It started out as a good ole’ fashioned pitching duel on Monday night. The Brewers played the Cincinnati Reds to begin their last eight games of the regular season. All of them will be on the road.
No Runs Until the Fifth
Brandon Woodruff and Luis Castillo gave the kind of starts teams need when they are battling for playoff spots. Hits were scattered from both teams, but no one scored until the fifth inning.
Jedd Gyorko hit a solo shot to kick-off the inning. His 416-foot shot helped the Brewers score first.
Sixth Inning Troubles
After a lead-off walk by Christian Yelich, the Brewers were unable to capitalize. Ryan Braun hit a pop-up that should have been another home run, and Daniel Vogelbach hit into a double play.
The bottom of the sixth smelled troublesome for Woodruff. After a lead-off double to Nick Castellanos, a wild pitch let him take third with only one out. After a battle with Joey Votto that led to a groundout, Eugenio Suarez then came to the plate.
At pitch 100, Suarez hit a two-run shot to left-center to give the Reds a 2-1 lead.
Suarez somehow always has Milwaukee’s number. In just 88 games, he has hit 20 home runs against the Crew.
The Brewers had runners on second and third with one out in the seventh inning, but couldn’t bring in a run.
In the eighth, Yelich drew his second walk of the night with one out. Ryan Braun then hit into a double-play to end the inning.
The Reds extended their lead in the eighth inning. Curt Casali hit a home run right away off of Drew Rasmussen to make it 3-1. He then gave up another three-run home run to Mike Moustakas after being visibly off on the mound. It is not clear why Craig Counsell kept him in that long. It is understandable to not burn relievers right away in the series, but the Brewers also need to win games.
The Brewers did get two runs in the top of the ninth. Daniel Vogelbach started off with a single, but a bad at-bat by Keston Hiura and a strikeout by Jedd Gyorko led to two fast outs. Jace Peterson absolutely crushed a ball to make it 6-3, but that is where it would end.
Milwaukee falls in the series opener 6-3.
Seven left. There are seven games remaining in the regular season. Two more against the Reds and five against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Brewers have to win both series for a good shot to get into the playoffs.
Jedd Gyorko/Daniel Vogelbach. Both players should be on the 2021 team. The Brewers have control of Vogelbach through 2024, and they can easily afford Gyorko’s option for next year.
Let’s Win Tomorrow. If the Brewers can’t bounce back on Tuesday, they could be in for a very long week.