Win: Francisco Rodriguez (5-5)
Loss: Jumbo Diaz (0-1)
HR: Kristopher Negron (5)
For the first time in what seems like quite a while, Kyle Lohse had a really nice start. He's one of the most steady and consistent, if not spectacular, guys on the Brewers' staff, but had allowed 12 runs in 9.2 innings over his last two outings. To be fair, he looked good against the Padres on August 25, but, I mean, it's the Padres.
Today, Lohse let Kristopher Negron hit a first inning home run to give Cincinnati an early lead. I don't know who Kristopher Negron is. I think he's the Reds version of Matt Clark in that he's older (28) and is getting his first real shot in the majors this year. But he hasn't hit like Clark, like, at all. He has a career 683 OPS in the minors. But, he's speedy and plays lots of positions. Billy Hamilton is also speedy and doesn't have a lot of power and he's hit about a dozen home runs against the Brewers this year alone. I guess maybe he's teaching Negron something.
Anyway, Negron hit a solo homer for a 1-0 lead because of course he did. After that, however, Lohse settled down. He was also aided by a bit of offense in the fourth inning. Carlos Gomez led off the inning by reaching second on a wild pitch strike three (#justCarlosGomezthings). A Jonathan Lucroy single would score him. Lucroy himself would come in later in the inning on a Ryan Braun single to give Milwaukee a 2-0 lead.
Lohse stuck it out into the seventh inning, but left with two outs after a single, a walk and two fly balls ended up tying the game. He left the game in the hands of Brandon Kintzler with two down and runners on the corners. As every Brewers fan prepared to let loose with a stream of cuss words, Kintzler managed to strike out Devin Mesoraco to end the threat.
The Reds threatened again in the ninth with Francisco Rodriguez sent out to keep the game going, getting runners on the corners again with two outs. Rodriguez got a fantastic called strike three on the inside half of the plate against Jack Hannahan to end the inning.
That gave the Brewers an opportunity to walk off with their third straight victory, and they took it. Jonathan Lucroy hit his 51st double -- tying Yadier Molina for the most hit by a catcher in a season -- to lead off the inning. He then moved to third on an Aramis Ramirez grounder to bring up none other than Ryan Braun who, despite his unBraunesque season, was intentionally walked to set up a double play. Logan Schafer then came on to run for Lucroy.
The Reds weren't comfortable with two runners on base, so they walked Gerardo Parra intentionally as well to load the bases. That brought up Lyle Overbay with one out, a tie game, and the bases juiced. With only a decent fly ball needed to win the game, Overbay drilled a ball into the gap off Jumbo Diaz to bring home Schafer for the walkoff win.
A walkoff win.
Four days ago, I wouldn't have thought the Brewers were capable of it. Hell, I'm not sure I would have had faith in them to come back from a 1-0 deficit in the first, that's how bad things started to look.
But now, the Brewers have won three consecutive games and just won on a walkoff. Things are turning around. The Brewers are picking up steam. Look out, you Braves. Look out, you Pirates. And, dammit, you better look out Cardinals. A Brewers team getting hot is a Brewers team that can take on each and every one of you.