Brewers Offense Wastes Another Good Pitching Performance


Sep 23, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco (39) is congratulated by the third base coach Steve Smith (35) after hitting a home run during the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

We’re at the final week of the season, and today the Brewers took on the Cincinnati Reds in Cincinnati.

It was a matchup of aces with the Reds ace Johnny Cueto (18-9, 2.33 ERA), taking on the man who has been the Brewers best pitcher since he was recalled from AAA, Mike Fiers (6-3, 1.78 ERA).

As has been the case for most of the last few weeks, the Brewers pitching staff pitched a great game, but they got absolutely nothing from an offense that is playing worse than the franchise worst 2002 team, leading to a 2-0 Reds win.

The Brewers pissed away two base runners in the top of the first inning. Carlos Gomez led off with a single, but was promptly picked off by Cueto and caught stealing for the first out.

Scooter Gennett followed with a walk, and moved to second on a bad pickoff throw by Cueto. After a Jonathan Lucroy fly out, Aramis Ramirez singled to center and Gennett was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

The Reds, on the other hand, hit back-to-back two-out home runs in the bottom of the first to take a 2-0 lead. They were from Todd Frazier (28) and Devin Mesoraco (25).

Neither team made much noise in the next three innings. Through five innings it was still 2-0 and the Brewers didn’t see another base runner in that span. The Reds got a couple hits, but couldn’t crack Fiers.

Because of the Brewers anemic offense, Ron Roenicke lifted Fiers for a pinch hitter in the top of the sixth, but he picked Elian Herrera, because he is secretly trolling everybody. Fiers went five innings and allowed two runs on four hits and one walk. He struck out three.

After a line out by Jean Segura, and whiff by Herrera, Gomez belted his first home run (22) since August 20 to cut the lead in half.

Marco Estrada took over on the mound in the sixth. He set the Reds down in order to extend his scoreless innings streak to 13 2/3 innings. Of all the Brewers arbitration eligible players, he’s still the most likely to be non-tendered this offseason.

The Brewers built a threat off Cueto in the seventh. Lucroy led off with a grounder to the hole at short and Zack Cozart bobbled it and threw up the line, leaving Lucroy safe on the error. Aramis Ramirez followed with a single to move Lucroy to second. Unfortunately, Ryan Braun grounded into a 5-3 double play, erasing Lucroy at third and leaving Ramirez on second. Gerardo Parra popped out to third to end the inning.

Estrada set the Reds down in order again in the seventh, extending his streak to 14 2/3 scoreless innings.

The Brewers used two pinch hitters in the top of the eighth, but it was all for naught. Matt Clark struck out to lead off the inning, before Lyle Overbay grounded out to second pinch hitting for Jean Segura, and Khris Davis struck out pinch hitting for Estrada.

Jeremy Jeffress came out for the bottom of the eighth for Milwaukee. Brayan Pena pinch hit for Cueto to lead off the inning and double to left off the glove of a sliding Parra. Billy Hamilton bunted him over to third, on a blown play by Hector Gomez.

The corners pinched on the bunt, and Gomez went back to second base instead of going to cover third, allowing Pena to take third uncontested on a poor bunt. Jason Bourgeois singled to left to bring him in. Todd Frazier grounded into a double play on a 3-0 count to end the inning.

Aroldis Chapman came into the game to work the save for the Reds, 33-out-of-35 in save chances for the season. He hit Carlos Gomez with a breaking ball to lead off the inning. Rickie Weeks came in to pinch hit for Gennett.

Weeks struck out on a 102 mph fastball. Lucroy followed a seven pitch walk to bring up Ramirez with two on. Logan Schafer came in to run for Lucroy. Ramirez struck out swinging, and Gomez took third base on the whiff to bring up Braun who struck out to end the game.

Sixteen of Chapman’s 22 pitches in the inning were 100 mph or faster. The series continues tomorrow when Kyle Lohse takes on Daniel Corcino.