[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.
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.