One week ago…
Adam Brett Walker & the Milwaukee Milkmen were in dire need of a victory. A rough August had pushed them into third place with the threat of dropping into fourth. With a pivotal four game series with the Goldeyes, Milwaukee would need to hold strong or see themselves on the outside looking in to playoff contention.
The series did not start out well. The Milkmen dropped games 1 & 2 in a day night doubleheader. They would either have to turn things around in game 3 or see a promising season deteriorate into huge disappointment.
A season-saving walk off
The game began on a promising note. Walker led off the scoring with a single to score Brett Vertigan. Two batters later, Christian Correa singled to left field to drive in Logan Trowbridge and Mikey Reynolds. The Milkmen would see another run cross homeplate in the 4th via a Trowbridge fielders choice to make the score 4-0.
But in the top of the third the game took a sharp turn. Winnipeg’s Max Murphy & Kevin Lachance each hit a solo homerun. Though he was able to get the first two outs, pitcher Chris Young was unable to retire another batter. A Walk, single, error, walk, two wild pitches, led to an Austin Rei single which completed a five run inning.
Immediately in the following frame, Cole Sturgeon would answer with a solo homerun to tie the game at 5 then in the 4th Vertigan hit a sacrifice fly to go up 6-5.
The score was unchanging until the 8th when the Goldeyes put two runs on the board to take the lead. The Milkmen responded by tying the game going into the 9th. Raul Navarro of the Goldeyes would fire back with a double to score teammate Kevin Lachance for the go-ahead run, 8-7.
With the threat of dropping another game to the chasing Goldeyes, the Moo-Crew responded with the same cast of characters we have come to know and love; A Vertigan single to bring the winning run to the plate and then with one out the kid they call “Walk-off” Walker came up to the plate.
Adam Brett Walker II does it AGAIN❗️
The @mkemilkmen pick up a HUGE win at home to stay in the thick of the playoff race in the North👇
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) August 26, 2021
Nope-this is not a recycled story. Adam Brett Walker won the game for his team AGAIN And in this effort most definitely saved the season.
A momentum shift
To speak to the further impact of the comeback game, the Milkmen would win three of their next four games.
The following game, Milwaukee would score 19(!!) runs. Catcher Christian Correa had himself a career and franchise record day with 2 homeruns & 9 runs batted in.
3-for-6, 2️⃣ HR, 1️⃣ 2B and a record-tying 9️⃣ RBI 😳
HAVE A NIGHT, @chrisbaseball7 🥛
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) August 27, 2021
Milwaukee would host Kane County for the final regular season series at Franklin Field. The offense would pick up right where they left off the previous game by posting 9 runs which was more then enough for pitcher David Holmberg who twirled 7 innings and struck out 9.
The Cougars took the middle game, 3-2, but the rubber match went to the Milkmen in a final of 6-3 to close out the homestand.
A look at the playoff picture
As of August 30th, the North division is the Chicago Dogs to lose. 2.5 games back are the Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks with the Milkmen 3.5 back.
Seven games remain for Milwaukee, but all of them are on the road. The first three will be against the Lincoln Saltdogs who are also trying to hold onto to their third seed in the South Division. The final four are against the Gary SouthShore Railcats are sit in last place in the division.
If the standings remain unchanged by the end of the week, the RedHawks would host the Milkmen for a one game play-in to decide who plays the Dogs.
A Homerun chase
In all of the dramatics of a playoff chase, there is also a homerun record at stake that ABW is close to breaking.
The single season homerun record for the American Association is 31 hit by Chicago Dogs Keon Barnum in 2019.
— American Association (@AA_Baseball) August 30, 2021
While Walker is three homeruns away from setting a new record, he’s got company. Kyle Martin (Goldeyes) & Jose Sermo (Explorers) sit one homerun back of Walker with a week to go.
Stay tuned for the conclusion of this season….
A lot can happen in the next week as far as playoff seedings! Keep up to date by following the Milkmen, Wisconsin sports heroics & myself on Twitter @WordOfThe_Weiss!
Numbers courtesy of pointstreak & the American Assoication.