MILWAUKEE -- Corey Knebel earned the save, and Keon Broxton earned himself a nice steak dinner.Broxton began Wednesday on the bench, but he finished the day dancing in center field after authoring a remarkable finish to the Brewers' 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Miller Park. Broxton's leaping catch robbed
MILWAUKEE -- Corey Knebel earned the save, and Keon Broxton earned himself a nice steak dinner.
Broxton began Wednesday on the bench, but he finished the day dancing in center field after authoring a remarkable finish to the Brewers' 6-5 win over the Cardinals at Miller Park. Broxton's leaping catch robbed Randal Grichuk of a go-ahead home run to finish Knebel's 30th save, prompting the promise of an expensive meal.
"I'll get him whatever he wants," Knebel said.
Broxton's catch conjured memories of July 8, 2013, when Carlos Gomez made a similar grab just a few steps down the same warning track to deny an incredulous Joey Votto of a go-ahead homer, sealing a Brewers win over the Reds.
And of last September, when Broxton leapt to pull back a tying home run off Anthony Rizzo's bat in the ninth inning of a Brewers win over the Cubs. But that catch was for the second out of the ninth, not the last.
More recently, there was June 21 of this season, when shortstop Orlando Arcia's daring spin and throw ended a Brewers win over the Pirates. Knebel was on the mound for that play, too.
You can add Broxton's grab alongside those other plays on the list of the greatest defensive finishes in franchise history.
"It's what every outfielder dreams of, making a catch like that," Broxton said.
"That catch was awesome," Knebel said. "He got the save tonight."
Knebel knew off the bat that Grichuk's deep drive -- 101.7 mph off the bat, according to Statcast™ -- had a chance to clear the fence. So did Grichuk.
The Cardinals outfielder had already homered once in the game, a tying solo shot in the fifth. When he connected with Knebel's 98 mph fastball and sent a fly ball to straightaway center field, 28,964 fans at Miller Park audibly groaned.
"A couple more inches, feet and we take the lead and probably win that game," Grichuk said.
"I thought that ball, coming off the bat, looked like it would be far enough to where it wasn't going to be taken back," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "But great play on their part."
Matheny also credited Brewers manager Craig Counsell for getting Broxton into the game. Hernan Perez started the day in center field for Broxton, who went 1-for-4 with a run-scoring infield hit in Tuesday's series opener following a 6-for-28 road trip.
After Domingo Santana and Jonathan Villar homered in the sixth inning for a 6-3 lead, Counsell inserted Broxton into the game in the eighth for his defense, only to see Cards left fielder Tommy Pham hit his second home run of the game, a two-run shot that cut Milwaukee's lead to 6-5.
"I'm glad he was in there," Counsell said of Broxton, "although Hernan says he would have made the play, so…"
Indeed, while Broxton answered reporters' questions, Perez approached the scrum and demanded his due. Broxton was busy answering whether this was the best catch of his career.
"I wouldn't say it's the best I've made, but it definitely was one of the most important ones," Broxton said. "We definitely needed that win. It's clutch that the boys battled today."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.