The Brewers won.
They need to win a lot more times.
I hope they do it.
It's not over.
FALLING ASLEEP TO THE SOUNDS OF A THUNDERSTORM: Neil Walker, +.261 WPA (2-for-3, R, BB)
WAKING UP TO A THUNDERSTORM IN A BAD TENT: Travis Shaw, -.215 WPA (0-for-4, K)
The Brewers and Reds traded runs in the fourth. Billy Hamilton broke up Brent Suter's perfect game with a single to lead off the inning, only to be picked off at first. That turned out to be very fortuitous for Milwaukee, as Patrick Kivlenhan followed with his ninth home run of the season.
The Brewers answered in the bottom half of the frame, with Domingo Santana scoring on Orlando Arcia's sacrifice fly after reaching on a hit by pitch.
Suter found himself in trouble in the top of the fifth, loading the bases with one out against the bottom of the order. He recovered in time to strike out the pitcher and Hamilton to keep the score tied.
Milwaukee rode the momentum to jump in front in the following frame, scoring two runs courtesy of some timely hitting and a misplay by Hamilton. Neil Walker doubled to center, with Hamilton's error allowing Sogard to score and Walker to reach third, from whence the latter subsequently scored on Ryan Braun's single.
The Reds answered immediately, taking advantage of Craig Counsell inexplicably leaving Suter in for the fifth with the straight hits. Counsell countered by bringing in Oliver Drake, who immediately allowed the tying run, surprising literally no one. Jered Hughes cleaned up the mess, leaving the bases loaded and preserving the tie.
Milwaukee hit right back, with Brett Phillips driving Arcia in with a double to the gap to reclaim the lead for good.
Counsell got wise and turned to the portion of his bullpen that actually gets out, and Cincinnati never reached base again as Milwaukee cruised to a desperately needed victory.
The Brewers are two back with three to play, so it will take at least one sweep for Milwaukee to force a Game 163 with the Rockies to reach the Play In Game against Arizona. The idle Rockies host the Dodgers, who have locked up home field through the NLCS, this weekend. The Dodgers won’t roll over, since they must still hold off the Indians, two back in the loss column, for the major’s best record now that home field advantage in the World Series has reverted to records in games that actually count in the standings. If the Rockies win their series with Los Angeles, they will reach the playoffs for the first time since 2009. If they don’t, Milwaukee has a prayer.
The Brewers, needing a series sweep in St. Louis to have any [realistic] hopes of reaching the postseason, will send Chase Anderson to the mound Friday night. Anderson’s breakout season has been filled with spectacular performances, and the Brewers will ask for at least one more as they try to save their season. Luke Weaver will oppose, and he’s 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA against Milwaukee in two starts this season. Weaver’s 11.0 K/9 ranks sixth among rookies this season. First pitch is at 7:15p.