|Milwaukee Brewers (27-27)
|Cincinnati Reds (28-28)
|W: Anderson (4-3) L: Antone (0-3) SV: Hader (11)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Cincinnati’s 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers tonight sets up what can only be described using the inimitable words of Marty Brennaman as a “titanic struggle” Wednesday night.
The Reds and Brew Crew are back to being virtually tied with .500 records. The finale of the three-game series and of the home schedule for Cincinnati will pit right-hander Trevor Bauer pitching on only three days rest against Brewers righty Adrian Houser. Whichever team wins Wednesday’s game takes one big step toward a playoff berth, while delivering a swift kick to the other team’s hopes.
With the teams virtually tied after tonight’s result, Cincinnati still holds a lead over Milwaukee in the tiebreaker, which is the record in NL Central division play. After tonight’s result, the Reds’ division record is 20-19, and Milwaukee’s is 17-17. A win over the Brewers Wednesday would put the Reds’ intra-divisional record at 21-19, and that’s where it would stay since the last three games are against American League foe Minnesota. A Wednesday loss would drop Milwaukee to 17-18 in the division, meaning they would need to sweep five games from St. Louis this weekend to overtake Cincinnati in the tiebreaker.
And, a win Wednesday would put the Reds one game ahead of Milwaukee in the overall standings, but in essence, two games ahead because of the tiebreaker going an additional game in their favor. However, if Milwaukee wins Wednesday, the unfortunate truth is that the Reds will be fighting for their lives and no longer in control of their own destiny.
There are many more permutations to what can happen, but let’s just make it easy. If the Reds win out, they are all but in with 32 wins. If they don’t … hold your breath.
It didn’t take the Reds long to get on the scoreboard tonight. Aristides Aquino led off by reaching on an error, and Nick Castellanos followed with this:
You see class, this is how you hit a home run. Any other questions? pic.twitter.com/2z25EZjCld
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) September 22, 2020
But unfortunately, that was all she wrote for scoring on this night for the home team. Mike Moustakas smoked two pitches for doubles, but that was really all the Cincinnati bats produced after the first two batters.
Sonny Gray pitched about as well as could be expected in his first start back after spending time on the injured list. He went five innings, allowed only two hits, including a solo Tyrone Taylor home run. Tejay Antone had an off-night in two innings, allowing three hits and two go-ahead seventh-inning runs to the Brewers in taking the loss. Amir Garrett pitched a scoreless eighth, and Anthony DeSclafani, in his first relief appearance since 2014, pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.
Notes Worth Noting
In winning eight of their last 10 games, the Reds have scored 49 runs, with 31 coming on home runs, or 63.2 percent — the continuation of a season-long trend of home-run or no-run. Prior to the winning streak, there were many complaints about the lack of putting hits together for runs and “small ball.” When you’re winning, everything looks better.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
Milwaukee Brewers vs Cincinnati Reds
Wednesday, September 23, 6:40 pm ET
Adrian Houser (5.33 ERA, 1-5) vs Trevor Bauer (1.80 ERA, 4-4)