressed after going 5-for-6 with a run scored and two RBIs in the Brewers’ 10-0 rout of St. Louis because his hits were all singles, three of which didn’t get past shortstop Ozzie Smith. But Molitor’s five hits were a World Series record. Only Albert Pujols (2011) has matched the mark since.
Kevin Reimer -- Aug. 24, 1993, vs. A’s
Reimer went 6-for-6 with a walk in a 13-inning win over the A’s in Game 2 of a doubleheader. By reaching base safely (without the benefit of an error) seven times, Reimer set a Brewers record that stood until Prince Fielder matched it on April 10, 2007, at Miami.
Richie Sexson -- April 18, 2002, vs. Cardinals
Of the dozen seven-RBI games by Brewers batters through 2020, only once did a player account for all seven of the team’s runs. Sexson hit a two-run triple after the Brewers fell into an early 4-0 deficit, then hit a two-run homer and a go-ahead three-run homer later in a 7-5 Brewers win.
Ryan Braun -- May 4, 2019, vs. Mets
In the Brewers’ most recent six-hit game as of 2020, Braun accounted for more than half of the Brewers’ hits in the longest game ever at American Family Field (then Miller Park), a 4-3 win settled by Braun’s two-run single in the bottom of the 18th inning after New York had scored.
Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz -- Sept. 25, 2001, at Arizona
The Brewers sluggers each matched the franchise record with three home runs in a 9-4 victory over the soon to be World Series champion D-backs, including two apiece off Arizona starter Albie Lopez. It was the first time in MLB history that teammates hit three homers apiece in a game.
Richie Sexson -- April 25, 2003, at Atlanta
Sexson went 4-for-5 with three home runs and a double for 14 total bases, second-most in franchise history to Braun’s 15 total bases in April 2012.
Johnny Briggs -- Aug. 4, 1973, at Cleveland
Five Brewers players have tallied six hits in a game as of 2020, but the only one to do it in nine innings was Briggs, who went 6-for-6 with two doubles in a 9-4 win over the Indians.
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and like him on Facebook.