The Milwaukee Brewers clinched a playoff spot last night with their win over the Cincinnati Reds. Not to be content with the Wild Card, the Brewers have set sight on the NL Central crown. If Milwaukee could sweep Cincinnati today, the Brew Crew would move within one game of St. Louis for the NL Central lead. With Ryan Braun, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas getting the day off as well as Luis Castillo getting the start for the Reds, it would likely be an uphill battle for Milwaukee.
Cincinnati got things started in the bottom of the first. Astrides Aquino launched his 18th home run of the season, just inside the left field foul pole. The Reds were up early 1-0.
Milwaukee came back with a big fourth inning. Luis Castillo was cruising along when he suddenly lost the strike zone. He walked three Brewers’ hitters to load the bases (there was a force play in between walks). Orlando Arcia came up huge. He hit a line drive that came off the glove of centerfielder, Phillip Ervin. The result was a base clearing double. Ben Gamel followed with a double of his own that scored Arcia, and suddenly the Reds were down 4-1.
The Brewers tacked on one more run in the fifth. As has been the case a lot, Yasmani Grandal got things going with a walk. Keston Hiura followed with a single, and Manny Pina scored Grandal.
The Reds would score two more times, once in the sixth and once in the eighth. With the game on the line in the eighth and the Reds threatening, Craig Counsell brought in Josh Hader. After allowing Devin Williams to intentionally walk pinch hitter Eugenio Suarez, Counsell made the move. To make things interesting, Hader hit Christian Colon to load the bases. Fortunately he got Jose Peraza to fly out.
Coming back out for the bottom of the ninth, Hader struck out Joey Votto. He got Aquino to pop out, and he struck out Alex Blandino. With that, Josh Hader got his 37th save on the season, and the Brewers got another sweep in September.
With the win, the Brewers are 18-2 in their last 20 games. Food for thought, this run by the Brewers is reminiscent of the 2007 Colorado Rockies that rode their end of season run all the way to the World Series.
Speaking of the Colorado Rockies, the Brewers head to Denver for their last series of the regular season. Game time for the tomorrow is 6:10 CT. Zach Davies will take on Antonio Senzatela, as the Brewers continue their march toward an NL Central crown and the playoffs.