Coming into tonight’s game, the Milwaukee Brewers were trailing the St. Louis Cardinals and the Cincinnati Reds by one game for second place in the National League Central. With just seven games remaining and playoff spots and seeding at stake, this game against Cincinnati was pretty big.
The Reds came out of the gates fast. In the bottom of the first inning, Aristides Aquino led off by rolling over on a Brett Anderson breaking pitch that seemingly bounced harmlessly to Orlando Arcia. Unfortunately Arcia released his throw from an awkward arm slot and the ball sailed to the left and past Brewers’ first baseman, Jedd Gyorko. Aquino would end up and second.
The following hitter was Nick Castellanos. Castellanos took Anderson deep for the first two runs of the game. Fortunately, that would also be the only two runs the Reds would score, because Brett Anderson settled down and pitched well for the rest of the night. By the time he walked off the mound at the end of six innings pitched, he had given up just the two runs, which only one was earned. He also struck out seven, and kept the Brewers in the game against a pitcher that was dealing.
Brewers’ hitters were off balance for the much of the night against Sonny Gray. He was in cruise control for the first 4.2 innings he pitched. All of that changed however when the Reds’ starter threw a 2-1 fastball out over the plate to Tyrone Taylor. The young centerfielder deposited the pitch over the centerfield wall, and the Brewers were on the board.
In the top of the seventh, the Brewers offense came through. To no one’s surprise, Dan Vogelbach was involved. In fact, he led off the inning by slapping a single to left field. Jedd Gyorko followed with a line drive bullet that got into the left centerfield ally and resulted in a double. Vogelbach advanced to third, and he soon scored on a deep sacrifice fly by Orlando Arcia. Eric Sogard came up with what amounted to the game winning RBI as he laced a hit that got past Aqino in left field. Sogard trotted into second base, and Gyorko scored making it 3-2.
That score would hold up because the Brewers’ bullpen dominated. Devin Williams took over the seventh and eighth innings. After walking the first hitter he faced, Williams went on to strike out five of the six batters that made outs against him. The new star of Pitching Ninja tweets lowered his ERA to 0.36 after tonight’s outing.
Devin Williams, Airbender.— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) September 23, 2020
Josh Hader shut the door on the Reds in the ninth. Pumping 95-97 mph up in and out of the zone, the Reds hitters had no answer. For Brewers’ fans, his fastball velocity and location are very good signs that Hader is back to form.
Huge strikeout to end it and the secure the W.— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) September 23, 2020
That save means another $2,000 for the @Players4planet Save the Ocean program supported by @SCJohnson, @Bruter24, Corey Knebel and the Brewers! Click here to see past save highlights: https://t.co/IN8acaW19F pic.twitter.com/sZVO7KQ6uy
With the win, Milwaukee moves into a tie with the Reds, and the Brewers currently hold the #8 seed in the National League. Tomorrow’s game has extra importance, because if the Reds win, even if the Brewers have an identical record, Cincinnati would have the advantage over them in seeding or in terms of who is in and who is out. With that in mind, the game is pretty close to a must win for the Brew Crew to negate that advantage with a 5-5 record against Cincinnati.
Milwaukee sends Adrian Houser to the mound to face off with Trevor Bauer. Tune into Fox Sports Wisconsin or WTMJ 620 for coverage. Fist pitch is scheduled for 5:40 CT.