|Cincinnati Reds (45-42)
|Milwaukee Brewers (53-36)
|W: D. Williams (6-1) L: B. Brach (0-1) S: J. Hader (21)
|Statcast | Gamecast Play-by-Play | RN Game Thread|
These upcoming seven games with the Brewers bookending the All Star break are sure to engender angst amongst those who live and die with each series. Short of losing all seven, it’s hard to see this series determining much. The fact is, this team is over .500 with a terrible bullpen and little contribution from Suárez, Senzel, Moustakas, a poor start of the season from Luis Castillo and repeated missed starts due to injuries to Sonny Gray. The Reds have kept their heads above water anyway. That tells me this next 7 games won’t seal the Reds’ fate. It’s what the Reds’ owner does or does not do that will.
The Redlegs loaded the bases when the first 3 batters reached, but came up empty when Joey Votto and Tyler Naquin struck out and Eugenio Suárez hit a soft liner to end the inning. Tyler Mahle returned the favor loading the bases in the bottom of the 1st, then fumbled a tapper in front of the plate, missing the force at home, and giving the Brewers their first run. Mahle would then walk Jace Peterson to plate another run. Brewers 2, Reds 0.
Second inning and the Reds would load the bases again with one out as neither pitcher had found his feet yet. Winker would strike out (he’s 2 for his last 26). Castellanos would also K, leaving the bases loaded for the second straight inning. Brewers pitcher Adrian Hauser had already thrown 51 pitches. Mahle would get out the bottom of the inning unscathed, but his pitch count was now 51.
Bullpen game not just on the horizon, but in the rearview mirror with the words OBJECTS MAY BE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR. Brewers 2, Reds 0.
Votto would drive a ball to the wall that right fielder momentarily had in his glove, but couldn’t come up with, resulting in double. Naquin would beat out an infield single. Suárez would hit into a 6-4-3 double play and following a Tucker Barnhart flyout, the Reds had now stranded 7 batters through 3 innings. Mahle would finish out the inning walking his 4th batter of the game and the pitch count was now up to 65. Brewers 2, Reds 0.
The Reds would load the bases for the 3rd time in the 5th inning, and manager Craig Counsell would signal the end of Hauser’s night with a tap on the arm. Jake Cousins would not be the answer for the Brewers as consecutive wild pitches and a Barnhart single would give the Reds the lead. Reds 3, Brewers 2.
But… in the bottom of the 6th, inclement leather would blow in and cost the Reds the lead. After a double by Omar Narváez, Keston Hiura would hit a deep fly ball to left that Winker Charlie Brown’d. Reds 3, Brewers 3.
With Mahle’s night done, Josh Osich would enter the game in the 7th and walk one, but get 2 outs before giving way to Art Warren. Warren would give up a stolen base, then a base hit to centerfield. But, Naquin would make a fine throw to Barnhart, who would make a fine tag to end the inning. Reds 3, Brewers 3.
It would unravel in the bottom of a 8th when Brad Brach gave up a 2-run blast to Avisail Garciá. Brewers 5, Reds 3.
Tyler Mahle’s night: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 6 K, 4 BB
Josh Osich: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 K
Art Warren: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 K
Brad Brach: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 K, 1 BB
Cionel Pérez: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 K, 1 BB
What Did We Learn Today?
Tyler Mahle is a keeper. After struggling early, he refused to give in. This is what you want to see from a veteran, but he’s a young guy who’s still developing. He and Miley have kept the Reds afloat.
We know how bad this bullpen is. I’d have more to say, but we’ve all watched it and wondered when/if ownership is going to support this team who seems to fight back every night in the face of a deficit. This isn’t like the past when the Reds would get behind and just fade. Most nights, their bats show up in the late innings.
Still, the Reds didn’t hit tonight. Two runs came on gift wild pitches. That was never going to get it done.
Jesse Winker’s final at bat was an object lesson on why this league needs robot umps.
On Deck for the Redlegs
Cincinnati Reds vs. Milwaukee Brewers
July 9 at 8:10pm ET
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