It ended sooner than many had hoped or expected, but the 2023 MLB season still left behind plenty of memories—good, bad and weird—that will live on in the annals of Brewers franchise history. In the second part of our recap of the 2023 season, we look at the moments I’ve added to the “Today in Wisconsin baseball history” calendar since the All-Star break. Part 1 of the series, covering events in the season’s first half, ran on Monday.

July 14 – Hanging Ks on Cincinnati
The Brewers returned from the All-Star break tied with the Reds across the National League Central, but with destiny in their own hands, as they faced Cincinnati in six of the first 12 games of the unofficial second half. They started that stretch off with a dominant pitching performance, winning 1-0 behind Corbin Burnes and three relievers’ combined two-hitter. The Reds, for their part, barely put the ball in play against that evening’s Brewers pitchers. By this point the Brewers had settled on Elvis Peguero and Joel Payamps as the bridge to closer Devin Williams, and that trio combined with Burnes to strike out 18 of the 32 batters they faced. Those 18 Ks tied a Brewers record for a nine inning game. This was also the Brewers’ second consecutive 1-0 win over the Reds, as they had won by the same margin in the last game before the break.

July 15 – The Shutout Streak Continues
The following night, the offense gave the Brewers a little more help by scoring three runs, but Freddy Peralta and company wouldn’t need it: They allowed just one hit and held the Reds scoreless again, giving the Brewers three consecutive shutouts for just the third time in franchise history. The win gave the Brewers a two-game lead in the NL Central, matching their largest of the season to date.

July 18 – Record Heat
Rookies were a big part of the Brewers’ 2023 story, but mostly on the position player side. The biggest exception to that rule came in the bullpen, where July brought a record-setting flamethrower to American Family Field. The Brewers lost their game to the Phillies on this night, but it wasn’t Abner Uribe’s fault: In his second outing as a Brewer he logged a 102.2 mph fastball, the fastest pitch ever thrown by a Brewer. Uribe blew the prior record away, exceeding a 100.9 mph pitch from Neftali Feliz in 2017. Despite not debuting until mid-July, Uribe would make 32 appearances as a Brewer with a 1.76 ERA and 39 strikeouts in 30 2/3 innings.

July 22 – Finding Frelick
Sal Frelick came into the season as one of the Brewers’ top prospects and a clear threat to earn playing time at the MLB level, but circumstances delayed his ascension to the big leagues: He started the season in the Minors, then tore a ligament in his thumb and missed most of two months. When he finally joined the Crew, he wasted no time making an impact. Frelick went 3-for-3 in his MLB debut on this night and drove in both the game-tying and go-ahead runs as the Brewers rallied to beat the Braves 4-3 at home. Frelick was the third Brewer ever to collect three hits in a debut, but the first in nearly 50 years, as Steve Bowling was the last Brewer to match the feat in September of 1976.

July 26 – Here Come the Ks Again
Eight days after taking over the NL Central race by dominating the Reds in Cincinnati, the Brewers welcomed them to Milwaukee and attempted to pick up where they left off. The Reds won the first game in that series, but the Crew got another pitching performance for the ages as Freddy Peralta, Elvis Peguero, Joel Payamps and Devin Williams combined to tie the nine-inning franchise record by striking out 18 Reds again. Peralta had 13 of them, tying a career best. Through the first 54 seasons of franchise history, Brewers pitchers had recorded 18 strikeouts in a game just three times. This was the second time they did it in 2023, and they weren’t done yet.

July 31 – Canha and Company
The Brewers made five trades in a six-day span around the trade deadline, and at the time, most of them seemed to be relatively minor transactions. Two of the players acquired, however, would go on to make significant impacts down the stretch. First, on July 27 the Brewers became Carlos Santana’s sixth MLB team when they acquired him from the Pirates. Santana would go on to play in 52 of the Crew’s final 58 games and hit 11 home runs, including the 300th of his career.

On this day, however, the Brewers added another veteran piece to their offense when they acquired corner infielder/outfielder Mark Canha from the Mets. Canha had been struggling with the Mets, but was rejuvenated almost immediately after joining Milwaukee, appearing in 50 of the Brewers’ final 55 games and posting a .373 on-base percentage. Obviously there’s more at play here than just these two additions, but through the end of July, the Brewers were averaging just 4.15 runs scored per game as a team. From August 1 on, with Santana and Canha playing nearly every day, they scored 5.16 runs per game.

August 3 – Alone at the Top
The Brewers returned home from a rough trip to Atlanta and Washington with good news: Despite the fact that they had lost five of six games on the road, they had only dropped one game in the standings. As it turns out, they wouldn’t have to wait long to get that game back. The Brewers scored twice in the bottom of the first inning and piled on late to rout the Pirates 14-1 on this Thursday night in Milwaukee with six players posting multi-hit games. Meanwhile, the Reds lost 5-3 to the Cubs in Chicago, moving the Brewers back into sole possession of first place in the Central. This was the last day where the Brewers had to look up at anyone else in the standings.

August 5 – Perkins in the Clutch
Entering the season, it was unclear how the Brewers would find playing time for all their outfielders, with several rookies beating down the door to the majors and established veterans standing in front of them. Blake Perkins wasn’t one of the names mentioned often in that conversation, but injuries made room for him to appear in 67 games and, on one occasion, provide one of the biggest moments of the season. Perkins had already done his job on this day, entering the game as a pinch runner in the bottom of the ninth and scoring the game-tying run as the Brewers rallied to force extra innings against the Pirates. In the bottom of the tenth, however, Pittsburgh intentionally walked both Mark Canha and William Contreras to bring Perkins to the plate with two out and two on. Perkins responded with a ground ball through the right side, giving the Crew a walkoff victory. By win percentage added (WPA) Perkins’ single was the biggest hit by a Brewer this season.

August 7 – Peralta Keeps Them Guessing
Later in that homestand, Freddy Peralta was the story in a dominant victory over the Rockies. He allowed a home run in the top of the first inning but nothing else, tying a career high with 13 strikeouts across seven innings. The Brewers scored five times in the fourth inning and rolled to a 12-1 victory. In fact, after that first inning homer the Rockies struggled to make contact against Peralta at all. They swung and missed on 31 of the 94 pitches he threw that day, which is a franchise record during the pitch tracking era. Peralta went on to allow just seven runs and strike out 46 batters in 30 innings in August on his way to winning the National League’s Pitcher of the Month award.

August 9 – Taking What the Defense Gives You
The Rockies and Brewers traded big innings in the series finale at American Family Field, with Colorado scoring four times in the fourth and the Brewers responding with three of their own, then two more in the fifth. The game eventually went to a tenth inning, where the Rockies took a brief 6-5 advantage but the Brewers responded with a Mark Canha RBI double, then brought him home on a walkoff fielding error.

August 19 – Like Being 18 Again
For the first 36 years of Brewers franchise history, no Milwaukee pitcher or combination of pitchers recorded 18 strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Then Ben Sheets did it in May of 2004, and that record stood alone for 11 more years. Mike Fiers and three relievers matched it in 2015, then Adrian Houser and three others did it in 2021, but there were still only three such instances across nearly six decades until 2023.

As noted above, the Brewers logged 18 strikeouts against the Reds twice in a span of 13 days in July. Then, on this night against the Rangers, they made history again. Freddy Peralta was the starter in this game and struck out 11 of the 17 Texas batters he faced, but the four relievers who followed picked up the pace from there: Hoby Milner, Abner Uribe, Joel Payamps, and Trevor Megill combined to record strikeouts on seven of the game’s final 10 outs to tie a franchise record for the third time this season.

August 28 – The Streak Reaches Nine
The Brewers had a couple of cold streaks early in the season as they lost six consecutive games twice in the first half, but those downturns were nothing compared to the heater they went on in August. They took all three of a series in Texas, returned home to sweep the Twins and Padres and continued on to Chicago, where a win in this game was their ninth in a row. The streak was the fifth longest by any MLB team this season and tied for the eighth longest in franchise history. Perhaps more importantly, it allowed the Brewers to reach a five-game lead in the NL Central for the first time since the end of the 2021 season.

September 1 – Another Wild Eighth
Brewers pitchers were better than most in almost every situation this season, but the eighth inning was a clear exception: They allowed 88 runs in that frame this year, tenth worst out of 30 teams. On this day, the Crew took a 3-1 lead into that inning and stumbled into disaster, with Joel Payamps and Devin Williams combining to allow four runs on a walk, two singles and a three-run homer. This time, however, the Brewers were able to respond.

Phillies reliever Jose Alvarado gave up two singles and two walks to bring home the first run in the bottom half of the inning before, with two outs, Jeff Hoffman got Owen Miller to ground into what should have been the third out of the inning. Instead, the ball got past third baseman Alec Bohm and three runs scored, turning the Brewers’ 5-4 deficit into an eventual 7-5 win.

September 8 – Hello, Brazil
A total of 58 players got into at least one game for the Brewers this season and the vast majority of them came from traditional baseball places, with 49 of them born in the U.S. or the Dominican Republic. One of them, however, came from an unexpected baseball background.

 When Thyago Vieira made his MLB debut with the Mariners in 2017, he was the fourth player in MLB history born in Brazil, and when he finished off the Brewers 8-2 win over the Yankees on this night, he became the first Brazilian ever to wear that uniform as well. With Vieira, the Brewers now have players from 21 nations on their all-time roster (according to Baseball-Reference, which counts Puerto Rico separately from the United States).

September 10 – When Is A No-Hitter Not A No-Hitter?
Officially, the Brewers have thrown two no-hitters in franchise history. They’ve had three games where they’ve pitched nine no-hit innings, however, and the third was on this Sunday afternoon in New York.
Corbin Burnes had one of the best outings of his career in this matinee against the Yankees, working eight hitless innings before turning the ball over to Devin Williams for a 1-2-3 ninth that could have been a historic moment. There was only one problem: Gerrit Cole and two relievers had also held the Brewers scoreless across nine innings, so the game continued to extras. Abner Uribe pitched another clean inning before the Yankees broke through against Joel Payamps to end the bid for a long no-no. Adding insult to injury, the Brewers blew a 1-0 lead in the eleventh and a 3-1 lead in the twelfth before losing 4-3 in the thirteenth.

September 18 – Wainwright’s Last W
Craigtember was in full swing as the Brewers won 10 of their first 16 games in the month of September and closed in on clinching a postseason berth and an NL Central crown. Their road to the playoffs, however, took a detour for one last meeting with an old foe. Adam Wainwright’s 48 career starts against the Brewers are the second most of any opposing pitcher in franchise history (only Bert Blyleven has more), but during his final season, the 42-year-old did not look much like the ace of old. He had a 7.95 ERA on the season and had been stuck on 198 wins for weeks before getting two in September, with the last one coming at the Brewers expense. “Waino” threw seven shutout innings for the first time in 13 months as the Cardinals knocked off the Brewers 1-0 to get him a milestone win in what turned out to be his final MLB appearance.

September 19 – Doubles All Around
The Brewers got back to their winning ways the next night, scoring four in the fourth inning to power their way to a 7-3 win over the Cardinals. Willy Adames led off that inning with a double and was followed by Josh Donaldson, who doubled, and then Tyrone Taylor and Sal Frelick did it too. It was the first time in Brewers franchise history they’ve had four consecutive two-baggers.

September 22 – The Crookedest Number
A “crooked number” is baseball slang for a multi-run inning, one that requires the scoreboard to display something beyond a symmetrical “1.” On this night against the Marlins, the Brewers scored so many runs that the scoreboard came back around to 1 and kept going. After failing to score in the first inning, they sent 16 batters to the plate and scored 12 runs in the second. Willy Adames, Blake Perkins and Christian Yelich all reached base twice in the frame as the Brewers put up the second-biggest inning in franchise history.

That outpouring of offense overshadowed another milestone: The win clinched a Brewers postseason berth for just the ninth time in franchise history. Rowdy Tellez, who pitched the ninth inning with a 16-1 lead, became the first position player ever to close out a postseason-clinching win.

September 23 – 300 for Santana, 1500 for Yelich
The next night, back in Miami, a couple of Brewers picked up long-awaited milestones in dramatic fashion. The Brewers went to the top of the sixth trailing 4-0 when Christian Yelich doubled to become the 25th active major leaguer with 1,500 hits in his career. Two batters later, he came around to score on another big hit as Carlos Santana crushed a game-tying three-run homer, the 300th of his career. Santana is the tenth switch hitter ever to reach that mark. The good vibes did not carry over, sadly, as the Brewers were unable to score any more after that and lost 5-4.

September 26 – Backing In Is Still In
That aforementioned Marlins game was the first of three in a row where the Brewers could have clinched the NL Central with a win, but lost. Fortunately, the Cubs took it out of their hands on this night: They blew a 6-0 sixth inning lead in Atlanta and, with the final out of that game, the Brewers had their sixth divisional crown in franchise history.

September 29 – Boushley Brings It Home
Locked into playoff position with three games left in the regular season, the Brewers reached to their minor league depth to help them rest their regulars for the postseason. Enter Hortonville High School grad and UW-La Crosse alum Caleb Boushley, who got the call to the majors for the first time just two days before his 30th birthday.

The Brewers immediately put him into a tough spot: They were nursing a 3-2 lead in the eighth inning against a Cubs team that was still chasing postseason hopes when Boushley came in and struck out Patrick Wisdom to retire the side. Then he went back out for the ninth and gave up a game-tying solo home run but rallied to finish the inning and give the Brewers another shot. Then, long after even he must have thought his day would be over, he returned to the mound in the tenth and worked around the zombie runner to pitch a scoreless frame. Boushley eventually picked up the win in his MLB debut when Carlos Santana hit a walkoff double to lead off the tenth. Boushley was the 22nd Brewers pitcher ever to get a win in his MLB debut. He was also the 58th player to appear in a game as a Brewer in 2023, the second-most in franchise history.

October 2 – The First Big Blow
Pitching and defense had carried the Brewers throughout the regular season and seemed likely to be the team’s calling card into October: The FanGraphs podcast Effectively Wild selected those elements second and third overall in their draft of team components heading into the postseason. Before they even took the field for the first game of their Wild Card series against Arizona, however, the Brewers’ plans were already back to the drawing board. Brandon Woodruff, who was expected to start Game 2 of the series, was left off the roster with a shoulder injury. Woodruff held a tearful press conference during the team’s workout day at American Family Field, pledging to be “right in the middle of it” as the Brewers started their playoff push.

October 3 – Back Against the Wall
For a few moments, the Brewers appeared poised to take control of their home playoff series: They led 3-0 after Tyrone Taylor’s second-inning home run and got into the Arizona bullpen early, raising the possibility of a big day. Instead, the team nicknamed the “Answerbacks” responded with a pair of home runs in the third, took the lead with another in the fourth and held on for an eventual 6-3 win. Taylor had the big hit in this game for the Brewers, but he nearly had two, as his fifth inning, bases loaded line drive appeared likely to bring home runs but instead turned into an incredible double play for Arizona third baseman Evan Longoria.

October 4 – An Unceremonious Sweep
The roof was closed for the second game of the Wild Card series, but beyond that, the script read a lot like the one from the night before. The Brewers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but couldn’t break through from that point forward, leaving five runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Freddy Peralta didn’t allow a hit through the first 4 2/3 innings of his outing, then gave up a home run in the fifth and three more runs in the sixth as Arizona pulled away. The Brewers brought the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, but William Contreras struck out to end their season.

About The Author

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Kyle Lobner has remarkably poor hand/eye coordination and his batting stance looked like a much fatter Jeff Bagwell. Like most of the un-athletic people you know, he writes about baseball. He's done that at Brew Crew Ball, Milwaukee Magazine, Shepherd Express, and