Titanic Struggle Recap

Skunky Beer

[Edit.: You may remember that my friend John, a life-long Brewers fan living in New York, wrote a preview for the Brewers at the start of the season. He sent me this note reflecting on the series shortly after Super Todd Frazier's walk-off double. Thanks, John! - SPM]

From the perspective of a Brewers fan, today was a bad loss. Sure, the great-start Brewers — they’re still 21-11 — already have had many super wins this season, including quite a few on the road, and no one can be lucky all the time. And right now the Brewers have hitter injuries — RF Ryan Braun on the DL; 3B Aramis Ramirez not hitting since he got hit on the elbow *two times* in St. Louis last Monday night — that might explain part of their dropping offensive production.

But today the Brewers had an early lead, a late lead, a good chance to score in the top of the 10th and then a good chance to get to the 11th inning…

The Reds, after taking 3 of 4 in this series, are now 5½ games behind Milwaukee. In early May, that’s not much.

The first three games of this series showed that both teams have strong pitching. On Thursday night, Brewers starter Marco Estrada was good, not great, and after Brandon Kintzler held, Jim Henderson got shelled — game Reds. On Friday, Wily Peralta was superb, and also got the key hit — game Brewers. Yesterday Johnny Cueto was Peralta-like — game Reds. Today, Kyle Lohse and then Will Smith [no, a different one] were solid enough to win, until Kintzler wasn’t — game Reds.

One redeeming detail of this series, at least from a Brewers perspective: On Thursday night, Joey Votto hit a ball over the centerfield fence and Carlos Gomez again, just like he did last July 8th in Milwaukee, went up to catch it. This time, Votto, rounding first as Gomez made the catch, ragged him in an understandably mad and also fun way. It was two top players playing the game greatly, which is great to see.

Thursday:

Last year:

The Reds will next see the Brewers in Milwaukee the second week of June and in Cincinnati, on July 4th.  I expect more great games between them, and probably top-of-the-division rivalry involving them plus at least St. Louis, and maybe even Pittsburgh, and surely not the Cubs, that will last all season.

10 thoughts on “Skunky Beer

  1. Saying Cueto was “Peralta-like” is wrong. More like Peralta was “Cueto-like”.

    What about run differential? Brewers have a lower one than the Reds, but are all these games above .500?

    I’d feel more confident betting that the Brewers end the season below .500 than above at this point.

    • Ryan, I wrote that with a smile–just having fun with you Red guys. But in seriousness, I don’t think that Milwaukee should take Cueto for Peralta in a straight up trade (not that the Reds are offering that)–WP is younger, bigger and has slightly better stats than Cueto did at this point in his career. Time will tell, of course.

    • Probably what Card fans were saying about the Reds in 2012, fluke 2010, came back down in 2011, an on Ryan Braun makes this team formidable, not sure if they got prospects to deal, but if they make some key pick-ups at the deadline they will be there all year if not running away with it

  2. Today was a classic example of the process for beating the Brewers over the years: Stay even with their starter and get into the bullpen. Usually works like a charm.

  3. Yes, Peralta is going to be a really, really good pitcher, barring injury… I was there Thursday night when Gomez robbed Votto. That was a funny exchange. I don’t know if the cameras caught it but Votto held up two fingers and said “That’s twice!!”

  4. I really appreciate hearing from educated fans of other franchises. It’s a nice perspective. Thanks for adding to our knowledge base.

  5. Hi John. Thanks for your thoughts. Out of curiosity, what is the vibe about Brewer-Land right now? From the outside looking in, I admit that it seems to me that the Brew Crew is currently propped upon an improbable string of 1-run victories and a lot of games that might just have well swung the other way (disclaimer: I, as a Reds fan, am claiming the exact opposite for the Reds). There’s no doubt they Brewers are better than the preseason rankings gave them credit for, however I also don’t think they’re truly the best club in the MLB this season either.

    Are Brewers fans buying in to this club or sitting skeptically (but happily) aside? Just curious what the vibe is in a land that isn’t hoping for the Brewers to fall apart.

    • Z, I live in NY, so my “Brewerland” is defined by online reading and listening to games (via awesome MLB radio, which brings me WTMJ and Bob Uecker). My sense is that people there (and we in the diaspora) are believing–we might not think that the team is the best in baseball (yet, although they continue to have that record), but they are very good. In my view, this is a pitching team–5 strong starters. But more hitting will help. Last night, an 8-3 win over AZ, was the first time the Brewers scored more than 5 in their last 15 games. The hitting will heat up, I think, and certainly Miller Park will fill up more regularly, as the tailgating weather in Milwaukee gets better and better.

      • No doubt they are quite formidable. Given my acquaintance with Cincinnati fans, if the Reds currently held the best record in baseball, I’m sure we’d all be complaining about how they can’t sustain it, I was just curious if Brewers fans were the same.

        Many thanks. I’m glad that this years Red v Brewers will be an entertaining one. For the last 2 decades, the majority of Reds v Brewers has been a clash of the imbeciles.

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