Tonight, by a nail-biting score of 3-2, the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth game of the 2011 NLDS series. In the bottom of the 10th inning, fan favorite Nyger Morgan hit a single into center field, Carlos Gomez scored from second base, and the Brewers earned the decisive third win to send them to the National League Championship Series.
The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Phillies in their final game later in the evening, and, as a result, the Brewers and Cardinals -- the two best teams in the National League -- will square off for the chance at a World Series appearance. The first game in the best-of-seven NLCS series takes place on Sunday afternoon, 3pm (CST) on TBS.
During the regular season(s), the upstart Brewers and tradition-bound Cardinals are rivals in the National League central division. Neither team is particularly fond of the other. As a result, this should prove to be an exciting high-profile match-up!
For those that don't know Brewers history, this is the first time in 29 years that the Milwaukee Brewers have won a Playoff series. The last time they made it this far was in 1982. They were in the American League at the time, and beat the California Angels in that year's ALCS match-up. That sent them to the World Series where, ironically, they played the St. Louis Cardinals... and lost.
1982 was the the only time the Brewers advanced in the Playoffs... and the only time they appeared in the World Series.
So, as you can imagine, Brewers fans are overjoyed. And they have every right to be. A season like this has only came around once in the entire 41 years of the Milwaukee Brewers. ONCE. 1982. This time around, the Brewers look to change their fortunes.
Back in 1982, I was only 2-years-old. I had no idea what baseball was at the time. I grew up in Southeastern Wisconsin. I was a Brewers fan since I knew what the sport was. I've come to appreciate the 1982 season through the accounts in history books, but never in my life have I had the opportunity to experience my home team -- the team I follow with a passion -- make it this far into the Post-season. It's exciting, and surreal; to say the least.
Yes, this is a big year for the Brewers, the city of Milwaukee and the state of Wisconsin. They'll be playing 4-7 games against the St. Louis Cardinals... and I'll be watching. You bet I'll be watching! Naturally, I would love to see my Brewers have another shot at the World Series. But whatever happens, win or lose, this will have been one of the greatest seasons in franchise history. And that alone is something I will treasure -- and appreciate -- for the rest of my life.
Here's to the Brewers. Play well. Win for the fans. Because, for the first time in 29 years, the whole country is watching. It's been a long wait. Time to shine!
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