By Danny Mehigan
For the last two years, the Reds have been the Brewers’ proverbial “asshole that always wins at their place.” Despite all the good Milwaukee has done at Miller Park in the last few years, Cincinnati doesn’t seem to care because they keep winning. Will that continue in 2009? Well, you probably know already. But in case you don’t, read on!
Monday – Reds 7, Brewers 6: On the off chance Brewers fans needed to see their pitchers give up more bases loaded walks after Suppan’s implosion Sunday night, Yovani Gallardo obliged by blowing an early 4-run lead on Monday. A bases-loaded walk, hit-by-pitch and an absolute BOMB by Edwin Encarnacion gave the Reds six runs in the 3rd inning, and the bullpens locked down both offenses as Cincinnati held on for the win. Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy went ya-ya for the Crew, who went 2-for 14(!) with runners in scoring position. God awful.
Tuesday – Reds 6, Brewers 1: Bronson Arroyo does not care for your diagnosis of carpal tunnel, as he went strong into the 7th inning on Tuesday night. He gave up a solo shot to Hardy, but that was all. He had the slow stuff working, getting Brewers hitters off balance and allowing the Reds to run away with the series win. Cincy added three runs in the 9th off Carlos Villanueva. Joey Votto continues to rake, knocking in two runs with a single and a double.
Wednesday – Brewers 9, Reds 3: Without Mike Cameron, this very well could have been a Reds sweep. Killa Cam (copyright: Cam’ron and Dipset) hit two home runs and an RBI double, and was helped by RBI doubles from Jason Kendall, Bill Hall and a 2-run shot by Rickie Weeks. Micah Owings pitched okay in his Reds starting debut, but the bullpen was his undoing. Chris Dickerson hit a 2-run homer to tie the game at 3 in the sixth inning, but alas, ’twas not enough.
Hot Fire Players of the Series: Mark DiFelice and Bronson Arroyo. DiFelice is a relative unknown middle reliever for Milwaukee. He appeared in all three games, throwing 4 scoreless innings and getting 5 strikeouts while only giving up three hits and a walk. If only anyone else in the Milwaukee bullpen found success to be a good idea … For Cincinnati, Arroyo locked down the Brewers lineup without much help from his offense. He went 6.1 innings, giving up just four hits and one run. Considering he almost started the year on the disabled list, he’s a strong 2-0 on the season. Too bad that carpal tunnel will curtail his guitar career …
Weak Sauce Players of the Series: Yovani Gallardo and Jared Burton. In need of a stopper after two tough losses to the Cubs, Gallardo was staked to a 5-1 lead and promptly blew it. In five innings, he only gave up 3 hits, but added four walks and a hit batsmen that all led to seven runs and another mystifying home loss for Milwaukee. Burton pitched a decent inning on Monday, but definitely ruined the chance for a sweep on Wednesday. Right after the Reds fought back to tie the game at 3, Burton kept spinning his slider right over the heart of the plate (note: spinning a slider is a terrible idea, unless you love giving up dingers). Two doubles and a home run later, the 3-3 tie was now an 8-3 Milwaukee lead and the game was essentially over. Get your game up, Yovani. And you too, Jared.
Records: Milwaukee 3-6 (2-4 at home). Cincinnati 4-4 (2-1 on the road).
Next up: Milwaukee heads to New York to face the Mets at the beginning of a 9-game road trip. Bush, Gallardo and Suppan shall be your pitchers.
Cincinnati scoffs at that mini-trip by continuing on its season-long 10-game trip in Houston for four games. Cueto, Harang, Volquez and Arroyo get the ball in H-town. No word on Paul Wall‘s thoughts on the series.