The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Chicago Cubs 3-1 on Monday, earning them the 2018 National League (NL) Central division crown. The Brewers had previously won the Central just once — that back in 2011. 

By virtue of having the best record in the NL, the Brewers will now host the winner of Tuesday’s NL Wild Card Game between the host Cubs and the Colorado Rockies and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Milwaukee’s other division crown came as a member of the American League East, back in 1982. Remember Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, Jim Gantner and Gorman Thomas? The Brewers of course moved to the American League Central for a number of seasons before ultimately switching to the NL Central following expansion in 1998.

But this team has a new batch of stars in Christian Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Orlando Arcia, Josh Hader and others.

Yelich, in all likelihood the NL most valuable player,  came up short in his pursuit of winning the first NL Triple Crown in 81 years, but he padded his numbers all the same. Yelich went 3 for 4 with three singles, including one to put Milwaukee ahead 1-0 early on. He’ll finish the season with a .326 average, giving him the NL batting title.

Meanwhile, Cain, Milwaukee’s other big off season addition, knocked in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Ryan Braun then added an insurance run with a single of his own. 

Defensively, Brewers starting pitcher went five innings for manager Craig Counsell, who then went to Xavier Cedeno and Joakim Soria to close the sixth in what was a tied game. Hard thrower Corey Knebel then worked the seventh. 

Once the Brewers took the lead, Counsell turned the game over to Hader, who struck out three of the first six batters he faced. He allowed no base runners before yielding a two-strike, two-out hit to Javier Baez in the ninth. The Cubs never had a chance to tie the game with a swing until then, with Anthony Rizzo up. Hader would retire Rizzo on a warning-track flyout. Counsell didn’t even have to call upon his closer of late, Jeremy Jeffress.

But the surprise player of the game may have been Arcia, who recorded four hits and scored twice, including the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. For perspective, Arcia had never recorded a four-hit game in his career. And that’s the type of thing that happens in post-season play. There will be unlikely heroes.

Now Brewer fans can prepare for the next game as the Brewers will play in the National League Division Series starting this Thursday, Oct. 4, at Milwaukee against the winner of Tuesday’s wild card game.

There’s nothing like baseball in October.