Roundup of Brewers clinch coverage

(AP Photo/Morry Gash) was stocked with coverage of another wild night at Miller Park, and for the click-challenged, here’s a roundup. You can click on the bolded headlines to see the full story:

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)

– The game story:  It was 2008 all over again on an exhilarating Friday night at Miller Park, down to the eighth-inning, hysteria-inducing Ryan Braun home run and the tense moments that followed while the Brewers’ postseason fate was sealed hundreds of miles away.

The hero: On Sept. 23, 1957 at County Stadium, Hank Aaron stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 11th inning and clinched the Milwaukee Braves’ first National League pennant with a two-out home run. Fifty-four years to the day after Aaron’s clinching homer, Braun hit one of his own.

The big picture: Braun and Prince Fielder supplied all of the offense Friday with home runs, but the story of the 2011 Brewers is a story of pitching. Credit GM Doug Melvin for making some bold moves to position the team to win its first division crown since 1982.

The column: For the first time since 1982,’s Mike Bauman wrote, the Milwaukee Brewers have become division winners. That is the primary thing that emerged from the happy delirium of Miller Park Friday night. The other thing that came out of this evening was that Francisco Rodriguez can say whatever he wants, whenever he wants, in Milwaukee for the rest of his life.

The co-closers:  When Melvin made the deal with the Mets for Francisco Rodriguez, the Crew envisioned a dominant back end of the bullpen duo in Rodriguez and closer John Axford. As the Brewers clinched the National League Central title Friday night, they got exactly what they were looking for.

The multimedia:  We have photos and postgame video (featuring Bill Schroeder and Telly Hughes getting doused) from inside the clubhouse, where the Brewers happily did some damage Monday night. If you click here, you can see Braun’s big home run with calls from TV man Brian Anderson and Hall of Famer Bob Uecker, plus the scene at Miller Park as the Cardinals game ended in St. Louis.

The next step: Bring on the Braves. Or the Phillies. Or the D-backs. The Brewers don’t yet know their first-round playoff opponent, but as of Friday night, it was down to three scenarios. You can find the full Major League Baseball postseason schedule here.

The new goal: Fresh off capturing their first division crown since 1982 on Friday night, the Brewers will send right-hander Zack Greinke (15-6) to the mound to face the Marlins, as they now seek to secure home-field advantage in the playoffs.

“Hopefully, our intensity is as high as ever,” Greinke said. “We should be good. I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

The rally: The Brewers will celebrate their first division crown since 1982 with a playoff rally on the Summerfest grounds on Thursday, with tunes from the band Five for Fighting. The free event is from 4 p.m.-7:30 p.m. CT at the Miller Oasis.

The gear: Hey, it’s not a clinch without some merchandising. Fans can buy the same gear players were wearing on the field during their celebration, minus the sticky stink of champagne.

(AP Photo/Morry Gash)


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