It was a crazy game yesterday and the Reds ended up with the win over the Brewers, 3-4.
It was almost a no-hit performance for starter Bronson Arroyo, but then the eighth inning happened. Until then, the only baserunner he’d allowed was Ryan Braun whom he’d hit with a pitch with 2 outs in the first inning. Next Aramis Ramirez flied out and stranded him, though, so it was all good.
Arroyo started out the eighth by striking out Travis Ishikawa, but then gave up a walk to George Kottaras and a double to Taylor Green. Corey Hart doubled to bring in two runs and an out later, Norichika Aoki singled in Hart and that’s all there was for Arroyo. What began as a stellar start still looked pretty good by the time it was all done: 7.2 innings pitched, 3 runs (earned) on 3 hits and a walk. No home runs allowed.
Sean Marshall finished out the eighth and Aroldis Chapman shut ’em down in the ninth. So excited was Chapman not to have blown a save for a change that he promptly did a couple somersaults while walking toward the plate, which has some people’s panties in a bunch. Myself, I don’t mind the exuberance, but I think he could have done a cooler tumbling run. I’d only give it a 5.5.
The Reds’ scoring came primarily in the sixth inning when Joey Votto doubled, Brandon Phillips singled, and Jay Bruce homered, bringing them all in. After the Brewers tied it up in the top of the eighth, Drew Stubbs untied it with a solo shot in the bottom of the inning, which turned out to be the winning run.
The win brings the Reds’ record to 41-32. The Cardinals won last night and the Pirates lost, so while the Reds maintain their 2.0 game lead in the central, the second place title now belongs solely to the Cardinals. With the Reds about to head out on the notoriously brutal west coast road trip, the Cardinals may well be challenging for first by the time the two teams meet in the first series after the All-Star Break.
The Reds and Brewers finish off the series today at 12:35 p.m. in GABP. The Reds are hoping for a sweep, but it won’t be an easy one. Zack Greinke (8-2, 2.81 ERA) takes on Homer Bailey (5-5, 4.20 ERA).