(WFRV) – Go directly to the World Series. Do not pass go, do not collect $200 has been the mantra for teams to eliminate the Milwaukee Brewers in the postseason.
It’s an unbelievable statement to hear, but every team that has eliminated the Brewers from the MLB Postseason has made the World Series.
Milwaukee hasn’t been a common name throughout history in the postseason, but recently, the team has been a playoff contender every year. Here is how the Reverse Curse has shaped out.
The reverse curse started back in 1981 when the Brewers played in the American League. The strike-shortened season saw Milwaukee reach the postseason but lose in Game 5 against the New York Yankees, who went on to sweep the Oakland Athletics and fall to the Los Angeles Dodgers in six games during the World Series.
A year after, in 1982, the Brewers found themselves in the postseason again and made it all the way to the World Series, to be heartbroken by the Saint Louis Cardinals after earning a 3-2 series lead. The Cardinals would go on to win the World Series in seven games.
It would be a long time before Milwaukee returned to the MLB Postseason, but off the back of CC Sabathia, the Brew Crew returned for the first time in 26 years in 2008. The Philadelphia Phillies would take down the Brewers in Game 4 before defeating the Dodgers and, eventually, the Rays in the World Series.
One of the most iconic World Series of all time was built off the back of Milwaukee’s defeat, as in 2011, the Saint Louis Cardinals took down the Brewers in a 12-6 Game 6 victory in the NLCS. The Cardinals would go on to play the Texas Rangers, a series that seemed to be all but over in Game 6 until David Freese stepped up to the plate. Freese hit a game-tying triple with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning before hitting a walk-off to force Game 7 in extra innings. St. Louis went on to win Game 7, collecting another World Series title.
After a couple of up-and-down years for the Brewers, the team eventually found their way back into the postseason in 2018 off the back of Christian Yelich and Josh Hader. From the iconic Game 163 at Wrigley Field to clinch the NL Central Division against the Chicago Cubs, the Brewers took care of the Colorado Rockies in the NLDS, leaving only the Los Angeles Dodgers on their path to a World Series. Brandon Woodruff’s unbelievable home run off of Clayton Kershaw was a memory that Brewers fans won’t ever forget, and after forcing a Game 7, the Brewers entered with confidence. An early home run by Christian Yelich had fans buzzing, but it was all for not, as the Dodgers would come back and beat Milwaukee to advance to the World Series. The Dodgers were the only other team to lose in the World Series, as Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox looked like the buzzsaw they were handling the Dodgers.
The Brewers returned to the postseason as a Wildcard team in 2019, where they faced Max Scherzer, Juan Soto, and the Washington Nationals. The Brewers jumped on Scherzer early to give them a lead, but Milwaukee blew the game in the bottom of the eighth after a costly error from Trent Grisham. Now, nobody expected Washington to go very far, but you guessed it. The Nationals beat the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLDS, swept the Cardinals in the NLCS, and shocked the Houston Astros in the World Series after being down 3-2. All seven games in that World Series were notably won by the road team.
The COVID-19-shortened season saw Milwaukee enter the postseason at 29-31, so nobody expected much from the Brew Crew. After losing to the best team in baseball that year, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Boys in Blue went on to beat San Diego in the NLDS, survive against the Braves in Game 7 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, and win the World Series over Tampa Bay.
2021 saw a matchup between the Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. After taking Game 1, the Brewers went scoreless the next two games before falling in Game 4 after a bottom-of-the-eighth-inning home run by Freddie Freeman. The Braves went on to shock the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS 4-2 and beat the Houston Astros in Game 6 of the World Series.
Now, in 2023, the reverse curse continues. Milwaukee hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks in a best-of-three wildcard series at American Family Field and rallied from down multiple runs to stun the Brewers. The D-Backs rode the hot streak and shocked the Dodgers through an offensive barrage, especially against Clayton Kershaw, who only got through one out. After falling behind 0-2 against Bryce Harper and the Philadelphia Phillies, the Diamondbacks showed no quit, and Ketel Marte helped pursue a Game 3 victory to bring the series to 2-1 in favor of Philadelphia. The D-Backs won once more at home and then two on the road to beat the Phillies in seven games to advance to the World Series.
To wrap things up, the Brewers have made the postseason nine times, and each team playing Milwaukee has made the World Series, where they hold a 6-2 record. The Diamondbacks are scheduled to play the Texas Rangers in Game 1 on Friday.
As for the reverse curse, we’re still not sure whether to laugh or cry about it…