Dairyland Madness: Top 2000s Performances – Brewers Region

SAN DIEGO - August 13: CC Sabathia of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on August 13, 2008 in San Diego, California. The Brewers defeated the Padres 7-1. (Photo by Robert Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO - August 13: CC Sabathia of the Milwaukee Brewers pitches during the game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park on August 13, 2008 in San Diego, California. The Brewers defeated the Padres 7-1. (Photo by Robert Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Dairyland Madness continues with the second region of the first round, the Milwaukee Brewers. Make sure to vote to make your voice heard and get your favorite performances to the next round.

The Milwaukee Brewers have had a few spots of success in the past 20 years since 2000, highlighted by the MVP seasons of Christian Yelich and Ryan Braun.

Those two guys have had plenty of signature moments and games in Milwaukee, but so have some guys you might have forgotten about. These are the top 16 Milwaukee Brewers single-game performances of the 2000s.

Enjoy and be sure to follow the Twitter link at the bottom to cast your votes!

#1 C.C. Sabathia Complete Game 1-hitter 2008 vs. #16 Josh Hader Game 1 NLCS 2018

C.C. Sabathia’s few months in Milwaukee were a magical time. He had plenty of memorable performances here, but this one tops them all. In what could have very well been a no-hitter if a slow dribbler were declared an error, he was exquisite. He struck out 11 batters and only walked three in possibly the best pitching performance for a Brewer since Juan Nieves’ no-hitter.

Josh Hader was absolutely unreal in the 2018 playoffs. He didn’t allow a single run in 9 2/3 innings of work. Game 1 of the NLCS was his masterpiece. He threw three shutout innings against a stacked Los Angeles Dodgers lineup with names like Cody Bellinger, Yasmani Grandal, Manny Machado, Max Muncy, and Justin Turner. He threw flames the entire outing, striking out four hitters while getting an insane 15 swings and misses.

# 8 Ryan Braun 3 HR, 7 RBI game 2014 vs. #9 Christian Yelich 2nd cycle 2018

Ryan Braun’s career has been filled with crazy games and seasons. This day in early April was one of his best. He crushed three home runs over the wall at Citizens Bank Park and did it with runners on base, knocking in a total of 7 RBI on the day, tied for the franchise record in a single game.

Ok maybe this spot could have been Yelich’s three homer, seven RBI game, but hitting for the cycle, especially twice in one season is just plain crazy. There are other cycles on this list, but this one is the only one done in just four plate appearances. He also drove in four runs while doing it.

# 5 Christian Yelich 6-6 Cycle 2018 vs. #12 George Kottaras cycle 2011

Yelich’s first cycle was especially spectacular. He racked up six hits, a major feat just as it is, and hit for the cycle. He also knocked in three runs and scored two. This was at the beginning of what would come to be his amazing final month and the Milwaukee Brewers’ push to win the NL Central division as they won 13-12 in 10 innings.

Kottaras’ cycle was also in the thick of a Milwaukee Brewers’ playoff race, the most recent one before 2018. He did it in a September 3rd win over the Houston Astros. It did take him five plate appearances to do it as he went 4-5, but he also scored two runs and had 2 RBI.

#4 Yovani Gallardo CG, Shutout 2011 vs. #13 Prince Fielder 3 HR game 2011

Yovani Gallardo was a huge contributing factor to the Brewers’ playoff run in 2011 and had plenty of great games. This complete game shutout early in 2011 takes the cake. He faced 28 batters, only one over the minimum as he gave up only 2 hits and 2 walks the entire game and induced two ground ball double plays in a 1-0 win over the Braves.

2011 was full of signature performances for lots of members of the division-winning Crew. Prince Fielder had his in the penultimate game of the season, hitting three home runs as the Brewers were chasing the two seed and home-field advantage against the Diamondbacks in the Divisional round. He drove in five of Milwaukee’s six runs in the 6-4 victory over the Pirates.

#6 Brandon Woodruff 8 IP, 1 hit, 10 Ks, 2-3 2 RBI vs. #11 Ryan Braun Game 2 vs. Diamondbacks 2011 NLDS

After a shaky start to his season, Brandon Woodruff had a great run in May and most of June which propelled him to the All-Star game. His best was this near no-hitter against the Phillies. The only hit was a solo home run to backup catcher Andrew Knapp in the 6th inning. He also struck out 10 batters and did some work with the bat. He went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Braun had a great 2011 NLDS, hitting .500 for the series and this was his best game. He had three hits including a home run and a double, leaving him only a triple shy of the cycle. He also drove in three runs and scored two as the Brewers took game two 9-4 over the Diamondbacks.

#3 Richie Sexson, Jeromy Burnitz 3 HR Each 2001 vs. #14 Jody Gerut Cycle 2010

On September 25, 2000, Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz had one of the greatest games of any duo in baseball history. They both smashed three home runs and combined for 8 RBI between them. This was a bright spot and a fun 9-4 win in what was a miserable 68-94 season.

It took him six plate appearances, but Jody Gerut got his double in the top of the ninth when the Milwaukee Brewers rallied to get him up to bat when he was due up sixth in the inning and Joe Inglett reached on a 2-out single to extend the inning. A lot had to fall into place for that to happen, but it did and Gerut finished the day with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored.

#7 Ryan Braun 3 HR, 3B, 6 RBI 2012 vs. #10 Chad Moeller Cycle 2004

The last of Ryan Braun’s three performances on this list may be his best one. He racked up 15 total bases in one of the best offensive displays the game of baseball has ever seen. Of course, four home run games are viewed as more impressive, but triples are much more rare than homers, so hitting one along with three bombs is even rarer. He also totaled six RBI while doing so.

The final cycle in the bracket was the first to happen. In 2004, Chad Moeller got the cycle in his first four plate appearances. Then, in the bottom of the ninth, with a chance to tie the game with a home run, he reached on an error, somewhat sullying the great performance. Not to worry, though, fan-favorite Bill Hall hit a walk-off blast just three pitches later. Don’t be mistaken, Moeller kept them in the game with his 4 RBI and 1 run scored.

#2 Ben Sheets CG, Shutout, 18 Ks 2010 vs. #15 Junior Guerra 8 2/3 IP 2016

When I said earlier that Sabathia’s game might have been the best Milwaukee Brewers’ pitching performance since Juan Nieves, I knew Ben Sheets would have something to say about that. Sheets struck out 18 batters, an incredible feat as there have only been 12 games in the history of the MLB with more. He also only gave up three hits and one walk. The one setback is the one run he gave up in the form of a home run. I hope you can forgive that as the homer was hit by possible future Hall-of-Famer Adruw Jones.

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Junior Guerra was a bright spot in 2016, coming out of seemingly nowhere to become the Brewers’ ace. This game was the pinnacle of his success in Milwaukee. He pitched a stellar 8 2/3 innings, only giving up four hits, one walk, and one earned run in a 3-1 Brewers’ win. He also struck out five batters. Craig Counsell came out in the ninth, seemingly to pull him but gave him a pep talk and walked back to the dugout. He, along with all 29,442 fans in attendance wanted him to get to the finish line, but he couldn’t quite do it as he gave up a single to the next batter Starling Marte and had to be relieved by Jeremy Jeffress who threw one pitch to finish the game off.