Frustration, frustration, frustration! That is the gist of it after the Brewers lose 5-4 in eleven innings to the Cincinnati Reds. After being in control for much of the contest, Milwaukee blew it late. Inexplicable mistakes and poor fundamentals led to the Brewers downfall in this one. More on that to come.
Chase Anderson took the mound for the Brewers and Tanner Roark did the same for the Reds. Both pitchers were solid. Anderson was able to go 5 2⁄3 innings, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs while striking out 2. Anderson did allow the Reds to score first however.
In the bottom of the first inning, Nick Senzel led off with a single. Attempting to pitch around the single, Anderson got the next two hitters out. Eugenio Suarez, however, would go down and get a breaking ball that hung just enough that the Reds third baseman was able to barrel it and launch it into the left field seats for a two-run shot. The Reds took the early lead, 2-0.
Things got rolling for the Brewers in the top of the fourth. Christian Yelich launched his league leading 31st home run of the season to the opposite field to cut the Reds lead to one. As has been the case nineteen other times, that homer was just a solo shot for the reigning MVP.
The Brewers would tie the score in the top of the fifth. Eric Thames lifted a fly ball to left field that made it into the second row. Another solo blast for the Brew Crew and the 13th homer of the year for Thames.
In the top of the sixth, Yasmani Grandal induced a walk. Tanner Roark would next strike out Christian Yelich with a nasty breaking pitch. Unfortunately for Roark, his next pitch was not as effective. Mike Moustakas teed off on the Roark’s next offering, sending the pitch into the right field stands. The blast was Moose’s 24th of the season, and the Brewers were up 4-2.
The Brewers seemed in control for much of this game, but things started to go bad in the bottom of the sixth. In that inning with one out, Ryan Braun raced towards the barrier in foul ground in left field. He made a sensational catch, but injured himself on the play. Craig Counsell, not taking any chances, immediately replaced him with Ben Gamel. Counsell made the change via a double switch as he also took the opportunity to replace Chase Anderson with Freddy Peralta who was able to get the third out of the inning.
Ryan Braun makes sliding catch of Votto's foul drive down LF line and bangs into side wall. He comes up a big gimpy and will come out of game anyway in double switch with Freddy Peralta replacing Chase Anderson with two outs in the sixth.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 3, 2019
Peralta seemed to be pitching well in the seventh inning. Unfortunately, he located a pitch that Yasiel Puig was just not going to miss. Puig demolished the offering opportunity-style into the right field stands, and just like that the Reds were within one run. Yet even with the Puig homer, it still felt as if the Brewers were in control. That started to change in the eighth as the hustle and desire by the Reds, as well as the poor managerial decision making, inexplicable play by some of the players, and downright mishandling of baseball situations came and bit Milwaukee right in the keister.
Matt Albers took over in the bottom of the eighth and was able to get the first two outs of the inning. Nick Senzel battled Albers and eventually put the ball in play hitting a ball up the middle that Orlando Arcia was able to make a play. Arcia pirouetted and threw to first on a bounce, but Senzel was able to leg out the single with his exceptional speed.
With two outs and a runner on first, Craig Counsell elected to stick with Matt Albers as opposed to going with lefty, Alex Claudio, to face left-handed hitting Joey Votto. Votto made the Brewers pay with a double down the right field line. Senzel raced all the way around from first to score the tying run. Ultimately maybe what shoulda, woulda, coulda been a Brewers’ win ended up being a game that went into extra innings.
#Brewers manager Craig Counsell said he erred by not bringing in LHP Alex Claudio to face Joey Votto in eighth inning. Votto doubled in tying run, setting up extra innings. Claudio did come in to retire Votto in the 10th on Moustakas' great play in shallow LF.— Tom (@Haudricourt) July 3, 2019
As I mentioned, this game was as frustrating a game for a Brewers’ fan that there could be, but there was an exceptional play make in the bottom of the tenth. With Nick Senzel on first again, Joey Votto came to the plate. This time, Craig Counsell made a pitching change and replaced Junior Guerra with Alex Claudio. Votto flared a ball into no-man’s land in left field, and worse yet the Brewers were in a shift, but Mike Moustakas raced into the space a made a spectacular grab that seemed to save the game.
MOOSE JUST SAVED THE GAME!!!!!— FOX Sports Wisconsin (@fswisconsin) July 3, 2019
After Moose’s fine play, it felt as if the Brewers had taken the momentum back from Cincinnati. Unfortunately, the reigning MVP gave it right back. Leading off the top of the eleventh, Christian Yelich tried to beat the shift by laying down a bunt. For someone who did not watch the game, what I just wrote is hard to believe, quite possibly not to be even imagined. So I will repeat myself with a bit more detail. Reigning MVP, MLB leader in home runs, Christian Yelich bunted to lead off the top of the eleventh inning in which his team was tied.
The inexplicable decision on his part led to the first out of the inning as he bunted the ball right back to the pitcher. Moustakas and Manny Pina were up next and were quick outs for Red’s reliever, Raisel Iglesias The momentum that was, ended as quickly as it came.
To the bottom of the eleventh the two teams went, and Corbin Burnes took the ball. Burnes looked amazing. He over powered one of the hottest hitters in MLB, Eugenio Suarez, striking him out. He got Scooter Gennett to pop out. He had two strikes on Yasiel Puig and threw a slider that the Wild Horse just swiped at, because he was fooled so badly. So with an 0-2 count, Yasmani Grandal set up over the middle of the plate. Corbin Burnes threw a fastball over the middle of the plate. Yasiel Puig scortched the offering right back up the middle for a base hit.
Jose Iglesias was next. Burnes also got ahead early on the Reds’ shortstop, 0-2. Iglesias battled, and he battled until he was able to single into right field. Puig scampered to third, and everything unraveled. Christian Yelich threw the ball back into the infield missing the first cut off. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing as there is generally a second cut off in the form of the first baseman in such a situation. Unfortunately the throw short-hopped Eric Thames and got by him. If one is honest, the throw was nonchalant, and Thames made a poor effort to get in front of the ball. Yasiel Puig took advantage, scoring the game winner.
A frustrating effort by our favorite team won’t get us down though, at least not too much. They are back at it again tomorrow against the same team. First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 CT at Great American Ball Park. Fox Sports Wisconsin will cover the game on television as will WTMJ on the radio. Jhoulys Chacin will take the mound for Milwaukee. Sonny Gray will pitch for Cincinnati.