Aoki keeps doing everything right at the plate for Milwaukee (Frank Victores-US PRESSWIRE)

Recap On Tap: Brewers 8, Reds 4


Any questions about when the Brewers offense was going to come alive can be put aside – at least for now.

The Brew Crew’s bats were on full tilt in the final game at Great American Ballpark to pick up a win for Milwaukee starter Zack Greinke.

Greinke did not have his best stuff today, but it was enough to keep the hard-hitting Cincinnati lineup at bay as Milwaukee salvaged one victory from the Reds before heading back to Miller Park.

Perhaps the most surprising part about today’s 8-4 win over the Reds wasn’t the hitting itself, but rather who was doing it. Ryan Braun got a day off today, and Aoki took his spot in left field. It was a bit of different look for Milwaukee – a lineup filled with more contact hitters than power to face off against Cincy’s starter Homer Bailey.

The move paid off.

Aoki knocked two hits on the day and scored two runs. In fact, every Milwaukee Brewer save for Nyjer Morgan managed to collect a total of 11 hits on the day – including a two-run home run by Rickie Weeks that gave Milwaukee the intial lead. Weeks has managed to hit safely now in seven of his last ten games.

The early part of the game was filled with Brewers offense, which picked up a slightly off day from Greinke. While Greinke still managed to go six innings en route to a victory, he gave up two earned runs and only struck out three. It was no consequence, however, as Milwaukee’s bats from the second to the fourth compiled five runs, including an RBI single for Ramirez and two-run home run from Cody Ransom to left-center in the following inning.

The bullpen even played its part in securing the victory. Kameron Loe continued to seem a steadfast member of the bullpen with a shutout seventh inning that included a strikeout. Francisco Rodriguez gave up a run, but worked himself out of a jam to keep Cincinnati out of reach for a win. Livan Hernandez came into finish the game – but by then it was all but of reach, even with the last-ditch home run by Ryan Ludwick in the leadoff spot.

Before Livan was able to strike out the final two batters, the Milwaukee Brewers did what fans had

Greinke's performance wasn't the prettiest, but this time the offense was there. (Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE)

been waiting for the whole season – they put the game away in the ninth. Martin Maldonado singled to start off the inning, then a break finally went Milwaukee’s way as a sacrifice bunt from Cody Ransom led to a throwing error, allowing both runners to reach safely with no outs. After Gomez grounded into a double play – Ishikawa managed to plate Maldonado with a line-drive single. Three straight walks followed to score two more runners before the inning ended and the Brewers would tally eight total runs after the the three run inning.

It wasn’t a flashy way to bury an opponent, but it was smart baseball played by a team that looked cool under pressure. It was the type of inning that signified everything that could go right for Milwaukee this year – play smart, give the pitchers a chance to do well, and good things can happen.

A few home runs never hurt, either.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Cody Ransom Homer Bailey Martin Maldonado Milwaukee Brewers Norichika Aoki Nyjer Morgan Recap On Tap Rickie Weeks Ryan Braun Zack Greinke

  • thatonemlbguy

    Hooray a win!

  • beeker

    Congrats to the Brewers on a good win. I was able to go to this game. It was not the dominating performance I expected to see from Greinke. He had trouble with locating the strike zone. But while he was missing the zone, Bailey was in the zone but up, and the Brewers made him pay for it.
    It was an enjoyable game except for when Nyjer Morgan decided to shove a fan who got in his way as he reached into the stands for a foul ball. (If you didn’t see the game, you might not know that it happened. Video here: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=22633469&c_id=mlb) It wasn’t egregious, but it was petty and more fitting of a low-class team like the Cardinals and not the Brewers.
    I am not writing just to b**** and start a mud-fest. Despite being a division rival, I kind of like the Brewers and want them to do well because a Reds-Brewers pennant race would be thoroughly enjoyable. But Morgan is one of a few players around baseball whose arrogance repels my respect, and my already-low opinion of him sank even lower yesterday. I am curious what the general opinion of him is among Brewers fans. Is he a celebrated piece of the team? Or is he someone who makes fans uncomfortable at times and few would lament if he were traded?

  • Colin86

     @beeker Thanks for reading, and for posing the question. Nyjer Morgan is one very unique individual – but I believe his heart’s in the right place most of the time. He knows he’s not one of the best in the league, but that he can help a team win if he can make little things happen.
     
    He gets really excited about the little things.
     
    He’s a competitive guy, and he reminds me of my HS football coach’s mindset: “if you make a mistake, make a mistake at 100MPH.” Nyjer does everything at 100MPH. Sometimes it works out well (read:most of 2011), and sometimes it doesn’t (read: yesterday’s game at Cincy). We’ve seen other players argue with fans before, but Nyjer gets under a microscope because of his previous behavior. I think his heart’s in the right place, but his head isn’t always along for the ride if you get my drift.
     
    We need people with Nyjer’s mentality towards the game in order to be successful. We can do with less of his hijinks, but when he’s performing well it can be shrugged off. After all, he is playing a kid’s game. I don’t know how fans would react to him being traded, but I know there is a general sense of respect involved in the way he approaches the game and his willingness to own up to the fans about his general weirdness and be involved with them.
     
    Hope that answers your question (somewhat, at least) and thanks again for reading and contributing!

  • beeker

     @Colin86 Thanks Colin. That’s an answer I can respect. Sounds like he is the Cortland Finnegan of baseball: a guy who is easy to appreciate when he plays for your team and easy to dislike if he doesn’t.
    Keep up the good work! I’ll keep checking in.