The Brewers’ postseason run could happen without one of its top relievers.
Milwaukee clinched the NL Central division title on Sunday with an 8-4 win over the Mets, which meant there was cause for celebration.
Devin Williams, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, perhaps celebrated a bit too much and has paid the price as a result: It’s likely he won’t be a part of his team’s postseason run.
Devin Williams is being placed on the 10-day IL with a fractured right hand. He told us he had too much to drink after Sunday’s celebration, got upset about something and punched a wall with his pitching hand. He will need surgery.
“If I could take it back, I would.”
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) September 29, 2021
Devin Williams just told reporters he punched a wall following the clinch celebration Sunday after having a few drinks and fractured his right hand. The injury will require surgery and will likely end his season.
— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) September 29, 2021
Williams has been a key part of Milwaukee’s success each of the last two seasons, most notably in 2020 when he struck out over half of the batters he faced in 27 innings of work. For his efforts, he was named the top rookie and became the first pitcher to win the award without recording a save or making a start since its inception.
This year, he’s appeared in 58 games for the Brewers, striking out 87 batters in 54 innings, good for a rate of 14.5 K/9. He’s also converted on three-of-six save opportunities.
The Brewers have made the playoffs in each of the last four seasons, playing in 13 postseason games in that span. The bullpen has surrendered 22 runs in those 13 games, several of which were blown saves.
Their bullpen this season has been one of the best, with closer Josh Hader converting on 34-of-35 saves entering Wednesday’s games. He garnered his third All-Star nod and has struck out 15.2 batters per 9 innings.
Former All-Star closer Brad Boxberger, as well as Williams, have been integral to Milwaukee’s continued success this year. Now, with Williams out, more of a load will be placed on Boxberger and others to hold down the fort until Hader can shut the door. However, if there’s one thing postseason baseball is known for, it’s late-game heroics — be it pitching or batting — so there’s a likelihood Williams’ absence will be felt mightily.