Corbin Burnes and Angel Perdomo combined on a five-hit shutout to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to an 8-0 victory and a three-game sweep over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
|Milwaukee Brewers (56-39)||8||11||1|
|Cincinnati Reds (48-45)
|W: Burnes (5-4) L: Gray (2-5)
|Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread|
Redleg Nation as a whole got its hopes waaaaaay up after winning three of four at Milwaukee last weekend. But the Brewers showed why they are in first place with a rather convincing sweep of the home team.
So if you’re looking for the bright side, here are some points to consider:
- Cincinnati entered the streak of seven consecutive games against Milwaukee in second place six games behind. After the seven games, they find themselves seven games back. The opportunity was there this weekend to make it much better than that, but a seven-game gap is not insurmountable.
- The Brewers are a very good team, but not invincible. There are still 69 games left, and if they have to deal with key injuries like many other teams have had to, they could have issues. Very clearly their pitching top to bottom is better than Cincinnati’s, thanks mainly to the significant difference in bullpen quality. But if their top four relievers all got hurt at the same time (as is the case with a certain team that we know and love), things would be much different. The Reds, when completely healthy, have better offensive firepower.
All of that being said, it’s impossible to gloss over that the Reds had a big chance this weekend and frittered it away. Ultimately it is head-to-head competition that determines which teams advance in the post-season and which ones do not. This was a big opportunity that we hope this team will not look back on as the point when their competitive dreams ended.
It’s time now to determine whether this Reds team has the inner strength, cumulative will and talent to bounce back. We’ll find out beginning Monday against the Mets.
Cincinnati’s bats have been in hibernation for a while. On only four occasions this month have they recorded 10 or more hits in a game. In the three-game series this weekend, they had seven, six and five hits. You can certainly credit Milwaukee pitching for some of that, along with the fact that Nick Castellanos had only one plate appearance in the series and Jesse Winker is 7-for-55 in July. But the Reds are headed into another home series with a team with outstanding starting pitching, the New York Mets. If the Reds are going to keep hopes alive, the bats are going to have to awaken from their slumber.
Sonny Gray struggled with his control in his first game coming off the 10-day DL, allowing four walks and hitting two Brewer batters. He finally ran out of gas in the fifth inning when he approached the 100-pitch mark. Milwaukee scored four in that inning to essentially put it out of reach.
Ryan Hendrix, Cionel Perez, Sean Doolittle and Tony Santillan — clearly the “back end” of the current bullpen pecking order — finished things up.
It was interesting to hear TV analyst Barry Larkin, when talking about the bullpen in the seventh inning, say, “This team deserves so much better.” It’s the first time I’ve heard any of the announcers working for the team say that. If the front office decides to make a move, all we can hope for at this point is that it isn’t too little too late.
Notes Worth Noting
In a little “inside-Redleg-Nation” note, today’s Reds loss ended a streak of 11 straight Reds victories in games for which yours truly was the author of the post-game recap article. We certainly hope that a similar streak can begin very soon.
Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds
New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds
Monday, July 19, 7:10 p.m. ET
TBA vs. Vladimir Gutierrez (4-3, 4.29 ERA)