Sep 24, 2014; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Milwaukee Brewers starting pitcher Kyle Lohse (26) sits in the dugout against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
With their tragic number sitting at one, meaning a single loss or San Francisco Giants win would end the Brewers playoff hopes, the Brewers were back at it Wednesday night in Cincinnati.
Corcino, a 24-year-old rookie from the Dominican Republic, was signed by the Reds in 2008 as an amateur free agent, has steadily moved through the Reds system over the last five years, making his major league debut this season.
His strike out numbers in the minors varied wildly depending on what level he was at, but he posted consistently high walk rates, which would be beneficial to the normal Brewers offense, rather than this abomination we’ve been treated to in September.
Tonight it looked more like the normal Brewers offense showed up, as the team drew 10 walks, scored five runs and even had a few extra base hits (something that has been sorely lacking in September).
To top it off, Lohse continued the rotation’s string of excellence with one of their best starts of the season, going the distance and earning a shutout in Milwaukee’s 5-0 win. The win was Milwaukee’s 81st of the season, guaranteeing at least a .500 record at season’s end.
Once again, neither team managed a run through the first third of the game, in fact, they combined for just three base runners in that span, with Jonathan Lucroy drawing a first inning walk, Rickie Weeks knocking a second inning single, and Jack Hannahan of the Reds knocking a third inning single.
Ryan Braun nearly put the Brewers on top in the third, but Billy Hamilton made a spectacular running, leaping catch to rob Braun of a home run. Hamilton hit in the bottom half of the inning, but later left the game with a concussion.
The Brewers finally squeezed out a run in the fourth inning. Aramis Ramirez knocked a one-out double to left and came around to score two batters later on a Rickie Weeks single to left.
Segura took second on a wild pitch and Kyle Lohse walked to put two men on. Ball four to Lohse was also wild, allowing Segura to take second. Carlos Gomez double to left to bring in Segura and move Lohse to third.
Ryan Braun walked to load the bases for Lucroy with one out. That was the last batter for Corcino, who gave way to J.J. Hoover to face Lucroy. Lucroy hit the ball hard but it was a line drive right at Jay Bruce and didn’t have enough distance to bring in Lohse from third.
Ramirez came up with the bases loaded and struck out to end an eight-pitch at bat, ending the inning with just the one run scored. The Brewers haven’t had a multi-run inning since September 14, 76 innings ago.
Hannahan picked up his second hit, and the Reds second hit, in the bottom of the fifth, but that was it for them in the inning, as Lohse had completed five shut out innings.
Neither team did much of anything in the sixth and Pedro Villarreal took over on the mound for the Reds in the seventh. The Crew loaded the bases for the second time in the inning, on an infield single by Segura, and walks by Gomez and Lucroy, but they couldn’t plate a run.
Lohse had a perfect bottom of the seventh on just eight pitches. Through seven innings he was sitting at just 78 pitches, running down “Maddux” territory.
Ryan Dennick came on to toss the eighth for the Reds and promptly walked Gerardo Parra and Weeks to lead off the inning. After a Khris Davis pop out to the catcher, Jean Segura knocked a two-run double left to put the Brewers up 4-0.
Segura took third on bad throw to the infield by Jason Bourgeois in left. Lohse followed with a deep fly ball to right to bring in Segura with the sacrifice to make it 5-0 Milwaukee. It was just the third time in 22 September games that the Brewers scored more than four runs.
Lohse needed a few extra pitches (all of 14 this time), but he put the Reds down in order again in the eighth.
Sam LeCure came on to pitch the ninth for the Reds. After a Braun ground out, Lucroy drew a walk, the Brewers 10th of the night but that was it for the Brewers in the inning.
Lohse returned to the hill for the ninth. Something called Tucker Barnhart (??) led off the inning with a ground out to second. Lohse struck out Chris Heisey for the second out, and Bourgeois grounded out to Weeks to end the game.
Lohse went the distance and allowed just two hits. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six. He needed 106 pitches, so he didn’t quite earn a “Maddux” but it was a great effort nonetheless.