Final R H E
  Milwaukee Brewers (81-78) 3 6 2
  Cincinnati Reds (74-85) 5 10 0 
W: Holmberg (2-2)    L: Gallardo (8-11)     S: Chapman (35)
 FanGraphs Win Probability |  The Worldwide Leader’s Box Score    |   Game Photos

Today’s game is an example of what our team was supposed to look like all year. Games like this one, Johnny Cueto’s 3-1 win on Tuesday and the 7-2 win over St. Louis on Sunday when the Reds got homers from Todd Frazier, Devin Mesoraco and two from Jay Bruce. This was supposed to be a team that could win with offense or top-notch starting pitching.

David Holmberg gave up two runs and allowed only four base runners in six innings. He struck out two. This was Holmberg’s *fourth* consecutive start giving up two runs or fewer. Those four games were against teams in postseason contention — Milwaukee and St. Louis.

The next time you hear someone assert that competent Major League pitching is an irreplaceable scarce resource that has to be hoarded, politely disagree and welcome that person to the hitting-starved decade of 2010s. I’m not saying the Reds should necessarily trade a starting pitcher in the offseason (much more on that next week), but if fear of a trade like that paralyzes you, think of Tony Cingrani replacing Cueto in 2013, of Alfredo Simon replacing Bronson Arroyo and Mat Latos in 2014 and of Holmberg and Dylan Axelrod replacing Homer Bailey the past few weeks.

Brandon Phillips hit his first home run since June 28 (video). He has eight this year. Bruce was 3-for-4 with a double (video of RBI single). Yorman Rodriguez and Brayan Peña each had two hits.

Phillips and catcher Tucker Barnhart combined for a sharp defensive play in the fourth inning, preventing a run (video). Phillips fielded a sharp ground ball off the bat of Aramis Ramirez and fired a throw home. Barnhart fielded a low throw and stretched out to tag the streaking Ryan Braun just as he reached the plate.

Aroldis Chapman earned his 35th save, pitching his 52nd inning of the season (about the same number as Holmberg and Daniel Corcino combined) although he seemed to struggle with his health a bit. Chapman has now faced 195 batters this season, striking out 101. Think about those numbers. That strikeout-rate of 51.8 percent is the all-time best for any major league pitcher with more than 50 IP in a season (previous record 50.2 percent, Craig Kimbrel, 2012).

The win over the Brewers knocked Milwaukee out of contention for the postseason. The Reds won the season series 10-9 over the Brew Crew.

Now the Pirates come to town for three games and the Reds have a chance to spoil their plans, not only for the NL Central championship, but also for hosting the play-in Wild Card game.