Joey Ortiz’s three-run fifth-inning homer off of Andrew Abbott was the difference in the Milwaukee Brewers’ 3-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds before 38,419 at American Family Field.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (34-36) 1 5 0
Milwaukee Brewers (41-29)
3 4 0
W: B. Wilson (4-3) L: Abbott (5-6) SV: Megill (12)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

With only five hits and three walks drawn, the Reds offense couldn’t mount threats that put extra pressure on Milwaukee pitching.

The loss again dropped the Reds seven games behind Milwaukee. The Cubs beat St. Louis today, 5-1, with Pittsburgh playing later today at Colorado. A Pittsburgh win later will pull them into a third-place tie with the Reds.

The Offense

Cincinnati hitters’ composite line: 5-for-30, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, and only one extra-base hit.

Reds hitters struggled against what was a Milwaukee bullpen day, which perhaps should be no surprise. Prior to today’s game, Brewer relievers led the majors in wins (26) and innings pitched (283 2/3). Milwaukee Manager Pat Murphy knows he can count on his relievers to hold a lead or keep a game close.

Bryse Wilson came on with one out in the first inning and pitched 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out six, to get credit for the victory.

Cincinnati avoided the shutout in the ninth against Trevor Megill, who walked Elly De La Cruz to open the inning. He stole second and rode home on a double to left-center by Jeimer Candelario. Brewers shortstop Willy Adames short-circuited what could have been a bigger rally by smothering a shot by Spencer Steer and retiring him at first. The next batter, Tyler Stephenson, grounded one to Adames, who noted Candelario making a mental error in trying to advance to third. Candelario was an easy out in a rundown. The game ended with a Stuart Fairchild flyout.

Candelario’s two hits and run driven in led the offense.

The Pitching

Reds pitchers’ composite line for today would be enough to win more often than not: 8 innings pitched, 4 hits allowed, 3 walks while striking out 7.

A scoreless tie was snapped suddenly in the bottom of the fifth. Abbott walked the first two batters in the inning, then surrendered Ortiz’ three-run bomb to left-center to make it 3-0 for the home team. Abbott rebounded to retire the next three hitters, but the Ortiz blast turned out to be the difference. Manager David Bell pulled Abbott after five innings and 94 pitches. He allowed four hits and three walks, while striking out three. A pretty good performance was ruined by the three-batter stretch to lead off the Brewer fifth.

Buck Farmer pitched two perfect innings in the sixth and seventh, and Brent Suter set the Brewers down in order in the eighth.

One Fan’s Thoughts

A few weeks ago, when the Reds were still in the dumper, I put together what I thought was a reasonable plan for the Reds to get back to .500, which is the first plateau for a team trying to crawl out of a deep hole. My estimate had them reaching .500 at 38-38, and today’s result dropped them to 34-36.

(My “brilliant” plan was for them to win every series of three or four games, and sweep every series of two games. While that path wasn’t precise, their level of play over the past two-plus weeks has been similar to my projection and perhaps better.)

The next plateau is climbing over the cluster of teams they are currently amid and getting into second place in the National League Central Division as the nearest challenger to first-place Milwaukee.

One huge reason the gap has opened between Milwaukee and the rest of the pack is that the Brewers have played only three games so far this season against the tough National League West Division. Meanwhile, the Reds have played 25! While the Reds have already made two West Coast road trips, the Brewers have made none. That will change beginning Monday, when the Brewers begin a road trip through Anaheim and San Diego. That imbalance in games played against NL West teams will begin to rebalance next week, giving the Reds and their fans some reason to hope.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers

Sunday, June 16, 2:10 p.m. ET

Frankie Montas (3-5, 4.55 ERA) vs. Colin Rea (5-2, 3.31 ERA)

78 Responses

  1. Melvin

    “Cincinnati hitters’ composite line: 5-for-30, 3 walks, 8 strikeouts, and only one extra-base hit.”

    As some pointed out there were several hard hit balls that didn’t fall. Still though we need help.

  2. Melvin

    “That will change beginning Monday, when the Brewers begin a road trip through Anaheim and San Diego. That imbalance in games played against NL West teams will begin to rebalance next week, giving the Reds and their fans some reason to hope.”

    Have to take advantage. Have to put the foot to the floor and not mess around.

  3. Melvin

    That was a pretty good plan Tom and working out pretty well. 🙂

    Do you have a plan for winning the division and the World Series? 🙂

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I didn’t take it to that extent during the time when the Reds had lost 14 out of 17. 😉

      • Melvin

        Oh well. Was just hoping. haha 🙂

  4. Moon

    We are in the midst of 5 games against two of the best teams in MLB, the Indians and Brewers. I was hoping to get through this stretch 3-2. We are 2-2 so far and can still get to 3-2 with a win tomorrow. We will have Montas on the mound. The one positive out of that disaster of a last start is at least Frankie will be well rested. Lets go get it done guys.

  5. Jim Walker

    Good comp on the scheduling mix. I’m trying to warm up to ciphering whether the NL Central is top/ bottom/ or middle among divisions.

    It does stand out to me that the Brewers have already played 32 games (19-13) vs the AL while the Reds have played only 17 (8-9) vs the AL. The Reds would have to go 11-4 in their next 15 versus the AL to pull abreast of the Brewers. That seems like a significant advantage to the Brewers regardless of which AL teams they have played and which AL teams the Reds have yet to play.

  6. Roger Garrett

    Pathetic performance by the offense.Guess they expected another gift like last night so they didn’t show up.Reds won’t catch the Brewers cause they can’t beat them head to head.

    • Jim Walker

      The Reds beat the Brewers Friday in a game they had no right to win. Today was up for grabs. The Reds got a PA in the 9th with the tying run at the plate. Hopefully, tomorrow will go the Reds way.

  7. Reddawg2012

    That’s a tough loss. Brewers had an xBA of .129 compared to the Reds at .290 with no runs to show for it. Tomorrow seems like an important game. Not a must win, but losing would kind of confirm that the Reds still can’t beat the Brewers consistently. Plus they have to deal with Paul Skenes on Monday.

    Also, I was only able to watch innings 2-6, but the home plate umpire seemed to be terrible.

    Lastly, this team needs more from Spencer Steer.

    • Melvin

      Steer will come out of it I’m confident but having said that he has been struggling. The last 30 games:

      .214/.290/.348

      • Reddawg2012

        I hope so. My first thought was he needs to move out of the 4 spot. But there aren’t many options that are better.

        Maybe Stephenson, I don’t know.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        I have very high confidence in Steer. He’s proven to me in a year and a half that he can play the game defensively all over the diamond, and is a good hitter. He’s a key member of this team for the next four-plus years (at least).

  8. Mark Moore

    Some bad luck, terrible Chumpire, 2.walks.and.a.blast, weak offense.

    Stink. Fish. Pot!!!

    Back at it tomorrow.

  9. Mark A Verticchio

    I agree on Steer, take away the first few weeks and he has had a very disappointing season.

  10. Dennis Westrick

    Can’t explain my dislike of Buck Farmer. Probably due to some of his failed outings last season!

    However, today Buck did an excellent job of holding the fort with two shutout innings of relief and 3 SOs! Gotta give him credit where credit is due!

  11. earmbrister

    Candelario 2-4, with a double and an RBI.

    The man has been on some tear since April 28th.

    • earmbrister

      And that tear would be

      .295/.335/.584/.919

      • Melvin

        Pretty awesome. Perfect switch hitting DH.

      • earmbrister

        Yep, he’s a perfect switch hitting DH.

        He’s also the best 1B man that we have right now. Marte should push him off 3B (he’s had an uncharacteristicly rough time there this year) upon his return. Which should push Steer back to his planned LF spot, with Candelario taking over at 1B (where he’s league average defensively).

        Before the season the biggest worry was one of the youngsters having a sophomore slump (I would’ve guessed EDLC, but what do I know). The depth has been tested with CES and McLain going down and losing Marte for the first 80. Thankfully we signed JC and kept India. The glut in the infield evaporated in the blink of an eye.

      • JB

        Best first baseman? Steer is better at first than Candelario. Candelario should be nowhere near a glove

      • VaRedsFan

        JB is correct.
        He never seems to field a ball cleanly, then the hitter is given a hit…which skews his defensive stats.

        Steer is their best defensive 1stBman at the moment.
        CES is also good.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Candelario has surprised me in a positive way defensively at third base. He was brought in to fill the role of DH and first base (whichever CES did not play), and has done much more out of necessity.

      • Melvin

        When it comes to Candelario and his defense I would say this is a time when stats don’t tell the whole story. At least so far this year, from what I’ve seen, he’s not very good at catching but especially not good at throwing. Maybe that will turn around like his hitting has. Who knows?

      • earmbrister

        JB – There’s a reason that Steer was moved to LF. That is his best defensive position. Career wise, it seems that Candelario is at least as good at 1B.

        Yeah, he’s struggled at 3B THIS YEAR, but Marte will move him off of the hot corner shortly.

  12. Mike Adams

    As Moon said above the Reds are 2-2 against two very good teams based on their records.
    This is like the playoffs. It all comes down to tomorrow.
    Win and the Reds are 3-2 in these two series which I would be happy with.
    Lose and another nail in the coffin titled “Reds are not quite good enough.”
    Got to find a way win tomorrow, whether it’s Montas throwing a gem, or some batters coming through, with no mental or physical errors.

  13. ClevelandRedsFan

    Why is Elly trying to steal third with 0 outs in the 9th, down 3-0? He’s lucky Candelario hit a double and it didn’t matter.

    There is effectively no improvement in the likelihood to win with a steal. But, being thrown out is a big decrease in likelihood to win.

    • Mark A Verticchio

      You are correct a lot to lose and nothing to gain, not smart baseball. This team is just so poorly coached it’s hard to believe.

      • ClevelandRedsFan

        Elly just trying to pad his stats?

    • SteveAReno

      Basic coaching says you never want to be the first or third out at third base. Elly’s strategy was lacking on that attempt.

    • paleblue

      Bell: “Elly staying aggressive there in the 9th, trying to jump-start the offense which had been a little quiet. We want to stay aggressive on the bases, it’s in this team’s DNA to do that. Did I mention how much I love our guys?”

      • Harry Stoner

        Bell would have drooled out the same pablum if EDLC had been thrown out.

        His mumbling can be unbearable.

        I don’t believe Bell demonstrates any distinction between “aggressiveness”, “recklessness” and “foolishness”.

        Like EDLC in the 9th and Brewer bunting last night.

        At least the Milwaukee manager and player acknowledged the bad judgement.

        Bell and the Reds pretend that mistakes never happen.

      • Melvin

        “I don’t believe Bell demonstrates any distinction between “aggressiveness”, “recklessness” and “foolishness”.”

        @Harry Stoner It would seem that way at times at least.

        Jonathan India – “David Bell is very laid back. He really doesn’t stress anything for us to do. He just wants us to go out and enjoy ourselves”

    • TR

      The speed of EDLC is a real offensive weapon but he should use it sensibly. Elly attempting to get to third base makes sense if a run is needed with a sacrifice flyball. But, other than that, he’s usually going to score on a base hit.

    • VaRedsFan

      They were giving him the bag, with no coverage by the 3rd baseman.

      I can’t stand when our pitchers give the free base to the other team when we are up 2-3. I’m almost positive it gets into the head of relievers, because it kills their statline giving up a meaningless run.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      I don’t think he understands the do’s and don’ts of the game. The only way you take third in that situation is if the third baseman is playing in the shortstop position and has no chance to make a tag.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        @VaRedsFan — I didn’t notice it at the time, but if what you say is correct, then he was absolutely right to try to take third. So I amend my previous comment.

    • Redsvol

      Yes. But they will have better offers from teams with improving players. Our farm system is severely underperforming or injured this year. Krall isn’t going to have the ammunition- unless he includes lowder which would be ill-advised in my opinion.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Yes, but they’ll need to be willing to give up a prospect or prospects of true value. Rooker has three more years of team control after this one, so he would fill a huge hole in the lineup for the next few years. I’d like to see them be bold and surrender real prospects, which is what Oakland will be looking for.

      • Melvin

        Who’s betting that the Braves will get him or someone else to fill their need before the Reds will? I would be more than happy to be proven wrong Mr. Krall.

      • Tom Mitsoff

        That would be my bet if I was a bettor. But this is the chance for the Reds to capitalize on the prospects in their system who have no apparent place in the major league lineup for the next few years.

  14. west larry

    Anyone know how Ashcraft did in his Louisville start?

    • Votto4life

      Ashcraft went 6 innings 5 hits 1 walk 4 strike outs. He also gave up 3 earned runs which included a home run. Ashcraft was the losing pitcher.

    • magi210

      6.0 IP 5 H 3 ER 1 BB 4 K 1 HR 4.50

      Lost 3-1.

    • west larry

      Thanks. That’s not a awful outing, I’d like him to get back into a good grove so that he can help the reds down the stretch. He has excellent stuff, it’s a mystery to me as to why he performed so poorly this year. I still think he could develop into a one or two starter.

  15. Votto4life

    One huge reason the gap has opened between “Milwaukee and the rest of the pack is that the Brewers have played only three games so far this season against the tough National League West Division. Meanwhile, the Reds have played 25!”

    @Tom this is great stuff. Thank you

    • earmbrister

      The tough NL West currently has ONE team above .500. It’s a competitive division, but has a cream puff Rockies at .348. The records of the remaining teams are surprisingly similiar to those of the NL Central. A lot of the inter divisional play hasn’t happened yet – for instance, we have yet to play the Pirates.

      It should be interesting to see how the season unfolds. Is the NL Central better than expected?

      And yes, that’s a great insight by Tom.

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It’s an interesting scheduling quirk, but without researching the whole 2024 schedule, it appears the Reds are already done with the NL West for the year, both home and road.

  16. Rednat

    These games are boring. Offense continues to decline in mlb since the end of the steroid era. Tbe pitch clock seems to be favoring the pitchers. Universal dh and shift ban have had no impact on the offense. The bigger bases haved helped in the stolen base department but that is the only ogfensive category that has improved in the league in a long time.

    Fewer good offensive players in the league favor the big market teams imensely.

    Will the league try to make more chanes to boost the offense? Move the mound back? More bans on shifts? Creating ” out of bounds lanes” for defensive players?

    These changes would help teams thst rely on younger position players greatly. Will the commissioners office look into it?

    • Doug Gray

      Moving the mound back didn’t seem to make a difference in the league that they tried it in. While it did make the fastball play a bit worse, it made offspeed stuff play better. And guys throw more offspeed stuff now than they do fastballs.

      The problem is simple: Pitchers are too good.
      The solution isn’t. You can’t just tell pitchers to pitch worse. You can’t force starters to stay in the game longer because eventually that will lead to injuries and teams/owners aren’t going to agree to that. There’s just not an easy solution to the problem of “everyone throws 98 and breaking balls at 87”.

      • rednat

        i totally agree Doug. the pitching is way too good right now. too dominant! your right.. not sure what the solution is but it is hurting the game in my opinion. a guy like EDLC should be a bigger impact player in the league. problem is he can’t get on base enough to have that impact!

      • Still a Red

        Make pitchers pitch with the opposite arm…or maybe underhand.
        I don’t mind low scoring tight games so long as there is contact forcing plays to be made. Lots of strike outs is boring. Steals are good. EDLC should add busts to his arsenal.

      • Jim Walker

        I will take a shot at this with a 2 step plan. First reduce the maximum number of pitchers on the active roster to 12 (reduction of 1 from the current 13).

        Secondly, remove the provision that excuses a pitcher who ends an inning from facing a minimum of 3 hitters. In situations when a pitcher ends an inning without facing 3 hitters, if he does not start the next inning and reach the 3 man quota, he becomes ineligible to appear in the team’s next game but still counts against the active roster and receives service time for the ineligible game.

    • JB

      I get tired of the “make changes so the hitters can be better” crap. You know what makes hitters better? Stop swinging at crap. Have a better eye at the plate. Stop swinging for the fences. Go the other way. Two players in mind that are having no problem with pitchers is Arreaz and Kwan. They take what the pitcher gives them and puts it in play. The players whined about the shift and said it wasn’t fair. The league prohibited shifting. Didn’t help. The problem is home runs means bigger contracts. Swing hard and hope for a home run. I would take a team full of Arraez’s and Kwan’s. Stop the nonsense of moving the mound back and other rediculous suggestions to help the hitters.

      • JA

        Kwan and Arraez any given day.
        Kwan was impressive in both games at Cincy

      • VaRedsFan

        Agree with the mound moving mularky. That’s about as silly as shorting the base paths to 85 feet.

      • Melvin

        I would agree that a different hitting approach would be more important than say lowering the mound and changing the strike zone like they did after 1968 when is was known as “The Year Of The Pitcher”.

    • BK

      Two obvious levers available are using the automated strike zone to eliminate the variability introduced by human umpires and expansion which would dilute the pitching.

      • Melvin

        Yes the challenge system would help immediately. I don’t know why MLB has to wait a year or two when it already has been implemented in AAA.

    • VaRedsFan

      Juice the baseball 10% per year until you achieve the results you want.

      • Harry Stoner

        Trouble is, the Reds aren’t making enough contact.

        Comp their team BABIP vs BA and things aren’t quite as grim.

        If they don’t hit it, it likely won’t matter how much the ball is juiced.

      • VaRedsFan

        We aren’t trying to fix the Reds hitting woes…it’s baseball in general.
        A livelier ball could reach gaps and stands, instead of dying on the warning track. Steer might have 10 more HR’s with a juicier ball.

      • Melvin

        To me “juicing the ball” would only give more incentive to swinging as hard as you can every pitch in hopes of a home run. Somehow putting the ball in play has to be emphasized more. Maybe that does have something to do with the ball. I don’t know but more contact is needed most in my view.

  17. Still a Red

    Oops that should be bunts. No offense.

  18. Redsvol

    Only 3 hits against Bryce Wilson. And struck out a bunch against him- when he isn’t a strikeout pitcher. That’s the guy we had to get to and we didn’t.

    We’ve said it before, we just don’t score enough runs – or have enough hits – most night.

    Brewers pitching development and scouting is the best in the business. Followed closely by Cleveland. Why don’t we hire some of them? Our AA and AAA staffs are ridiculousy inept this year. There are no reinforcements coming from the farm this year.

  19. west larry

    Baseball has a long season. We are bummed by the reds performance the last couple of nights, but if we win today and tomorrow we will feel good again, except LDS. We do need help. It would be great to pick up Roberts (but at what cost) . If not, I guess we will hope we have enough to get into the playoffs. I’m also concerned how Bell uses Diaz. If he would move him to a sixth or seventh inning pitcher until, or unless he returns to form. If we don’t secure another reliever, Moll or Farmer could probably close.

    • west larry

      My idea for players to trade for Roberts hurts, but here goes. Diaz, Fraley, Montas and a minor league pitcher not in the reds top five minor league pitchers, The white sox could than move one or two of these in other deadline trades. Nice t play g m once in a while.

      • VaRedsFan

        The team trading away proven talent isn’t looking for MLB’ers in return. They want top level prospects. Maybe a MLB filler with potential like Benson.

        Stars are rarely ever traded for stars.

      • Melvin

        @west larry – I like what you’re trying to do. Keep it up. 🙂

    • LDS

      @WestLarry, I’ll be satisfied with the Reds when they get serious. Playing .500 ball and sneaking into the playoffs doesn’t mean squat to me. It simply means that too many teams make the playoffs. A team that routinely makes fundamental errors as the Reds do are not a serious playoff contender. And the lack of fundamental play falls squarely on Bell and the coaching staff’s shoulders. Potential doesn’t mean anything. Results do.