MVP: Rickie Weeks (+.209)
LVP: Marco Estrada (-.491)
It was a game of wasted opportunities for the Brewers, combined with some decent pitching through most of the game and bad defense by both teams.
The game got out to a fast start. The Brewers put two runs on the board in the first inning thanks to RBI singles from Corey Hart and Mark Kotsay. However, the Reds came back in the top of the second with three runs from a Fred Lewis double and Ramon Hernandez home run. The Brewers would tie it back up in the bottom of the second after Yuniesky Betancourt got on base and Shaun Marcum brought him home on a suicide squeeze bunt.
The game quieted down after the first two innings. While there were plenty of baserunners, neither team could capitalize on those opportunities. Shaun Marcum ended up pitching six innings in the game, allowing six hits, three runs (all earned), three walks and four strikeouts. Johnny Cueto matched him, with 6.1 innings pitched, six hits, three runs (all earned), four walks, and two strikeouts.
Let's fast forward to the ninth inning, still tied at 3-3. John Axford came in and had a 1-2-3 inning, assisted with a highlight catch from Nyjer Morgan. Weeks led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and got to second on an error by Bill Bray. Nyjer Morgan could not advance him on a sacrifice bunt attempt, but Corey Hart got him there on a fly out. He was stranded there after a Fielder intentional walk and Kotsay fly out.
Marco Estrada came in to pitch in the tenth inning, and Jay Bruce led off with a home run to take the lead. The Reds would add on four more runs with a combination of bad pitching from Estrada and bad defense from Betancourt and Craig Counsell. After the dust settled, ten players batted for the Reds, and the Brewers were down 8-3.
Francisco Cordero came in to pitch the bottom of the tenth. Josh Wilson led off with a double off of Cordero's shin, and Betancourt singled allowing Wilson to score. Cordero got three straight outs after that to end the game.
Both teams combined for six errors and twenty-four runners left on base. The Brewers were three for eleven with runners in scoring position, and runners were in scoring position in six of the ten innings tonight. While certain players will (and should) get the blame for this loss, in the end no one player is completely at fault.
The loss snapped the Brewers three-game winning streak, along with a nine-game winning streak on Saturday. With a walk-off win by St. Louis, the Brewers are tied again for the lead in the NL Central.
The Brewers can still get the series win with a win in tomorrow afternoon's game.