Milwaukee’s season came to an abrupt ending in heartbreaking fashion at Washington in the NL Wild Card game.
Leading 3-1 in the bottom of the eighth inning and sending All-Star reliever Josh Hader to the mound, the Brewers watched as he loaded the bases before a Juan Soto single got past Trent Grisham in right field. That cleared the bases and gave the Nationals their first and only lead of the game at 4-3.
Washington closer Daniel Hudson came on in the top of the ninth and retired the Brewers to send the Nationals to the NL Divisional Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The loss ended what had been a magical ride for Milwaukee over the last month. The Brewers closed the season winning 19 of their final 24 games to make the postseason for the second straight year, just the second time in franchise history they’d done that. And it looked like they carried some of that momentum into the postseason early on against Washington.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal drilled a 2-run home run off Max Scherzer and then Eric Thames hit a solo home run in the second inning to give the Crew a 3-0 lead.
Milwaukee got its desired pitching outcome as well, with starter Brandon Woodruff allowing just one run over four innings, before turning things over to Brent Suter and Drew Pomeranz for the next three innings. All of it led to Josh Hader getting the ball for the final six outs but he and the club were unable to deliver.
The focus will now shift to the offseason that could see plenty of turnover, with Grandal and Mike Moustakes both having mutual options in their contracts, and free agents like Thames and Pomeranz to deal with.
The ride is always fun, but the crash is always terrible.