Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (21-23) 4 6 0
Cincinnati Reds (20-23)
9 9 0
W: Hoffman (3-3) L: Houser (3-5)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

As a Great American Ball Park crowd of 17,234 chanted “M-V-P, M-V-P,” Jesse Winker took an eighth-inning curtain call following his third homer of the game. It capped a 4-for-4 game with a walk and three homers (all solo shots), leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 9-4 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Winker is in the midst of the finest offensive season of his four-year major league career, improving his average to .356 with 11 homers and 26 RBI.

With the win, the fourth-place Reds snapped a four-game losing streak, pulled to within one-half game of third-place Milwaukee and within five games of the first-place Cardinals, pending the outcome of their game at Busch Stadium against the Cubs.

The Offense

Tyler Naquin got the home team off to a great start with a three-run first-inning moon-deck shot:

Naquin’s HR left his bat at 112.6 mph and traveled 459 feet, according to Statcast.

Then in the bottom of the third, Jesse Winker appeared to try to match Naquin foot for foot:

Winker’s shot had 108.5 exit velocity and traveled 431 feet. And then in the fifth …

Our Nick Kirby alerted us in tonight’s Redleg Nation game thread story that tendencies showed it could be a homer-fest:

Winker’s second shot left the bat at 108.6 mph and traveled 396 feet on the line.

Kyle Farmer and Jonathan India drove in important insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to make it 8-4.

And then …

Winker lit up Brewer hurler Josh Lindblom with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the eighth to make it 9-4, putting a very nice ribbon on his first career three-homer game.

The Pitching

Starter Jeff Hoffman responded to the first-inning offensive bounty provided by Naquin by allowing a single and three straight walks against the bottom of the Milwaukee batting order in the top of the second. Thankfully, it only resulted in one run. He threw 51 pitches in the first two innings. Through three innings, he was on a pace to throw 192 pitches over nine innings.

In nine starts, Hoffman has made it through six innings once (April 16 10-3 win over Cleveland), and five innings on three other occasions, including tonight. He is not alone among Reds starters in his inability to consistently go six or more innings, but he is the most frequent offender.

Amir Garrett pitched a scoreless inning, but Lucas Sims was roughed up for three hits and three runs in one-third of an inning. Tejay Antone got out of that seventh-inning jam with Cincinnati still ahead, 6-4. Brad Brach made his Reds debut to finish things up against the bottom of the Milwaukee order.

Notes Worth Noting

Milwaukee center fielder Lorenzo Cain robbed Tyler Stephenson in the bottom of the seventh …


Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds

Saturday, May 22, 4:10 p.m. ET

Brett Anderson (2-3, 4.50 ERA) vs Sonny Gray (0-3, 3.86 ERA)

37 Responses

  1. Sliotar

    Winker’s greatness aside ….

    A GABP special. Hit some HRs early, late, whenever against bad pitching.

    Suarez getting a walk and ending the game with 0 Ks felt like a win for him.
    He entered today with 62 wRC+ and -0.2 WAR. Woof.

    Winning series against really mediocre teams, like the Brewers, are a big part of catching up ti Cardinals.

    • Grand Salami

      Good bounce back. This Brewers team just made a move for another SS the reds couldn’t get. They are in transition. Reds catching them at a good time.

      I think Winker needs more runners on when he bats.

    • LDS

      Like Arizona and Colorado? I’m with you on that but man do the Reds fail to capitalize on their scheduling opportunities. A sweep of the Brewers would sure be nice.

    • MuddyCleats

      And NO errors for Eugenio either!
      Tied for team lead in walks, 3rd in runs, 4th in HRs RBIs, number ONE in games played and still making significantly less $$$ than many others who R doing less. Enjoy the win.

  2. Daytonnati

    Sadak might have gone full “do you believe in miracles?!” tonight.

    • MBS

      It was refreshing to not hear exaggerated lines like that.

  3. DaveCT

    I missed all 3 shots, somehow. But it was shot for (the equivalent).

  4. Jim Walker

    Maybe I’ve helped discover a winning formula for the Reds. I had other things going on in my life to where I didn’t have a clue what was going on till I found time to start checking tweets and found the game had just ended with the Reds on top!

    I can find other things to do on game nights if it will help the Reds this much on a regular basis. 😉

  5. Indy Red Man

    I’m glad we won a game! Naquin was a real find! He’s on pace for 37/113, but it feels like we rarely face a lefty. They’re going to have to get some protection there from Stephenson, Suarez, etc.

    Its a real shame though that it took this long to find a few guys like Brad Brach and Heath Hembree. Why they thought they could make guys like Perez, Fulmer, Romano, and DeLeon work is beyond me? Borderline has beens > never were’s in mlb all day and every day!

    • Oklared

      Yep. but will you say the same about this group when the new wears of. I hope so if you like this group continue to support them on their bad days for there will be some.

      • Corky Miller

        Well said Oklard. Fulmer was very good the first month.

        All four have the stuff to ber good, but command is always the difference maker.

    • RojoBenjy

      It may be that Naquin is having his career year like Scooter, or he may digress into Dietrich.

      Either way the Reds have lightning in a bottle and should ride it while hot.

      Getting some wins while key players are on the IL is always nice

      • Jim Walker

        Naquin’s history has been the more he has played in a season the stronger his OPS. He has had injury issues plus problems breaking into what at least at times during his Cleveland tenure was a very crowded OF situation.

        The two seasons in Cleveland he got >250 PAs his OPS/ OPS+ were .866/128 and .792/103. Over all, his AL OPS/OPS+ was .766/ 100 in 1023 PAs. At worst he would appear to be a league average hitter who would hover around ± .800

  6. Reddawg2012

    Of course they break the losing streak on the night Jeff Hoffman starts. Whatever, I’ll take it.

  7. Old Big Ed

    I actually thought that Hoffman was pretty good last night. Outside the 3 consecutive walks, he threw 5 innings with 1 BB and 7 strikeouts, while yielding two bleeder hits. Not only that, but he bucked up and got himself out of a couple of spots, by retiring Wong in the 2nd with the bases loaded and stranding Cain after Cain had gotten to second with no outs in the 3rd.

    I also thought that Eric Karros was right and that Bell took a proper stand behind his pitcher when he sent Hoffman back out for the 5th. GABP may not be the best place to get the Coors Field eebie-jeebies out of a pitcher’s system, but Hoffman does have a good arm and maybe he turned the corner last night.

    The Reds are by no means the only team with some horrid relievers. The Cardinals used 5 last night, and their ERAs now are 5.59, 6.52, 12.41, 7.71 and 7.94. The general supposition is that most pitchers this year will show a lot of fray as this season wears on, and I think the Year of the No-hitter will be the Year of the 20-1 Game soon enough.

    • Mark Moore

      He was adequate for the most part and pretty good at times. Given the run support we gave him, he did just fine for what amounts to a #5 starter. I’m with most of the commenters saying there are better options to explore. He can move to the bullpen IMO. No need to DFA him. Of course, if he could be traded to somebody truly desperate for a starting pitcher, then that could be an option.

  8. Old-school

    Kudos to Winker, Castellanos and Naquin in the OF. Hate to look at what might have been at the Fangraphs stat leader boards. Marcus Semien Toronto is having an All Star year. Reds could have had him at SS with a power athletic bat from the right side.

    • Corky Miller

      Don’t disagree, but he’s high draft pick that could figure if out. Command is not where it needs to be, but the stuff is very good.

      This team isn’t a playoff team. So why not let him see if he can work through it. Some guys just take more time.

      He pitched better than this writer described in my opinion.

      • JB

        Agree. Hoffman has the stuff but his control kills him. The walks are a problem. How many times was he at 1-2 count and he ended up walking the guy? At least three. Maybe Miley should look at him and try to fix him.

  9. RojoBenjy

    Always nice to see a win. The lineup performed well for the most part.

    Is Sims having a rough patch or is he on a downward trend?

    Kudos to Winker for the good kind of hat trick.

    And thank you to the manager for keeping Tyler Stephenson in the lineup even when he isn’t catching.

    • Mark Moore

      Agreed. Sims performance was a bit of a mystery to watch.

      • Old Big Ed

        Sims was flabbergasted that Bell took Amir Garrett out after 6 pitches, and the distraction left Sims unable to perform athletically.

  10. SultanofSwaff

    Cardinals have been getting fat off some bad teams.

  11. Indy Red Man

    Call me crazy, but I give Bell a C+ grade so far. He’s got 1 dependable reliever and they’ve won 1 game started by his “ace”. His 2nd best right-handed hitter coming in is hitting .150! Sonny Gray missed a bunch of starts and Senzel is a bust. Moose and Votto out too plus the suspensions. They go long stretches where they can’t score enough and longer stretches where they can’t field. Granted he makes some weird decisions like Fulmer>Antone in a 1-0 game the other night, but 3 under .500 is pretty good when you take all their flaws under consideration.

    It seems to me like Bell is much more proactive then Dusty or Price. He quickly pulled AG out of high leverage. He’s trying Stephenson at 1B on the fly and has him batting in the middle of the lineup. Personally I’m fine with Bell up to this point. He’s not David Copperfield.

  12. Grand Salami

    5/22 lineup and Suarez has righted the ship so well that he’s back at clean up from the 5 hole.

    Winker needs someone in front of him to knock In besides the pitcher.

    Suarez doesn’t need to have 1-3 guys on base when he comes to the plate.

    Where in the world is Shogo Akiyama? (Sung to Carmen Sandiego tune)

    • JB

      Who is Shogo going in for? Not Winker or Castellanos. Not Naquin because he is a lefty as well as Shogo. Shogo is nothing but a bad signing. Lousy arm and so far a lousy bat.

      • Indy Red Man

        If Shogo was right-handed he could help, but he’s not. Milwaukee’s pitcher last night Houser has twice the mlb career HRs as Shogo. I’m tied with Shogo too. Nice try. Its admirable to look around the world like the Brewers with Thames, but Shogo didn’t work out.

      • Grand Salami

        If Winker dabbles at 1st then they can give shogo an OF spot without losing Naquin.

        It lets Winker bat 3 as well.

  13. Old-school

    As a group- the outfielders are the best offensively in baseball.
    Castellanos is underpaid and Winker/Naquin are-outright bargains. Akiyama is grossly overpaid but as a unit- the outfielders are very productive with very high value.

    Now the infielding corps……

    • Indy Red Man

      I’ll play devils advocate just for fun. Naquin with a .730 road ops. Winker .609 ops vs lhp. I didn’t look up Naquin’s ops vs lhp, but I’m sure its bad. Moving forward teams would be stupid not to line up their lefties vs the Reds. To add to that they’re a very slow outfield, for example the dozens of bloop hits in Coors. Suarez & Stephenson have to step up and provide some protection vs lhp. They really need another platoon type since Senzel seems like a bust. Shogo is only a little on-base or defensive depth in LF.

      On the bright side, we’re in better shape then most for the universal DH.

      • Old-school

        I would like for the Reds to prioritize a young elite natural defender to patrol Cf for the next 5-6 years. Its like SS and catcher- defense matters there. That allows for big bats at CO spots.

        Lorenzo cain catch last night great. Glad reds fans cheered his defense

  14. Jim Walker

    @OldSchool. The irony is the Reds have actually had such a guy in their system for ~8 years and at MLB level 6, Michael Lorenzen.

    He showed up at rookie camp thinking he was a CF and was told he was now a pitcher only. He told them he would primarily pitch but wanted to be a 2 way player. They told him to shut and pitch and enjoy being in MLB.

    At MLB he has continued to campaign to be a 2 way player and given a good account of himself as an OF and batter in limited opportunities while his pitching career has largely sputtered along living more on potential than results as he battled injury and inconsistency.

    • Old-school

      Its not worked out Jim
      I maintain his injuries are because he was 95% a CF till the Reds got him.
      But he throws 98 mph so the Reds tried to take a guy who threw 17 innings his senior year in college into a SP who throws 180 and then a reliever with a swiss army knife when he got hurt. He tries to be everything. It would be interesting to platoon him and Naquin in CF and have him pitch twice a week out of the bullpen for 2-3 innings at a time

    • RojoBenjy

      I’m with you on this, Jim. Would have loved to have seen Lorenzen from day one as a CF.

      Apparently though it hasn’t been terrible that he’s a pitcher. One time Doug ran through the WAR and things and he’s added a lot (not a sarcastic comment).