Are the 2018 Brewers the best team in franchise history?
After slaying the Cubs and sweeping aside the Rockies, the Brewers are back in the NLCS for the first time since 2011. It's been a magical few months in Milwaukee, filled with drama and dingers and most unlikely folk heroes.
But before the Brew Crew takes on the Dodgers for the right to go to the World Series, we wanted to pose a question to Wisconsin: Is this team the best in franchise history? We've listed the contenders below, but it's up to you to choose a winner.
2018: The NL's best record
Really, what's left to say? They won the NL Central thanks to an eighth-inning rally, in Game 163, on their archrival's home field. They've got the likely NL MVP, who very nearly won the Triple Crown. They -- not the Cubs, not the Nats, not the Dodgers -- posted the best record in the Senior Circuit this season. The other outfielder they acquired this winter has been a terror atop their lineup. We double-checked, and they seriously haven't lost in going on three weeks.
And that's not even touching just how fun this team is. Their first baseman can hit balls into low orbit and is extremely afraid of confetti. Seemingly everything their backup catcher touches turns to gold. Bob Uecker hasn't been this happy since Willie Mays Hayes sprinted for home. In short: Things are good.
2011: The Year of Tony Plush
The 2011 Brewers had young, fun talent everywhere: Prince Fielder at first, Ryan Braun and Corey Hart in the outfield, ageless wonder Randy Wolf anchoring the rotation. They rode one of the best offenses in baseball -- with just enough pitching to get by -- to 96 wins and the first NL Central crown in team history.
But really, if you're reading this, you know that we're not here to talk about any of that. We're here to talk about Tony Plush:
Nyjer Morgan entered the season a light-hitting journeyman outfielder. He left it a hero to all of Wisconsin, thanks in large part to his swaggering alter ego -- and his walk-off single in Game 5 of the NLDS.
1982: Harvey's Wallbangers
Since moving from Seattle to Milwaukee in 1970, the fledgling Brewers had struggled to make their mark, posting more sub-70-win seasons (six) than winning ones (four). In '82, though, there was magic in the air: Behind a lineup featuring Robin Yount and Paul Molitor -- nicknamed "Harvey's Wallbangers" after manager Harvey Kuenn -- the Crew led baseball in runs scored, home runs and slugging percentage en route to their second franchise postseason appearance.
In the 1982 ALCS, though, it appeared that that magic had run out: The Angels took the first two games of the best-of-five convincingly and Milwaukee headed back home needing to win three in a row at County Stadium. You can probably guess what happened next:
The Brewers' bats broke out in Games 3 and 4, and Cecil Cooper's two-run single in the seventh gave them the lead for good in Game 5. Milwaukee pushed the Cardinals all the way to Game 7 of the World Series before falling short.
So who's number one: 2018, 2011 or 1982? You decide.