One of the small silver linings to the COVID-19 pandemic is that fans have lots of time to watch baseball. Unfortunately, unless you’re getting up early to watch sketchy streams of games in Taiwan, there’s no live baseball to watch. There is, however, a nearly bottomless archive that has recently become freely available.
While the 2020 season is on hold, MLB.tv has unlocked their entire 2018 and 2019 seasons for all fans. That’s 324 regular season Brewers games available for perusal: Even after filtering out losses, it’s over 591 hours of Brewers content, or approximately 42 Milwaukee Record telethons.
But maybe you don’t have 591 hours (you’re busy, we know). Maybe you just want to watch the best games: The most suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat thrillers where guys take frequent breaks to adjust equipment and scratch themselves. The 2018 and 2019 Brewers provided plenty of those too, with 16 games where they won in their final plate appearance. Here are those 16 games, ranked using eight criteria to find the most exciting contest.
16. May 25, 2018
The thing about this list is there’s no such thing as a bad walkoff win. Even this one had plenty of excitement. The Brewers and Mets were never more than two runs apart for the duration of a 3:08, 10-inning contest that featured a Travis Shaw three-hit game, a quality start for Junior Guerra, two near-perfect innings of relief for Josh Hader, and an extra inning sudden victory on Hernan Perez and Shaw’s back-to-back walks, the latter with the bases loaded. This was an outstanding, suspenseful game and it’s only the 16th best contest on the list.
15. July 13, 2019
A pitcher’s duel came off the rails in the late innings of this contest against the Giants, as Madison Bumgarner and Zach Davies combined to allow just two runs across the first six innings, but the two teams combined to score seven times in the seventh, eighth and ninth. Four different Brewers had multi-hit games in the contest, and Ben Gamel’s pinch hit double in the bottom of the ninth plated the winning run.
14. August 9, 2019
The Rangers were a surprise contender for much of the 2019 season, but the Brewers contributed to knocking them out of the race for an AL Wild Card spot, handing them their third consecutive loss and dropping them to 10-15 since the All-Star break. The Brewers bullpen faltered in this game in relief of Gio Gonzalez, but Eric Thames picked them up in the bottom of the ninth by turning a high fastball into a towering home run for the walkoff victory.
13. July 24, 2018
The Nationals jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the second inning against Junior Guerra and the Brewers, but he rallied and the bullpen closed the door behind him, allowing just six hits and no runs across the final eight innings and allowing the Brewers to claw their way back into the game. Christian Yelich hit a three-run homer in the fifth and Lorenzo Cain had an RBI single in the seventh to pave the way for Tyler Saladino to end the game with a walkoff sac fly in the tenth.
12. April 6, 2018
On a Friday night at Miller Park, the Brewers and Cubs played a back-and-forth contest with Chicago running out to an early 2-0 lead, the Brewers bouncing back with a four-run fifth, but the Cubs recovering with two runs in the top of the sixth to send it into the late innings tied. Orlando Arcia had the big hit in this one, a bloop single to plate Manny Pina and clinch a 5-4 victory.
11. June 22, 2018
This game got a couple of extra bonus points for being a win against the Cardinals, adding a layer of potential enjoyment to what would already have been an enjoyable comeback victory. Junior Guerra and Jack Flaherty dueled on the mound through much of this game before Jesus Aguilar took over: His solo homer in the seventh tied the game at on run apiece and his second homer in the ninth gave the Crew a 2-1 victory.
10. September 7, 2019
The Brewers entered the month of September as one of several teams chasing the Cubs for the National League’s final Wild Card spot and took a big step forward by beating their rivals on a Saturday night at Miller Park. This game was 1-1 heading into the eighth inning, where both teams scored to send it tied once again into the ninth. As he has been so many times over the last two years, Christian Yelich was the hero, doubling off Brandon Kintzler to bring home Tyler Austin with the winning run.
9. April 21, 2018
The Brewers fell behind early against a woeful Marlins team, digging themselves a 4-0 hole in the top of the second inning. What followed was one of the biggest comebacks on this list, however, as the Brewers chipped away with four run-scoring innings and tied the game in the eighth on a Miami fielding error. Jeremy Jeffress worked a scoreless ninth to give the Crew another chance and Jesus Aguilar sent the fans home happy with a solo homer to cap off a 13-pitch at bat.
8. July 2, 2018
This was another contest where the Brewers had to overcome a significant deficit: They gave up a grand slam and trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth inning, but responded with three in the fifth, plated one to extend the game in the bottom of the ninth, and picked up a 6-5 victory on Brad Miller’s tenth inning walkoff walk. Four Brewers relievers combined to throw five shutout innings to give their team a chance to come back and win.
7. September 3, 2018
The Brewers were just a few days into Craigtember and were still five games back of the first place Cubs, who had the National League’s best record. They cut into that lead with a victory on this day, a see-saw battle that featured four lead changes. The last one came in the bottom of the ninth when Erik Kratz walked, Orlando Arcia and Lorenzo Cain were hit by pitches and Keon Broxton (pinch running for Kratz) scored on a Christian Yelich RBI groundout.
6. August 24, 2018
The second-longest game on the list, this contest gets extra points for late inning suspense. The Brewers ran out to a 4-0 lead early, but let the Pirates chip away, eventually tying the game in the top of the ninth. From there, the two bullpens traded zeroes long into the night until the top of the 15th inning when Francisco Cervelli came through with an RBI single off Jordan Lyles to give Pittsburgh a 6-4 lead. Lyles redeemed himself, however: with the Brewers down to their final out and out of pinch hitters in the bottom half of the inning, Lyles hit for himself and drew a walk to extend the game for Erik Kratz and Orlando Arcia, who each singled to give the Brewers a 7-6 walkoff victory.
5. August 3, 2018
The home crowd was treated to some late inning drama at Miller Park on a Friday night after a solid outing from Junior Guerra, who worked eight frames but left with the Rockies leading 3-2. The Rockies sent three-time All-Star closer Wade Davis to the mound in a season where he would record an NL-leading 43 saves, but he couldn’t slam the door on this one. Instead, he walked Jesus Aguilar and Travis Shaw to set the table for Eric Thames to crush a three-run homer and finish off a 5-3 victory.
4. May 4, 2019
The Brewers and Mets played long into the night on a Saturday at Miller Park, going 18 innings and over five hours in the longest game in the ballpark’s history. The Brewers took a 2-1 lead in the third inning, then went 13 innings without a run crossing the plate. Taylor Williams pitched four innings as the last guy out of the bullpen for the Brewers and finally broke in the top of the 18th, allowing a run on a pair of ground ball singles. His teammates picked him up in the bottom half, however, drawing three walks before Ryan Braun singled to drive in the tying and go-ahead run.
3. July 27, 2019
Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester stymied the Brewers for seven innings in this game, but the Crew got to their bullpen in the late innings for a comeback victory. Ben Gamel and Keston Hiura homered in the eighth against Steve Cishek to tie a game that eventually went to extra innings, and Christian Yelich and Hiura again homered in the tenth to power the Crew to victory.
2. March 31, 2019
This was the fourth of a four-game set to open the 2019 season. Christian Yelich homered in all of them, going deep in the first inning of this game to stake the Crew to an early lead. The Cardinals learned their lesson and walked Yelich each of the next three times he came to the plate. In hindsight, they probably wish they’d walked him a fourth time: He came up in the bottom of the ninth with two on, trailing by a run, and doubled to left center to give the Brewers a 5-4 victory.
1. April 3, 2018
On the fifth day of the 2018 season, the Brewers and Cardinals made some home run history. The game opened with Chase Anderson digging an early hole, allowing home runs on two of his first three pitches as Dexter Fowler and Tommy Pham went back-to-back. The Brewers trailed 4-0 heading into the fifth inning, but eventually got the last laugh by plating a run in the fifth, two in the eighth, and walking off in the ninth with solo homers from Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun. Those long balls closed out the only game in MLB history to begin and end with back-to-back homers.