August 16, 2013 – Reds @ Brewers – 8:10pm – Fox Sports Cincinnati
Reds Record (69 – 52)
Away Record (32 – 32)
Brewers Record (52 – 69)
Home Record (27 – 32)
Starters: Leake (10 –5) vs. Gorzelanny (3 – 4)
The Setting: I am watching this game at home while my weekend kicks off. I am heading to Virginia in the morning for my wife’s family reunion, but tonight is all about relaxing at home with the Reds game on.
The Game and Analysis:
•This was a back and forth game that saw the Reds take a one run lead into the bottom of the ninth inning. Aroldis Chapman came in for the save, but the Brewers had other plans. Chapman faced two batters and recorded no outs as Jonathan Lucroy hit a two-run walk off home run to give the Brewers a 7 – 6 win.
•The Reds opened the scoring in the top of the first inning. With two outs, Joey Votto drew a walk and went to second on an infield single by Brandon Phillips. Jay Bruce then drew a walk to load the bases and Todd Frazier drove in Votto and Phillips with a single to center. Devin Mesoraco struck out to end the inning, but the Reds had a quick 2 – 0 lead.
•Juan Francisco put the Brewers on the board in the bottom of the second with a solo homer. Francisco’s opposite field shot looked like a pop up coming off his bat, but it kept carrying and scraped over the wall in left field. Though the Brewers would threaten further in the inning, that was the only run they would get and the score was 2 – 1 after two innings.
•The Brewers put three runs on the board in the third inning as they took the lead in the game. Jean Segura hit a one out triple and scored on Lucroy’s single in the next at bat. The score was tied 2 – 2. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single, and Lucroy moved up to third on the next at bat when Francisco lined out to left field. Khris Davis would double in Lucroy and Ramirez, and the Brewers had the lead 4 – 2.
•Frazier picked up his third RBI of the night with a solo home run leading off the fourth inning. Please let Frazier start heating up! That would be all the Reds would get in the inning, notching the score at 4 – 3.
•In the fifth inning, Shin-Soo Choo led off with a single and Chris Heisey followed with a two run homer to left-center field to put the Reds back ahead 5 – 4. Phillips would draw a walk later in the inning but would be picked off first base for the final out.
•The Reds came up big on defense in the bottom of the fifth to preserve the lead. Lucroy singled to begin the inning. With two outs, Davis singled to put runners on first and second. Scooter Gennett then singled up the middle and Choo came up firing home. Lucroy held up and went back to third, but Davis was nearly to third base and had to retreat to second. Mesoraco fired the ball to Phillips at second, and Phillips started running down Davis. The only problem was Lucroy stayed put on third, and then had to make a break for home when Davis began to occupy the bag. Phillips chased Lucroy toward home then tossed the ball to Mesoraco to finish the routine 8-2-4-2 putout.
•Segura tied up the game in the bottom of the sixth with a single off reliever Alfredo Simon. Logan Schafer walked to lead off the inning. Pinch-hitter Jeff Bianchi bunted Schafer to second. After Norichika Aoki lined out, Segura hit his RBI single and went to second on the throw home. He would then steal third base, but was stranded there when Lucroy lined out to end the inning.
•The Reds took the lead back in the seventh inning. Heisey singled and stole second base, and Votto drew a walk. Phillips flied out to right field, then Bruce grounded into a fielder’s choice to force Votto out at second. With two outs, Frazier came up big again, singling in Heisey for a 6 – 5 Reds lead. It was Frazier’s third hit and fourth RBI of the night.
•The bullpens finally put a stop to all of the offense, keeping the score frozen for the next several half-innings. This set up the bottom of the ninth, where Chapman came in for the save. Chapman threw seven pitches to Segura who reached on an infield single to short. All seven pitches were fastballs, and none were faster than 98mph. Lucroy came to the plate, bringing with him an 0 – 5 history against Chapman, having struck out in all five at bats. Chapman stayed with the fastball, which creeped up to 99 on the radar gun during Lucroy’s at bat. After the first pitch was a ball, Lucroy fouled off five straight pitches. Having no luck throwing a fastball past him, Chapman decided to throw his slider. Lucroy decided to hit a mammoth walk off home run for the 7 – 6 Brewers victory.
What Worked: The Reds had a pretty good night on offense, scoring six runs. Frazier picked up three of his four RBI with two outs.
What Didn’t Work: Mike Leake only lasted five innings and was knocked around a bit. Chapman didn’t record an out in blowing the save opportunity.
Where They Stand: The Reds are 69 – 53 and trail the Pirates by 3.5 games and the Cardinals by 0.5 games in the NL Central.
Overall Thoughts: The Reds have lost too many of these games this year. I hate to take away from Milwaukee’s win tonight, but the Reds are clearly a batter team and the let Milwaukee steal one from them. The club was making up some ground on the teams ahead of them, and then dropped a game when they really needed it. A victory tonight would have jumped the Cardinals for second place and the first Wild Card spot. At least I don’t have to drive for nearly seven hours tomorrow. . .oh wait!
Up Next: Game three of this four game set is tomorrow night.