Reds 2, Brewers 1
Starters Zack Greinke and Johnny Cueto provided an outstanding pitching duel as expected by keeping both teams scoreless through at least seven innings. Cueto allowed five hits, struck out five batters and gave up one walk in 7.0 innings pitched. Greinke went one more additional inning than Cueto to bypass the bullpen in the eighth. He only gave up two hits and struck out 11 as he showcased one of his finest outings of the season.
Cincinnati reliever Aroldis Chapman pitched a scoreless eighth and struck out Rickie Weeks on a 101-mph fastball to end the inning. Milwaukee closer John Axford relieved Greinke in the ninth. He quickly recorded two outs but struggled to get Drew Stubbs out, who singled to center field. The always dangerous Joey Votto doubled to right-center field which allowed Stubbs to score, giving the Reds the first lead of the game. Brandon Phillips scored Votto from second on a single for good measure.
With two runs down, Milwaukee’s Ryan Braun crushed a two-two breaking ball to left field to give the Brewers their first and only run of the game. Aramis Ramirez struck out and Corey Hart flew out. Jonathan Lucroy, one of the more consistent hitters on the team, reached base on a single to give the Milwaukee fans hope. Pinch-hitter Norichika Aoki followed with a single and pinch-hitter George Kottaras reached on a walk to load the bases. Pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa, the hero from Sunday’s game in San Francisco, flew out to left field to end the ball game.
Axford took the much deserved loss while Chapman walked away with the win. Once again, inconsistency loses another game for Milwaukee. The Brewers out-hit the Reds and their starter went eight full innings, but apparently that was not enough. Once again, Braun is the only person putting up runs.
As a manager I am not sure what Ron Roenicke can even do at this point. If the media is having a hard time coming up with different ways to say “lack of consistency” then I am sure Roenicke is having trouble telling his players what they need to do to win. It may be just one game and it may be the second week of May, but eventually these losses are going to add up to a number the Brewers are not going to be able to overcome.
I guess the only thing the team can do now is get back to work and prepare for the Chicago Cubs this weekend.