What is a pitcher to do against the Cincinnati Reds?
Apparently, they have to do far more than the Reds pitchers need to do against Milwaukee’s offense.
It was a nearly historic night for the Reds starter Bronson Arroyo – a pitcher who has gone the distance well against Milwaukee in the past few seasons – nearly no-hit the Brewers, carrying his bid through nearly eight innings.
That was not to be, as it looked like a game began anew in the last third of the game with a flurry of hits by the Brewers offense.
One more bad break – and one more bad pitch by Axford – sealed the fate of the Brewers as the Reds triumphed again to take the series, this time by a score of 4-3.
The second game of the Brewers-Reds series saw twenty Brewers out, and only one on base, through seven and one-thirds innings of play. Bronson Arroyo pitched masterfully – though he only struck out four – and had incredible defense behind him the whole way until the bats finally woke up.
It was only three hits – but it was enough to give the Brewers a rally and secure a no-decision for Marco Estrada, who made his first start after being placed on the Disabled List. The hit that beat back Arroyo’s attempt at the no-no was Taylor Green’s single – preceded by a George Kottaras walk and followed by Corey Hart’s two-RBI double. The Brewers were back in it after what seemed like a hopeless situation.
Norichika Aoki continued to shove off his sluggish performance by slamming a single to score Hart. In the course of four Brewers batters, Arroyo went from baseball history to just plain history. Brandon Marshall came in to relieve the starter, and finally stopped the slide by the Reds.
It should be mentioned that, though at the time Milwaukee was facing down quite a threat, their own pitcher was putting up a gem of his own. Marco Estrada went six innings on the night, and struck out a career-high 12 Cincinnati Reds. It was looking like another long pitching duel until a Votto double, a Phillips single, and a crushing Jay Bruce home run ended Estrada’s night. He could only sit and watch as the rest of the Brewers put up the support to end his bid at a loss.
The bullpen, unfortunately, did not hold up it’s end of the bargain.
John Axford came in to pitch the eight inning. In one pitch, the game was lost. A 95-MPH four seamer found its way into the stands of Great American BallPark. Even though Axford struck out the next two and retired the third batter on a ground out, the damage was done.
Aroldis Chapman closed out the Brewers in the ninth, and there was hardly a chance. Ryan Braun struck out to lead-off the last chance ups, followed by an Aramis Ramirez walk. The next two batters would go down swinging, and the series was handed to Cincinnati by less than two runs – the same old story for nearly the last ten games.