Brewers’ Cain battles through injuries, makes spectacular plays

Yasmani Grandal, Brewers catcher (↑ UP)

Grandal got the NL wild-card game started with a bang, homering on the seventh pitch of the evening after Max Scherzer walked Trent Grisham on six pitches. The veteran catcher was a valuable addition to the Brewers, finishing third on the team with 28 home runs and first with 109 walks after signing a one-year contract last winter. The two sides have a mutual option for the 2020 season.

 

Lorenzo Cain, Brewers outfielder (↑ UP)

It looked, for a moment there, like the Brewers might catch the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, and Cain deserves plenty of credit for forcing the issue. Already battling through a variety of injuries, Cain came up with two spectacular catches Saturday against the Colorado Rockies, ending the sixth win a diving catch and robbing a home run that would have tied the game for the second out of the seventh. The Brewers couldn’t hang on, the Cardinals kept their one-game lead and Cain eventually left with a sprained ankle. He returned in time for the NL wild-card game, hitting a single in the ninth.

Matt LaFleur, Packers coach (↓ DOWN)

LaFleur and the Packers didn’t exactly botch the Super Bowl when they attempted four consecutive passes on the goal line while down a score in the fourth quarter Thursday, but it was a Seahawks-like head scratcher regardless. They went back to the air on the Philadelphia Eagles’ 3-yard line with a chance to tie and less than 30 seconds remaining. Aaron Rodgers was picked off in the end zone after his pass attempt was batted up into the air on second down. To make matters worse, Davante Adams is set to miss time after suffering a toe injury.

 

Trent Grisham, Brewers outfielder (↓ DOWN)

Grisham’s season, which began in Double-A and ended with him leading off in the NL wild-card game, ended on a sour note Tuesday. The rookie right fielder misplayed a single after Josh Hader loaded the bases in the eighth. Three runs scored, as the Nationals took their first lead of the night, ultimately hanging on for the win. To his credit, Grisham handled the gaffe as best he could, addressing the media after the game.

 

Josh Hader, Brewers closer (↓ DOWN)

The Brewers were poised to cruise into the NLDS after Brandon Woodruff, Brent Suter and Drew Pomeranz shut out the Nationals through seven innings Tuesday night. It all came undone once Hader entered in the eighth, however. The Brewers closer struck out Victor Robles to start the inning, but appeared to hit Michael A. Taylor on the hand, a call Milwaukee unsuccessfully challenged. The Nationals eventually loaded the bases with two outs, before Soto’s single cleared the bases.