The Cincinnati Reds swept a double header in Milwaukee against the Brewers on Thursday night behind huge days at the plate for Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker, and strong pitcher all around by the pitchers who gave up just one run across both games. The sweep moved the Reds into a tie with the Brewers for third place in the division, and saw them pick up two games on the second place Cardinals who were swept in a double header earlier in the day by the Pirates.

Game 1 Recap: Dingers and Pitching – the Reds win

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (12-17) 6 12 0
Milwaukee Brewers (13-16)
1 7 0
W: Sonny Gray (5-1) L: Houser (1-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Jesse Winker, Nick Castellanos, and Sonny Gray – if all three of those guys have big days it’s likely a good one for the Reds. And that’s just what happened. Nick Castellanos hit a home run that would have landed in Canada had the stadium not been in the way, and Jesse Winker homered twice as the Cincinnati #2 and #3 hitters combined for three homers, went 6-6 with a walk, and drove in five. Sonny Gray tossed 5.0 shutout innings and the bullpen took care of the rest as the team took game one of the double header.

The Offense

Everyone in the starting lineup except leadoff hitter Shogo Akiyama had a hit in the game. As noted above, Castellanos and Winker led the way and were the only players with multiple hits for the Reds in the game. Jose Garcia, Curt Casali, and Eugenio Suárez all had a walk to go with their hit in the game.

Jose Garcia made his Major League debut and singled in his first trip to the plate on a soft ground ball that slowly rolled up the line until it hit the third base bag and came to a stop. Later in the game he would add a walk, would add a stolen base, and he scored a run on a sacrifice fly.

The Pitching

Sonny Gray was exactly what you’d expect of the team’s ace. The right-handed starter threw 5.0 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks to go along with four strikeouts. He picked up his 5th win of the year, moving to 5-1 as he threw 85 pitches with 50 of those being strikes.

The bullpen covered the final two innings of the game. Nate Jones allowed a solo home run in 0.2 innings before handing things over to left-handed reliever Jesse Biddle who came in for 0.2 shutout innings of his own. David Bell handed the game to Robert Stephenson for the final two outs of the game as the righty took care of things in shutting down the Brewers.

Game 2 Recap: The offense, pitching keep rolling

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (13-17) 6 9 0
Milwaukee Brewers (13-17)
W: Sims (2-0) L: Lindblom (1-2)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

Wade Miley nearly matched Sonny Gray from game 1, throwing 4.0 shutout innings with just one hit allowed before handing over the game to the bullpen to try and hold onto a 4-0 lead. They did, and the offense built on their lead late with an Eugenio Suárez 2-run shot in the 7th.

The Offense

After a quiet 1st inning, they got to work in the 2nd. Kyle Farmer and Tucker Barnhart hit back-to-back RBI singles to make it 2-0. In the 5th inning they would play add on. Nick Castellanos doubled to bring Shogo Akiyama around from 1st base. Akiyama was initially called out at the plate, but upon replay review he was ruled safe thanks to an outstanding slide that saw him beat the tag by mere inches to make it 3-0. Jesse Winker followed with a double of his own to bring in Castallanos and make it 4-0. That’s where the score sat until the top of the 7th when Eugenio Suárez crushed a 2-run homer to make it 6-0.

The Pitching

Wade Miley needed a strong outing under his belt and the lefty got one. He gave up one hit, an infield single, in 4.0 shutout innings. Miley walked one batter and he struck out three before David Bell handed the ball over to Lucas Sims in the 5th. Sims went out there and took care of the Brewers in both the 5th and the 6th inning, firing 2.0 hitless frames with two walks and two strikeouts. That lowered his ERA on the season to 0.69 on the season. Raisel Iglesias came on for the 7th inning with the hopes it would be the last one of the game.

Notes worth noting

Jesse Winker now has more home runs as a designated hitter than any other player while wearing a Cincinnati Reds uniform. Hat tip to Joel Luckhaupt for that one, via the Reds television broadcast.

Sonny Gray extended his Major League record to 40 games in a row without allowing more than six hits in a start.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Friday August 28th, 7:10pm ET

Tyler Mahle (0-1, 4.41 ERA) vs Kyle Hendricks (3-3, 3.55 ERA)

26 Responses

  1. Jefferson Green

    31 base runners in 14 innings. Amazing how much better that looks and feels to watch. I’m ready for the hitting to be on a roll.

  2. Jefferson Green

    Reds win two while the Cards and Brewers each lose two. Good day!

  3. Amarillo

    We’ve played like trash the whole season, are 13-17, and only 1 game of playoffs. I’m not ready to give up on this season.

  4. bug

    So,..5-0 with Votto not in the lineup? Sounds about right. I’m glad it took 17 losses for Bell to figure that out.

  5. RedNat

    If you told me we would be 4-6 at the beginning of the road trip, i wouldn’t be thrilled, but i would take it. Now the question is can the offense stay hot enough to put together a real win streak?

  6. seadog

    Half way point of the season. Who is the MVP of this team. I would say Sims/Antone. Take your pick. Without these two. Where would they be?

    • Aaron B.

      Come on is this a trick question? Where would they be without Castellanos? And Winker would be a close second. Sonny Gray would get some votes too. The team has been bad but I am not voting for a middle reliever to be MVP lol.

      • JB

        Totally agree Aaron. Throw Bauer in there as well.

  7. Aaron B.

    Pretty early to give up on Akiyama… figure he would start slow being platooned and learning a new league… but he showed off his speed by scoring on that double in the 2nd game, and he has a short swing, I think he can figure it out and be a good leadoff guy at least in the platoon.

  8. Hanawi

    Putting Galvis at 1 is like putting a random dude from the Bats there. He’s better off on the bench.

  9. GreatRedLegsFan

    I hope Moose or Suarez (or both) start to hit soon to pair with Castellanos and Winker as the offensive workforce. Unless Votto shows some spark, it’d be very hard to justify his presence in the line-up, which needs Senzel back desperately. It was good to see Garcia finally in the bigs, where he should stay for good. Finally, Ervin’s days in the active roster should be ending very soon with a .324 OPS so far and Aquino waiting to replace him.

    • Jimbo44cn

      Not having Aquino on this team now is just not right. Something wrong there that no one seems to be talking about.

  10. Still a Red

    Are we seeing the Winker we all expected. Opposite field HRs against lefties, waiting on a hanging curve dbl down the right field line. Walks if need be. Sounds like he’s lost some of that goofy rah rah (which I really didn’t mind so much) and is intensely focused. I think being in the line-up every day has helped.

  11. Steven Ross

    I’d give Akiyama some slack. He’s never seen these pitchers before. What I like is that he usually puts the ball in play and busts in down the line. I think he’ll be fine at leadoff in time.

    100% agreement with Sam LeCure who questioned why Bell took Miley out of the game after only 4 innings. He was dealin’. Why Interrupt the flow? Thankfully, it worked out with Sims but another situation where I shake my head at a Bell decision.

    • Jefferson Green

      Miley said after the game that he told Bell that he was tiring (and knew that there were fresh BP arms to cover the 3 remaining innings). Lots of manager decisions involve info we fans never learn. In this case Miley spoke up, and we know Bell made the right move.

    • Jefferson Green

      Yes, listening to Sam has been great.

    • TR

      Give Shogo some time. i think he’s the real deal the Reds need in leadoff.

    • TR

      I also like Sam LeCure’s description of the game and his banter with Chris Welsh. I always remember how Sam kept the Reds in the 2012 playoff game at S.F. after Cueto went down after the second pitch. The Reds should have won it all that year, but that’s in the past.

    • Still a Red

      Turns out Miley strained his shoulder.

  12. Melvin

    Doug, is the email option for updated comments turned off?

    • Doug Gray

      That could be a possibility – I’m honestly not sure. You may have noticed the site go down a few times this past week. As a part of trying to troubleshoot exactly what’s happening I’ve been trying to turn off certain plugins to see how the site responds to heavier traffic. Right now the site is running about as basic as I can get it while still maintaining the core function. The one plugin that I suspect is the culprit, or at least a big part of it, handles all of the site stats (which I don’t have access to and let me tell you how much that sucks), blocking spam comments, and a few other little things here and there. That same plugin may be the one that also handles the email option for comments. I’m hoping to get it figured out sooner rather than later, but right now I simply can’t turn it back on because it seems that whenever I do, it doesn’t take hardly any traffic to cause the site to go down. Like, literally 100 people on it at a time makes it crash when the plugin is turned on, and in normal circumstances it should be fine to handle 5-10 times that many unless they are all trying to load the site within 5 seconds of each other rather than simply being on it.

      Sidenote – don’t start your own website. It’s an enormous pain in the butt.

      • Melvin

        haha Got it. I’ll take your advice. That makes sense then. Was just checking as it’s harder to follow all of the comments without it. I’m sure it will get fixed. Thanks for your help.