Keston Hiura’s seventh-inning solo homer led the Milwaukee Brewers to a 5-4 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, before 21,147 at Great American Ball Park.

Final R H E
Milwaukee Brewers (36-30) 5 7 0
Cincinnati Reds (23-41)
4 8 1
W: Lauer (6-2) L: Detwiler (0-1)  SV: Boxberger (1)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

For a split second, Cincinnati Reds fans thought they might see their team’s first walk-off victory of the season.

With a 2-2 count, two out and two men on in the bottom of the ninth, Joey Votto — pinch-hitting for Albert Almora Jr. — blasted a long fly ball to right-center off Brad Boxberger. But about six or seven feet from the wall, Brewers centerfielder Tyrone Taylor glided under the ball and made the catch to dash the home team fans’ hopes.

It was an intriguing tactical moment of the game, because Votto represented the Reds’ last legitimate chance to do damage with the bat. With Votto inserted as a pinch-hitter, the only position player remaining on the bench was Chris Okey. Had the Brewers intentionally walked Votto to load the bases, it would have been either Aramis Garcia or Okey batting with the game on the line — no other non-pitcher options remained for Reds Manager David Bell. Milwaukee Manager Craig Counsell decided to pitch to Votto instead of intentionally walk him and load the bases for a sub-.200 hitter. That interesting move worked out for Milwaukee.

Cincinnati erased a four-run deficit after four and a half innings on homers by Albert Almora, Brandon Drury and Tommy Pham (all spring-training signees who have taken advantage of their opportunities). But in the next half-inning, Hiura’s solo shot gave the Brewers what became the margin of victory.

The Reds fell to 18 games under .500, only one game off their low point of the season. A Cubs win put the Chicago team one game ahead of Cincinnati in fourth place.

The Offense

With Cincinnati trailing 4-0 after four and a half innings, the commenters here at Redleg Nation were not optimistic about their team’s chances. Milwaukee lefty Eric Lauer had had his way with the Reds up to that point. But in the bottom of the fourth, Mike Moustakas singled and Almora did some damage:

With the Reds trailing 4-2 headed to the bottom of the sixth, Lauer’s first two pitches ended up places he did not want them to:

That brought the home team all the way back from the earlier four-run deficit.

The only Red with more than one hit was Kyle Farmer, who started tonight as the designated hitter. He batted 2-for-3, raising his slash line to .289/.350/.438/.788.

The Pitching

Starter Hunter Greene held the Brewers hitless for the first three innings, but the first three hitters in the fourth all reached him for hits, the finale being Hunter Renfroe’s three-run homer. Greene’s fortunes unraveling in the fourth was the repeat of a trend that has occurred throughout the season to date:

Hunter Greene ERA by inning, 2022 (including today)

  • First: 4.15
  • Second: 3.46
  • Third: 1.42
  • Fourth: 9.82
  • Fifth: 7.56
  • Sixth: 9.82
  • Seventh: 0.00 (2 innings)
  • Eighth: 27.00 (1/3 inning)
  • Ninth: none pitched

Things typically take a turn for the worse after Greene’s first time through the order. But the very large leap in ERA from the first three innings to the following frames may be related to the fact that Greene is essentially a two-pitch pitcher (fastball and slider). Today, Greene threw only five changeups among his 97 pitches. Most two-pitch pitchers are relievers, at least partially due to the fact that in a relief capacity, they typically have to face each batter only once. Once hitters see what a pitcher will throw, it’s a lot easier to adjust in their next trip to the plate to two pitches than three.

Jeff Hoffman pitched a scoreless 1 1/3 to keep his team close, followed by Ross Detwiler. With two out in the top of the seventh, the lefty surrendered what became the game-winner to Hiura. It’s the only run Detwiler has surrendered in six innings of work this year with the Reds.

Joel Kuhnel pitched a scoreless eighth, and Hunter Strickland duplicated that feat in the ninth to keep it a one-run game.

News and Notes

It was a fun pre-game show for Chris and Annie Sabo …

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds

Saturday, June 18, 4:10 p.m. ET

Jason Alexander (0-0, 2.16 ERA) vs. Graham Ashcraft (3-0, 2.22 ERA)

37 Responses

  1. Hanawi

    Seems like Votto would have 5-6 more homers this year without the changes to the ball.

  2. DaveCT

    Watching Mikey Biceps pitch against Seattle, with Winker, Geno, Trammell.

    Julio Rodriguez us the real deal. Ty France can flat out hit. And Lorenzen looks fine as a starter.

  3. Votto4life

    I’m afraid it’s going to be a very long second half. The good news is I’ll be distracted by footfall in a couple of months.

    If the Reds clean house this winter and hire a new GM, Field Manager and coaching staff I will look to 2023 with great interest. On the other hand, if the current leadership remain (Lin place (and I suspect that be be the case), Cincinnati Reds baseball in 2023 is going to hold little interest for me.

    • 2020ball

      Id personally look at 2023 with great interest if any GM or FO changed the roster so as to give us a better product on the field.

    • GreatRedLegsFan

      I’m looking forward for it too, however it isn’t likely to happen with current ownership. Aside from it, there’re still $43M committed to only two players in 2023, so there isn’t still much room for roster additions and/or extensions.

      • MBS

        The Reds will be shedding a lot of payroll (probably) before 23.

        10M Minor
        6M Pham
        4.5M Solano
        4.025M Naquin
        2.3M Wilson
        1.825M Strickland

        7.35M Castillo (Highly Probable)
        5.2M Mahle (Moderately Probable)
        3.155 Farmer (Moderately Probable)

        That’s 44.355M probably coming off the books. Then add back in arb years increases for guys like Cessa,Senzel, Sims, Hoffman, Antone, Dunn, and Aquino. Also a few more league minimum guys to fill some holes, and you probably have 28M – 32M of usable cash in 23. Followed by a similar number in 23 with Votto and Mousetakas comping off the books.

      • MBS

        I forgot Shogo’s 7M that will be off the books, so maybe close to 40M available after all arbs’ and league minimum adds. I’m assuming we are currently at a level where Bob is comfortable spending, since we added to this level this year, after first cutting the payroll way down.

  4. GreatRedLegsFan

    I hope they have a plan for Greene’s secondary pitches development while in the bigs, results are not very encouraging so far, in particular his high BB and HR rates.

    • Luke J

      A 22 year old pitcher with a no hit outing and 2 1 hitters to go with the NL player of the week award is not encouraging? I feel like I’m in Bizarro world when I read the comments here.

  5. Ahimsa

    Wondering why the Reds FO thought Greene was ready for MLB with only 2 different pitches? Kind of feel bad for the young man/

    • Luke J

      Ugh! This again already? You’d think last week’s NL Player of the week award would shut up the ridiculous cries that Greene isn’t ready.

      • scotly50

        I would not base accolades on those awards. Votto got a golden glove one time.

      • Luke J

        It was just a shortcut to save text. I could have just as easily laid out the multiple stellar performances that won him the award to make the same argument. The point stands, he belongs in the majors. Period.

      • David

        He has a mediocre outing, and all of a sudden, it’s BACK TO THE MINORS!
        I read some comment by an opposing player that Hunter’s change-up was pretty hittable, because it was the speed of normal ML fastballs.
        His fundamental problem is control of the strike zone with his pitches, and overall location. When he has those going, he is pretty unhittable. When he struggles a little with location (and that is not all about throwing balls or being in the zone), he can get hit.
        I think that Hunter is going in the right direction. He’s just 22. He can end up being a great pitcher.

    • Danny

      I wouldn’t mind seeing Greene develop a knuckle ball. There are not many of these guys left, so it would difficult for opposing hitters to get comfortable. Heck, if Hunter takes to the Knuckleball, he could theoretically became a traditional knuckle ball pitcher.

      Seems like such an obvious idea, the Reds might actually not take this course of action.

      I also have to wonder if the reds have a pitching coach who can effectively teach the knuckle ball. I personally played JV baseball back in high school many years ago and tinkered with a knuckle ball. If I was somehow able to contact Hunter Greene, I would certainly offer to help him learn the craft.

      • Danny

        I would also point out that teaching the knuckle ball is not an easy task. Being that I actually tinkered around with the knuckle ball back in my own playing days- I would like to think I could help out the Reds and their pitching coaches.

        However, I just have no faith in our front office. Instead of seeking out someone like me to help Hunter develop into a true knuckle ball pitcher, the Reds instead will likely just throw their proverbial hands up and say it’s too difficult, forget it.

        This is just one of many gripes that I have with our FO, I could literally be in Cincinnati by this afternoon to teach the knuckle ball to our young pitchers, but instead the reds just give up on such an obvious notion and continue complaining about Hunter’s lack of a 3rd pitch.

        The incompetence or the FO is literally breathtaking.

  6. Doc4uk

    Greene has enough stuff to face the lower end teams but needs one more pitch to face high end teams. The major leagues in baseball have no parity.

    • Jim Walker

      Agree Greene needs the third pitch, However I think it is more that he has to be virtually perfect to get away with just the 2 pitches than the level of the competition.

      Also, the park he is pitching in on a given day plays into outcomes. A wider selection of pitches, if thrown and used effectively could help here. For instance, Toronto has bashers and they couldn’t do serious damage to him in their park on that day.

  7. Steven Ross

    Now that its warmed-up, GABP has become the new Coors Field. Routine fly’s to the OF become HRs. It’s a joke.

    Only two more months to Football.

  8. Mark Moore

    Our power was out from just after the game started until almost 3 AM. My data service is slow, so I did tune in a couple times (had to listen to the TV audio, kind of like a punishment). I saw the back-to-back first-pitch jacks. That was fun. Then we watched the BP do what the BP does.

    As for Young Jedi Greene, he’ll have days like this, especially in GABP. It’s hard to watch, but it’s more exciting knowing he’s in the rotation until he hits whatever his innings limit is. He’ll continue to make adjustments, I’m sure of that.

  9. Jonathan

    I wonder if Padres fans want Gore to be sent down since he had a bad outing this week. ???????????????? Greene belongs and he will figure it out. Stop saying he need to be sent down. So a no hitter and 2 1 hitter outing isn’t enough??!!

  10. Roger garrett

    All of us at times are prone to throw young guys under the bus or anoint them as the next superstar.Not fair at all but what is fair is to give the young guys (under 30) 30 to 40 starts on the mound and 800 at bats or more at the plate this year and next to see if they belong here in 2024.Its just a few more losses this year or next which means nothing.The Reds will be competing with the Bucs and Cubs for last place anyway.Who knows what players we may get in trades for some of our pitching depth and we may win a few more next year

  11. Mark Moore

    First cut at the line-up for today is posted. Joey at DH (probably a good thing). Moose/Manatee with a glove on again … but at least he’s at 1B. And he’s batting 7th.

    Pitching for the Bernie’s … Seinfeld’s George Costanza 🙂

    • Votto4life

      Remember..It’s not a lie if you believe it.